The Most Serene Spots for Forest Bathing in Vancouver

Forest bathing in Vancouver is easy and accessible to health conscious travellers. All you need is a pair of walking shoes and desire to get back to nature.

When is a walk in the woods not just a walk in the woods? When it’s forest bathing, of course. Forest bathing, also known as forest therapy, is a practice that involves a slow walk in the woods while taking in the sights, sounds, smells, feel and even tastes of your surroundings. Forest bathing in Vancouver, Canada, is highly accessible to visitors and residents. All you need is a pair of walking shoes and a desire to get in touch with nature in a slow travel sort of way.

Okay, so we’re clear that forest bathing is not about donning bikinis and soaking in forest ponds, right? What you may have thought of as a simple walk in the woods can actually be a holistic therapy practice. Forest bathing, known as shinrin-yoku in Japan, is the practice of mindful enjoyment of forests and nature. This therapeutic travel trend is now catching on around the world. It’s fairly easy to undertake forest bathing in Canada, where forests, lakes and rivers reign supreme. Even close to major urban centers.

Forest bathing is all about exploring the forest mindfully, focused on the sights, smells and sounds of your natural surroundings. The rustling of leaves, the sound of wind in the pine branches, the smell of earth and the forest floor. You need to touch the trees and their bark, graze hands over fern fronds and feel the tall grasses. You’re here to feel the living natural world around you – think of it as an immersive bit of outdoor education.

Forest bathing in Vancouver is easy and accessible to health conscious travellers. All you need is a pair of walking shoes and desire to get back to nature.

Why Forest Bathing

For many urban dwellers and families, nature deficit disorder is real thing. Many people do not have access to the natural world in an easy or inexpensive way. Fortunately for those living or visiting Vancouver, there is no such issue. Access to nature is relatively easy, and the forests are close at hand. We can get our kids in nature within 30 minutes or less, which has a profound impact on their (and our own) mental and physical health. Studies have shown that time spent in nature, walking or forest bathing lightens our mood and improves our mental well-being.

Forest bathing in Vancouver is easy. All you have to do is find a forest and explore. It’s the perfect activity for health conscious travellers or individuals on a budget. There’s nothing more budget-friendly than putting on walking shoes and heading out into the closest forest trail  near you.

Forest bathing in Vancouver is easy and accessible to health conscious travellers. All you need is a pair of walking shoes and desire to get back to nature. | #forestbathing #vancouver #nature #explorebc #canada

Best Spots for Forest Bathing in Vancouver

I’ve chosen five of the best forest bathing spots near me in Vancouver, British Columbia. Many of these are accessible to visitors and tourists too. So lace up those walking shoes and head out to one of these parks to enjoy some serious forest bathing in Vancouver.

Stanley Park

The most beloved park in Vancouver offers more than 27 kilometers of trails lined by towering cedar, hemlock and fir trees. Stanley Park’s proximity to the West End and downtown Vancouver permits residents and visitors leave the urban jungle to easily access trails, ponds, and scenic viewpoints.

Lynn Canyon Park

On the North Shore, Lynn Canyon Park features miles of tree-lined trails, including portions of the challenging Baden-Powell Trail that runs the length of the north shore mountains. Stroll across the Park’s Suspension Bridge for free, and check out the Lynn Loop in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.

Pacific Spirit Park

This park covers more than 763 hectares of lush west coast rainforest, including more than 50 kilometers of trails. Pacific Spirit Park extends down to a beautiful foreshore along the Point Grey Peninsula, and includes secluded clothing-optional Wreak Beach. The forest lands, which include creeks, bogs and a small canyon, separate UBC from the city of Vancouver.

UBC Endowment Lands

The UBC Endowment Lands share some of the same space as Pacific Spirit Park. The only real difference is a jurisdictional one that makes no real difference to the forest bather. Walking closer to the UBC campus will give bathers access to cafes, restaurants and the many museums located at the University of British Columbia.

Everett Crowley Park

This hidden green sanctuary is located in the Killarney neighborhood in southeast Vancouver. The 38 hectares of Everett Crowley Park include forest trails, walking loops, meadows, ponds, and scenic viewpoints of the Fraser River.  Most importantly, this and the other parks allow forest bathers to slowly make their way through the woods, watch and listen for birds, and take time to stop and smell the flowers.

