Going for a hike has immeasurable health benefits, and doesn’t have to be a gruelling, uphill battle! Even the easiest, low-impact hikes have the power to improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress levels, and build endurance. We all have good intentions of getting out for more hikes, but sometimes the best way to begin is baby steps – an easy, low-impact hike isn’t overwhelming and burns a heck of a lot more calories than couch surfing! We challenge you to do all four of these beginner hikes in HCC this summer, and the reward – besides boosting your health – is spectacular, awe-inspiring scenery! Lace up those hiking boots and get started!
Photo Credit: @jamesjimanderson on Instagram
Distance: 1.6 km (out and back)
Time: 40 minutes
Located in the lush and vibrant 11-acre Thacker Regional Park, this easy walk follows a portion of the old Kettle Valley Railway, alongside a flourishing marsh teeming with wildlife activity, including a salmon spawning channel. A picturesque mountain backdrop and opportunity for wildlife viewing is the icing on the cake! Keep on the lookout for a diverse range of avian friends like Great Blue Herons, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Canada Geese, and American Dippers. You may also spot beavers, otters, frogs, and Western Painted Turtles.
Photo Credit: @jdoms.pizza on Instagram
Distance: 1 km (round-trip)
Time: 40 minutes
Walk a leisurely trail that winds its way through an enchanting forest rich with leafy vegetation to reach Flood Falls, a towering set of falls that cascades 300 metres down a sky-high rock cliff into a clear pool. From the trailhead, the path winds along the mossy forest floor as it slowly gains elevation. A creek runs alongside the trail, adding to the ethereal ambience. After about 15-20 minutes, you’ll hear the falls before seeing them. Stand back and look straight up to revel in the magnitude of the sheer height, then move in closer to delight in the feeling of fine mist on your face.
Photo Credit: @shillyb on Instagram
Distance: 2 km (out and back)
Time: 45 minutes
Located in the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area, this is a quick hike that leads you to jaw-dropping views of Falls Lake, a subalpine lake cradled between Nak and Zoa Peaks. From the parking lot, walk up the path on the right side, and you’ll shortly see a sign for Falls Lake. Go left at the sign and follow the path, which is accompanied by a sparkling creek on your left. As you continue through a tranquil forest, you’ll cross a few small bridges and eventually come out to the glorious lakefront.
Distance: 8.5 km (out and back)
Time: 2.5 hours
Located in Manning Provincial Park, this is the longest trail on the list, but is relatively flat, making it suitable for all abilities. This loop trail weaves around Lightning Lake. While it might seem like 2 lakes, it is one lengthy lake with a narrow portion featuring the picture-perfect Rainbow Bridge spanning across the narrow section of water and connecting both sides. You can shorten the hike by crossing back at Rainbow Bridge, or continue past the bridge and enjoy the entire walk through deep groves of forest that run alongside the dazzling, emerald lake.
Fill up your water bottle, grab your best friend, and immerse yourself in the wondrous beauty of Hope’s heavenly hikes! Be sure to tag your photos with @tourismhcc and use our hashtag, #ExploreHCC, to share your hiking adventures with us!