Routes and Short Cuts
This page is dedicated to sharing the knowledge from experience from other North Shore riders to help you find the best route for you. This page is a work in progress. If you have an idea for a route or shortcut to be added please contact us.
Metro Vancouver publishes cycling maps. There is also a handy online cycling route planner. Be aware that on the North Shore some of the mapped designated bike routes have gaps or no cycling infrastructure. The maps also do not show many of the short cuts, easier and safer routes that local cyclists use, which is why this page was started.
The videos below show routes on the North Shore from a cyclist's perspective. We will try to film most designated bike routes, but short cuts and non-designated routes to important destinations may also be included, such as schools, community centres or recreational cycling destinations.
Designated bike routes
- Esplanade (westbound)
- Lillooet Road (northbound)
- Low Level Road (westbound)
- Main Street & Cotton Drive (westbound)
Additional routes and off-street paths
- From Capilano University to Mount Seymour Parkway
- From Mountain Highway to Lillooet Road via Hwy 1 underpass & Old Lillooet Road
- From Mount Seymour Parkway to Main Street & Second Narrows bridge via Hwy 1 ramp
- Orwell Street from Main Street to Fern Street
Lions Gate Bridge to Lonsdale & 27th
I've experimented with many routes to make this journey and have finally found what I consider to be the best route. It uses several non-car paths to gain advantage and has a steady but decent grade. Details are on a separate page
Village Bike Route - West Vancouver
Following the example set by the establishment of the Village Walk in West Vancouver, it is proposed to designate and mark with appropriate signage a Village Bike Loop. The proposed route would connect five public schools and most of the public facilites, including five parks and the Community Centre within the Ambleside and Dundarave communities. Also, it would connect to the Spirit Trail and link to the bike route along the Upper Levels Highway. It would become an integral part of the West Vancouver Cycling Network.
A map showing the proposed route of the Village Bike Loop is shown below:
City of North Vancouver
Connector trail between Tempe Glen and 25th St (aka Bark Mulch Trail)
For travel between Lynn Valley and Upper Lonsdale or Westview, this trail is ideal. It can get a little treacherous in rainy season and overgrown in the summer, so be careful on it. The trail itself hugs the Upper Levels highway from near the tennis courts at the south end of Tempe Glen and dumps you out on the sidewalk at the east end of 25th St.
District of North Vancouver
Phillip Ave Tunnel
There's a tunnel under the Upper Levels Highway at the top of Phillip that is an easy way to get from Pemberton Heights to Capilano Highlands and vice versa. Beware of the speed checks midway through the tunnel!
Bike Route from Pemberton Heights in North Van to the Spirit Trail in West Van including the Connector Trail between Keith Rd and 23rd St (near Capilano ramps)
Now that the bike lanes on Capilano Road are completed (July 2011) one can cycle safely between Pemberton Heights in North Van and the Lions Gate Bridge and the Spirit Trail in West Van as is shown on the following map:
A very convenient trail connecting W Keith Rd near the Capilano Rd Hwy 1 ramps to W 23rd St in Pemberton Heights. For riders needing to continue east after coming off the freeway this is perfect. Also makes up a key part of the Lions Gate Bridge to Lonsdale & 27th route.
Connector trail between Tatlow Ave and Capilano Rd
At the north end of Tatlow Ave is a convenient trail that connects to Capilano Road opposite Graveley St. This is a perfect connector for bicycle traffic coming from Marine Drive to Capilano Road.
Connector trail between Westview Dr and 25th St
25th St makes an excellent route connecting Lynn Valley/Upper Lonsdale and Westview. At the west end is paved trail that leads up to Westview Dr. This is also a key connector on the Lions Gate Bridge to Lonsdale & 27th route.
Lynn Creek trail (east side) between East Keith Rd and Crown St
A trail runs more or less continuously through Seylynn Park (watch for skate park users) to Crown St at the District's Operations Centre. The trail appears to continue south past Crown St, but it becomes very narrow and then ends. From Crown St connect to Main St via Lynn Ave. The trail is an off-street and usually faster alternative to Mountain Highway to connect between Lynmour, Capilano University and Main St westbound. At the north end the trail connects to the underpasses under Keith bridge and Hwy 1 bridge.
Routes and Shortcuts Suggested by North Shore Cyclists for Bike Map
Favorite east-west routes and across the highway routes between Ambleside (West Van) and District Hall (North Van)
It might be worth emphasizing on the map that a route might be worth it eastbound but not westbound and vice-versa, same for north and southbound.
To cross the highway:
- Jones overpass both ways
- Philip underpass both ways
To cross the highway southbound:
- Westview Dr southbound to join the trail westbound alongside the south side of Highway 1 towards Pemberton Heights or to continue on Westview Dr
- West Vancouver's Keith road southbound under the highway; northbound implies going uphill on a nasty off-road section afterwards
To cross the Capilano river westbound
- Highway 1 bridge sidewalk westbound continuing uphill or turning into downhill off-road and then under the highway
To cross the Capilano river eastbound
- Marine Dr or Wardance St (lower road)
From Marine Dr or West 1st (lower road) to the Jones Highway 1 overpass:
- through Bewicke, Keith and Jones (or Keith, Forbes, 16th and Jones if you get tired of Keith uphill)
- rather than often suggested Larson uphill: single lane, with lots of parked cars and an awkward left turn on Jones or earlier
To cross Queens Ave northbound between Delbrook and Lonsdale (access to several schools):
- Chesterfield northbound rather than busy Mahon unless you're willing to dismount, thus clearly becoming a pedestrian to drivers and use flashing crosswalk
From Delbrook Ave to Ambleside (westbound):
- shortest: Westview Dr across Highway 1 onto the trail alongside Highway 1 to Pemberton Heights, use 23rd rather than 24th and its steep ending, use the Philip Ave underpass, the crosswalk to join the sidewalk on the Highway 1 bridge and then under the highway again (3rd highway crossing) onto Keith Road in West Vancouver leading directly to Ambleside
- nicest: Westview Dr south, right on 19th ("No exit"), across a sidewalk, Bewicke, down to the 1st Ave and the Spirit Trail leading to Ambleside