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30 Comments

  • Annemarie says:

    I love how you picked up on this wonderful trend and applied it to Vancouver. Definitely need to remember Pacific Spirit Park for a visit. Thank you!

  • Linda says:

    I was very intrigued by the title of this post. I was looking for hidden pools in the woods. Then I read that this is a slow mindful walk to immerse yourself in the woods. A different post. Most of the time I have visited Stanley Park, it was not really a tranquil spot. Maybe early in the day. We liked Lynn Canyon over Capilano for the quiet. A couple of new ones for my next visit to Vancouver.

    • Claudia says:

      An early visit is the way to go for sure. I love Stanley Park in early morning, before it becomes overly busy. It can be a wonderfully peaceful place.

  • We have a lot of forests in Wales, it’s really relaxing to walk through a woods isn’t it? We have yet to go to Canada but those recommendations of forests in Vancouver look interesting. Definitely something we will look into when we go in the next year

  • Canadian forests look amazing and perfect for ‘forest bathing’. I can only think of one or two places in the UK that would work…and nothing quite like those cedar, hemlock and fir trees in Stanley Park. Beautiful

  • Milijana says:

    This is my the first time I have heard of the forest bathing therapeutic travel trend.

    I believe forest bathing should be a lifestyle. But, a travel trend or lifestyle, I highly support it.

    To be in touch with nature is essential for well-being.

  • sherianne says:

    ‘Forest bathing’ definitely got my attention! I’m a huge fan of tall trees and had no idea there are some in Stanley Park. I would love to check out the suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon Park as well

  • Rosemary says:

    I have to admit, I didn’t know “Forest bathing” was a thing. Though, I do agree that nature deficit disorder is something I have experienced personally when I don’t get out in nature often enough. What beautiful forests you have in Vancouver. Lucky you for having such easy access. The Pacific Spirit Park is one area I’d love to check out. Great article.

  • forest bathing!??!? I had never heard that term, but sounds serene. And can’t beat anything that is free!

  • Jody Robbins says:

    I’m a huge fan. In Canmore (near Banff) there’s an awesome certified forest bathing coach. Maybe coach isn’t the right word, but you get my drift. I go with her (Forest Fix) a few times a year and feel so much better afterwards.

  • Paige W says:

    I have never ever heard the phrase forest bathing, but happily I’ve experienced it many times without knowing it. It certainly seems that Vancouver is the pace for it! I think Pacific Spirit Park would be my top choice since it seems to have quite the variety.

  • Tara Cannon says:

    I take a daily bath in Pacific Spirit Park. It does wonders for my soul. Great post Claudia. 🙂

  • Carrie says:

    A friend of mine from Canada JUST tried to explain to me what “forest bathing” is and I totally didn’t believe it was a thing, but this post is super eye-opening. Awesome that folks are getting out into nature as a way to relax! I live in a big east coast US city and definitely feel nature-deprived often — but you’re right, it’s often either difficult or expensive (or both) to get out into nature. Great that there are so many options in Vancouver.

  • Nature Deficit Disorder- I liked this term, and it is true that urban dwellers suffer highly from it. Listening to the leaves crackling, bird chirping, quietness is so nice. Term forest bathing is really new to me and I enjoyed your post thoroughly.

  • This is perfect to me Claudia. My fave method of traveling by far. Toss on some sneakers and find a local national park to do some serious hiking. Quite good for your overall health, mind and soul too. I dig hiking but sometimes run as well if the path permits. Extra cardio and I feel a sweet energy surge too.

    • Claudia says:

      Forest running is so invigorating! A double bonus to be outdoors and enjoying a great energy surge for sure. Thanks for the lovely comments Ryan!

  • Lydia says:

    This is the first time I am reading about the term forest bathing and it seems like a great thing to do, Claudia. What’s more, Vancouver and its forests seem perfect for doing so. When’s the best time of the year is best to explore Vancouver?

    • Claudia says:

      The summer and fall months are great times to explore Vancouver. The weather is better during those seasons (less rain), though the summer can be quite busy with tourists. The local forests are lovely any time of year though, even in the rain! 🙂

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