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. Google Maps has a cycling option when looking for directions. Google's quality of the data (bike routes and trails) shown for the North Shore is getting quite good. There is also an online cycling route planner developed at UBC. 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.
Routes and shortcuts for bike map, suggested by North Shore cyclists
Lynn Creek to Upper Lynn Valley
This the quiet route I take into upper Lynn Valley.
Mountain Highway bypass to Lynn Valley
Hi there: I live up in Lynn Valley and have a nice route for getting up the hill without riding all the way up Mt. Highway. I ride north on Mt. Highway to Keith, under the highway bridge, along the trail on the East side of Lynn Creek, cross the pedestrian bridge and take the trail/stairs up to Arbourlynn (requires carrying bike up the stairs). Ride North to Hoskins and grind up the short but steep hill to upper Lynn Valley. An option for people not wanting to carry up the stairs is to turn back onto Mt. Highway from Keith, cross the highway overpass, then veer right onto arbourlynn.
Highland Blvd hill bypass from west
longtime cycle commuter
connecting lions gate bridge to upper highland blvd neighbourhood
often see bikes going up highland blvd - perfectly good option via parallel street if you know where the trail is shown in attached
thanks for doing this project
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
Lynn Valley to Lower Lonsdale
Here is a route that I take daily. Another colleague also uses a similar route, although he goes to the top of Lynn Valley Road.
I tried to map this on google maps; however, the trails are not listed, so you cannot alter directions to include these trails.
With the new bicycle feature in google maps, it would be great to get bike friendly trails into google maps. I added the trails in this route to http://www.google.com/mapmaker, but they need to be approved by more people to be accepted.
It would be great if you had time to add some of the missing trails to google maps as part of your project!
Thanks for the initiative,
I do take Chesterfield down as I can easily keep up with cars (I take up the whole lane where there is no bike lane as I am doing 50km). I take Mahon up because it has very few cars, is very wide, and has a very even grade. The new traffic calming and cyclist activated crosswalk on 3rd make it a much better option than Chesterfield IMO. Chesterfield has lots of cars, including parked cars with little room if doors are opened, and very steep sections.
Orwell Street Trail between the Phibb's parking lot and Fern Street
Hello VCC North Shore Committee
In case you don't already have the info: There is s nice trail (continuation of Orwell Street) between the Phibb's Exchange bus loop Park'n'ride parking lot just off Main Street and Fern Street which gives access to highway one (handy if one wants to get groceries at the Super Store enroute) and the roads up to Capilano University. The trail allows cyclists to avoid Mountain Highway, a fairly main car route.
Great to see a North Shore cycling map on the way!
The following are some trails that connect cycling routes in North Vancouver.
1. There is a path that connects the west end of Forest Hills Drive with Wellington Cresent.
2. There is a path that connects the east end of Forest Hills Drive to Wayne Drive.
(These two connectors allow one to go from the Edgemont Village area over to Lonsdale or over the Jones Street overpass without going on busy Queens Avenue.)
3. There is a path that connects Kendal Place with Lorraine Avenue.
4. There is a path that connects Lorraine Avenue with Mount Crown Road.
5. There is path that connects W Keith Road with Plateau Drive.
6. There is a cycling/pedestrian route under Highway 1 at the north end of Philip Avenue.
7. There is a cycling/pedestrian route over Highway 1 from Pemberton Avenue.
8. There is a path connecting the north end of Pemberton Avenue to Elizabeth Way.
9. There is a path that connect Belle Isle Place to Curling Road.
Hope Road, North Vancouver
The District of North Vancouver is in the process of receiving input from District residents regarding a cul-de-sac recently installed on Hope Road at Bowser Avenue on a trial basis. As traffic-calmed streets are beneficial to cyclists, as well as residents, I thought your Association, and perhaps its members, may welcome the opportunity to assess the viability of this traffic-calmed street as part of a bike route and provide your input to the District of North Vancouver.
Hope Road is a flat, wide road that parallels Marine Drive to the north. Hope Road begins at Bridgman Avenue (Save-On-Foods), ends at Capilano Road and currently allows for resident-only traffic in a relatively small neighbourhood. Some residents have suggested that a closed Hope Road is ideal for cyclists.
North Vancouver eastbound to Second Narrows
I am a regular commuter (west side of Bowen to Burnaby). First of all, I can't tell you how delighted I am with the new Welch street bike lane. I would like to congratulate all who were involved, and can't wait to see further progress in the months and years to come.
Second, I have recently switched from using 1st St. to 3rd Street to Forbes St to Esplanade and Lower Road (which is generally poorly maintained) to a much more pleasant route: take 1st St, 3rd St, up to 4th St (which is very wide, flat, clean, well lit and calm) all the way to Queensbury, then back to 3rd and down to Cotton Drive / Main.
Unfortunately travelling east on 3rd the first option is to turn left illegally on Forbes and right on 4th. There is space in the wide median but there is a no left turn sign for cars. It would be nice to lobby for a left turn for bikes at that intersection because the next stretch on 3rd is ugly and tight. 4th is really such a treat it is worth it. The return trip going west works out much better, with no illegal turns required.
Mountain Highway bypass to Lynn Valley
The way I go up the side streets beside Mountain Highway could go on your map. This route is good because there is very little car traffic. Mountain Highway is very steep and narrow.
When you get to the freeway exit that joins with Mountain Hwy, wait for a free space and go on the sidewalk for a short block since cars really rip around the corner and don't slow down. Then take the right fork up Arborlyn at the light, it's a gentle uphill to Appin Road where you turn left and start to climb. Another left takes you to a steeper road - Alderlyn Drive or you can take the right fork that continues on Appin. On the left fork, you can go up 18th when you get there or continue along Alderlyn to 20th. From 20th, you can go up to Westlyn Drive which parallels Mountain Highway or continue up to Kirkstone Road or the flat section on Mountain Highway.
When the weather is good and it's not dark there is a trail that goes up from Lynn Creek (east or west sides since there is a bridge over Lynn Creek) to Arborlyn Drive. You probably know about that. If not give me a call and I can send you a map.