Gravel Cycling on Fisherman’s Trail

After weeks of cold and wet weather, Vancouver finally gave us the forecast of a warm and sunny weekend. Excited about the prospect of another adventure-filled summer, I decided to run a trip to the local’s favourite, the Fisherman’s Trail, a 40 km loop of scenic and smooth gravel trails around the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver.

The next step was to gather a team. Not having much luck on the trip agenda, I began going around and recruiting my friends and people from previous trips. I like to imagine myself in Ocean’s 11, but in reality, it was just many text messages. Cara, Elvira, and Ruth just got their new gravel bikes that week, so this will be their NBD ride. Brendan, another Cowichan Valley survivor, was onboard. Ethan and Clara, who biked up Mount Gardner with me, were in. Then we had Melissa and Settare, long-time VOC execs. Finally, Arielle, who was returning to the area, but this time she was taking her road bike on the gravel trails.

With so many lovely people and beautiful bikes, I brought my camera, which turned out to be very cumbersome to carry while riding. And just like that, this had turned into a media ride, so I’ll just let the photos show you.

This is a must-do if you’re in Vancouver with a gravel bike. If you want to try it yourself, check out this guide from Landyatchz Bikes: https://landyachtzbikes.com/gravel-ride-route-guide-vancouver/fishermans-trail/.

Both the Riverside Dr. and Seymour Valley trailheads are 25 km from UBC. You can take either the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge or Lions Gate Bridge. You can do this loop in both directions. I prefer going counter-clockwise so you climb on gravel and descend on the road. Toward the end of the Seymour Dam, there is a viewpoint with a water fountain and pit toilet. On your way out, don’t forget to check out the single tracks on the Old Growth Trail, just off of the fish hatchery. As of this trip, there was a washout between the Circuit 8 Connector and Spur 4. The Bear island bridges were also closed for repair, so you might have to trace back on Spur 4 and get on the road via Hydraulic Connector.

The gravel is ridable with 28mm road tires, though extra caution is recommended.

The trail is ridable with 28mm road tires, though thicker gravel tires are recommended.

Plan extra time for pictures, the scenery is beautiful!

Plan extra time for pictures, the scenery is beautiful!

 

There is a 100m washout north of Circuit 8 Connector, take extra caution.

There is a 100m washout north of Circuit 8 Connector, take extra caution.

This is a sign for you to get a bicycle.

This is a sign for you to get a bicycle.

The trail follows along the  Seymour river, with many opportunities for a quick dip.

The trail follows along the Seymour river, with many opportunities for a quick dip.

Gravel is not only a road surface, it's state of mind.

Gravel is not only a road surface, it’s a state of mind.

The girls and their new gravel bikes.

The girls and their new gravel bikes.

Banana

Banana

Protip: Save weight by having your friends carry water for you.

Protip: Save weight by having your friends carry water for you.

 

The prospectus shot.

The prospectus shot.

Cara showing the photo of a black bear that ran in front of her.

Cara’s showing the photo of a black bear that ran in front of her.

This 5 km detour on the Hydraulic Connector became 30 km due to faff.

This 5 km detour on the Hydraulic Connector became 30 km due to faff.

Gravel on the climb, pavement on the descent.

Gravel on the climb, pavement on the descent.

People were missing out on the Old Growth single tracks.

The windy Old Growth single tracks are just so dreamy.

Bike selfie!

Bike selfie!

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Gravel Cycling on Fisherman’s Trail

  1. Vincent Hanlon says:

    Oooh, nice photos. I think biking the valley may be more fun than hiking the nearby peaks—just completely vertical bush, roots, and mud

  2. Settare Shariati says:

    NGL I love how many times I’ve been featured on this trip report.

  3. Elliott Skierszkan says:

    Nice write up and great photos. Smart approach to cycle up the gravel and cruise down the pavement!

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