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Things to Do in British Columbia - page 5

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Indian Arm
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1 Tour and Activity

Just outside British Columbia’s largest city lies a tall-sided glacial fjord, carved into the landscape during the last Ice Age. Because road access is limited, Indian Arm provides some of the most dramatic mountain scenery and wildlife in the region. The calm, salty waters are surrounded by steeply rising granite cliffs and heavily wooded hillsides. There are also dozens of waterfalls and creeks, which can freeze in entirety during the winter season. The largest accessible waterfall is Granite Falls, on the eastern side.

A rough hiking trail extends around the perimeter of Indian Arm, with the possibility of viewing local wildlife such as bald eagles, seals, black bears, and salmon. Many choose to take in the natural beauty from the water, with a variety of boat trips offered through the fjord. You may even pass by one of the area’s many islands or secluded beaches.

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Deep Cove
4 Tours and Activities

Situated some 10 miles outside of Downtown Vancouver and nestled at the base of Mount Seymour, Deep Cove is an interesting village and resort. The resort area is located to the east of North Vancouver on a deep water bay within the upper arm of Burrard Inlet.

Traditionally, this land belonged to the Coast Salish First Nations people. They are said to have lived in this region for thousands of years, and many still call this cove home. However, the region has developed tremendously over the years and has become a hot spot for Vancouver residents hoping for a quick escape from the bustle of city life. Despite the growth and development of Deep Cove, the rugged natural setting has allowed the village and area to maintain its outdoorsy, natural feel. Outdoor activities are thus abundant, with sea kayaking, mountain biking and hiking all available out at the resort areas.

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Callaghan Valley
1 Tour and Activity

Full of ancient forest and surrounded by Pacific Coastal mountains 56 miles (90 km) north of Vancouver, Callaghan Valley is real BC backcountry. In summer, the valley is home to backpackers and hikers looking for a wilderness experience, while in winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is popular, with over 45 miles (70 km) of cross-country trails and six miles (10 km) of snowshoe trails to explore.

Home to the 2010 Winter Olympics’ Nordic events, the wall of mountains that surrounds the valley creates a unique climate that sees some of the deepest snowfall in the whole of Canada. The ski season is often 150 days long, running right into mid-April.

In spring and summer, Callaghan Valley is all wildflower meadows and wetlands, where you can go lakeside camping, canoeing, boating, fishing and hiking. The 6,590-acre (2,667-hectare) park is also prime wildlife-spotting territory. Look out for bobcats and squirrels, black-tailed deer and moose, black and grizzly bea

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Cleveland Dam
2 Tours and Activities

Built in 1954, the Cleveland Dam was constructed for a number of important reasons. Unlike many other dams though, this one is not used for hydroelectricity. Instead, the original purpose of the dam was to hold back water entering into Burrard Inlet, which used to come in at a heavy pace carrying with it a hearty amount of silt and rocks, as well as a heavy current. Cleveland Dam was also constructed to protect a means of fresh drinking water for the lower mainland of Vancouver. In fact, the lake above Cleveland Dam provides the lower mainland with a whopping 40% of its fresh drinking water. These days, Cleveland Dam makes up a part of North Vancouver that has quickly become a popular tourism destination and in the area around the dam, there are a number of parks and hiking paths. The dam itself sits in a protected park called Capilano River Regional Park, which also encompasses Capilano Lake, the body of water that the 300-foot spillway of the dam encloses.

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Bowen Island
1 Tour and Activity

Bowen Island is a quiet, forested island of about 20 square miles (52 square kilometers) that is home to approximately 3,500 year-round residents. Due to its popularity as a location for Vancouverites’ vacation homes, that number swells to 5,000 in the summer. The common theme of the island’s inhabitants is a commitment to laid-back, rural living. Bowen Island is easily accessible by ferry (from Horseshoe Bay) or water taxi (from Granville Island). Ferries and water taxis land in Snug Cove, a short stroll away from shopping and dining in Village Square, Artisan Square, and the Marina on the Pier.

In the summertime, you can enjoy kayaking around the island’s sheltered bays and swimming at the island’s sandy beaches. Hiking and mountain-biking trails also abound on the island. The artistic community on Bowen Island celebrates its culture and history at festivals and events all year long.

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Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island is the biggest, most populated of the Gulf Islands. Blessed with the best climate in Canada – or so they say – and only half the rainfall of Vancouver, Salt Spring Island is a charming destination regardless of the season. The island is well known as a retreat for artists and many painters, photographers, musicians and writers have come here to find a serene workplace in the midst of a peaceful island setting. Thus, a number of galleries, studios and even simple roadside exhibits have sprouted up everywhere and the island is a dream for artists and art lovers alike. The island has an idyllic landscape and rustic character and apart from visiting one of the many art exhibits, popular activities include camping, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, bird watching and other outdoor activities. Salt Spring Island offers both Ruckle Provincial Park and Mt. Maxwell Provincial Park.

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