People say that Vancouver is a walkable city, but "runnable" might be a better descriptor when you look at the mounds of places to pound the pavement.
Forested paths and waterfront routes give gorgeous views of the mountains and the ocean. There are even staircase routes that reward you with a nude beach at the end.
Vancouver has no shortage of places to keep you healthy, just one reason for its prized high quality of life.
With the sun just starting to poke out on the odd day this spring, it's time to check out the best running routes in Metro Vancouver
-- and add your favourite places in the comments.
Stanley Park Seawall
Few places in the world are better for running than the Stanley Park Seawall. It's a breathtaking, 22-kilometre concrete path shared equally by runners, cyclists and rollerbladers (yes, they still exist here). It takes you around the Stanley Park point, along Burrard Inlet, under the Lions Gate Bridge and into False Creek, allowing you to feel the winds coming in off the Pacific Ocean.
Iona Beach Jetty
"The jetty" reaches out about five kilometres from Iona Beach in Richmond. It's a long, flat path that has appealed equally to runners and cyclists. It's not the longest path, and hardly the most physically challenging, but when you reach its outermost point, there's only you and the ocean.
Stanley Park Trails
Step off the Seawall and you'll find an infinite number of natural trails throughout Stanley Park, a forested oasis at the edge of downtown Vancouver. You'll find totem poles, lookout points, water parks and even the Vancouver Aquarium. Because nothing will release the endorphins at the end of a long run like watching penguins.
The Steveston Dyke stretches from the cute little fishing village at Richmond's westernmost point, then wends out a fair distance along the Fraser River, past the airport and the Richmond Olympic Oval. You can race the boats as they sail by or watch planes come into YVR.
False Creek Loop
The False Creek Loop isn't formally called that, per se, but you have to call it something to differentiate it from the Seawall. Basically, there's a long path surrounding False Creek that begins around English Bay, runs past the Plaza of Nations, Science World, the Olympic Village and continues on into Granville Island. It's a lovely path that gives you a quick tour of the condo buildings that help earn Vancouver the nickname, "City of Glass."
Burnaby Central Park Trails
Burnaby Central Park is a 90-hectare urban park that provides a respite from a long commute into the city or hectic Metrotown nearby. There's a ton of trails to choose from throughout the park, making it a perfect place to run in the heart of a prominent Vancouver suburb.
Jericho Beach is connected to surrounding beaches by a long path that begins in Kitsilano and heads about as far as UBC. Nearly every running route in Vancouver offers unique views, and this one gives you a panorama of the North Shore mountains and a look out west into the Pacific Ocean. Plus, there are plenty of beaches to rest upon.
Pacific Spirit Park, UBC
Pacific Spirit Park at UBC contains a network of trails that are ideal for running, hiking or cycling. For an extra challenge you can try running up and down the steps that take you to the beaches that surround the park. Oh, and one thing about those beaches: they're clothing optional.
Trout Lake is a lovely little natural respite in the heart of East Vancouver. In the summer it functions as a great venue for lantern festivals, and you can skate on the lake when it's cold enough in winter. But year-round it's got a great loop trail -- not very long or physically demanding, but good for a quick morning jog before you start your day.
The Burrard Bridge is like a gateway. On one side you have the affluent houses and shops of Kitsilano, on the other the bustling life of Vancouver's downtown. You'll get to see people living, working and playing all in one route.