Most hikes go to a mountain top, a lake or a viewpoint. Those hikes are great, but sometimes you want something different. Something a little unusual. Something off-the-beaten path. Or even something even a little bit weird. Well don’t worry: I got you! I’ve got a list of 15 unusual hikes near Vancouver. These hikes are definitely not ordinary. They visit abandoned places, take in a bit of history, let you see some wildlife and visit some enormous trees. I can guarantee you that each of them has an interesting destination. If you’re sick of the same old hikes you’ve seen on social media, try one of these instead.

Explore World War II Military Gun Emplacements

Abandoned WWII light tower at Tower Beach near UBC. Just one of 15 unusual hikes near Vancouver.

Did you know that during World War II the Canadian military prepared to defend Vancouver from Japanese submarines? Thankfully the subs never showed up. There’s still some interesting left-over war infrastructure out at UBC. Take trails 3 or 4 down to Tower Beach to see two abandoned search light towers, now heavily covered in graffiti. Or walk the trails behind the Museum of Anthropology to see the remains of some gun emplacements, complete with locked doors to underground bunkers. Bring a copy of the Pacific Spirit Park map so you can make a 2.5km loop to see both the towers and the gun emplacements.

Walk Amongst Migrating Birds

A giant Sand Hill Crane next to some rather ordinary ducks at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta. Just one of 15 unusual hikes near Vancouver.

A giant Sand Hill Crane next to some rather ordinary ducks.

The Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta has nearly 5km of trails that pass by numerous ponds and wetlands. If you visit in the spring or fall you can see many different types of migrating birds including the huge (and slightly intimidating Sandhill Cranes). You can also climb up the viewing tower or hide in one of the bird blinds to get an alternative perspective. It costs $5 to visit the sanctuary and they also sell bird seed if you want to feed the ducks. 

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