Trail running, car-free!

I’m a big fan of sustainability and smart energy usage. It only seems right that those making heavy use of our natural environment should be involved in trying to maintain that same natural environment. With that in mind, it’s always seemed a bit ironic to me that many of the outdoor activities I do involve so much driving. Sure, we carpool to the North Shore to run or to the Duffy Lake Road to ski, but 3 hours each way in a car for a ski day doesn’t seem completely in line with an environmentalist ethos (despite the fuel economy of my ’97 Tercel).

Living as I do in downtown Vancouver, road running is easy enough to do from my doorstep – but I don’t want to road run, I want to trail run! Hence Sunday’s experiment: the transit-supported trail run.

Sunday was a sunny day, and the trails beckoned, but it seems so irresponsible to spend so much car time to get my trail running in. I’ve heard rumour of a Mosquito Creek trail starting near Lonsdale Quay and heading right up to the Baden-Powell trail, so it seemed a good time to explore. Swallowing my pride and questionable fashion sense, I hopped on Skytrain in three-quarter tights and a running top, traveled to Waterfront, and took the Seabus to Lonsdale. Easy enough!

Finding and following Mosquito Creek properly required a little bit of urban exploration and some backtracking, but finally I made it up to Baden-Powell. After some running on Baden-Powell brought me down to the Grouse parking lot, I headed back down familiar trails by the Capilano river to Lions Gate, through Stanley Park, and home.

Three hours of running, about two and a half of them on trails of one kind or another, and all serviced by public transit. I think there are plenty of other options – so if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them

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