As the Earth tilts a little farther from the sun and the couch beckons at the prospect of summer’s end, here’s a little nugget to help nudge you back outside: It turns out that a weekly two-hour “dose” of nature is all it takes to significantly improve overall health and well-being. According to an article published this year by Yale University’s School of the Environment, a recent study has confirmed it takes “precisely 120 minutes…either all at once or spaced over several visits” to reap the substantial physical, mental, and emotional benefits of time in nature.
So, what are you waiting for? Metro Vancouver is full of green zones—brimming with trees, bees, birds, and bike trails—and there’s never been a better time to seek out “fewer faces and bigger spaces” close to home. Take advantage of gentle fall weather with this prescription for eight active getaways guaranteed to top up your nature reserves and vanquish the viral blues.
Wheel your bike onto Translink’s appropriately named Evergreen Line, and head for the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station where you can roll right on to the popular Pinetree Way/Lougheed Highway Cycle Route. You’ll find easy access to multiple parks including Town Centre Park (where you can pick up picnic fare from the nearby Glen Drive restaurants), and Colony Farm Regional Park, whose lush hedgerows and wetlands are a favourite hangout for more than 200 bird species. Come fall, a ride or hike along the Hoy Creek Trail rewards with views of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. Consider turning a day trip into a mini-break with an overnight at the Executive Plaza Hotel located near Lougheed Town Centre station and offering free secure bike parking on request.