The fall weather and colourful trees can make November feel like a temperamental yet beautiful month, but it can be a stressful season for students. Exams are coming up, deadlines are due, and team projects need to be presented. But do not fret! The city has a lot of exciting, outdoor activities that you and your teammates can partake in to de-stress from all things academic and get physically active.
Climbing the Crag We are blessed to live in beautiful British Columbia, filled with picturesque landscapes and majestic views of the mountains. There is an abundance of outdoor happenings that revolves around our rich terrain! Squamish is just north of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky highway. It’s a short yet scenic drive from Vancouver, and there is an assortment of activities that take place each season. Rock climbing is one of the most popular activities Squamish is known for, as most crags are just a ten-minute drive from the town’s downtown core. There are several rock climbing tours and courses. For some group bonding, bring your team with you before your school presentation! There are several locations in Squamish such as Shannon Falls, Murrin Provincial Park and the Stawamus Chief.
Hunting for Hidden Treasures Though not as common as other physical activities, geocaching is a great way to get your body moving while exploring the city at the same time! Geocaching is an outdoor activity where participants go on a treasure hunt for hide and seek containers using their mobile GPS. You download the Geocaching app, put in your location, and the app will show you endless possibilities for hidden geocaches around the city. At the Richmond Nature Park, they host the Richmond Geo Tour where you can participate in finding 50 hidden geocaches! It’s a satisfying way to walk around the park finding mystery treasures while enjoying nature.
Foraging in the Wild Fall is the best season to pick mushrooms in British Columbia. Not only can you increase your steps, but you can come home and cook a fresh mushroom risotto using what you harvested! Vancouver Island is one of the best locations in BC for mushroom foraging. Oysters, porcinis, winter chanterelles… these are just some of the options that you can hunt for! Keep in mind that not all mushrooms are edible, and some can be highly poisonous, so make sure to do your research. You will need a mushroom guidebook, a knife, a cleaning brush, and a basket to carry your treasures in. There are apps available, which, by taking a picture of the mushroom, will tell you what kind it is, and most importantly, if it’s edible. This can also be a great group activity that you can do with your team, not only to get away from the city but to refresh yourselves with nature and a basket full of fresh, tasty mushrooms!
Running with Wildlife Trail running is a thrilling way to appreciate BC’s landscapes, all while getting calories burned! Just imagine being surrounded by luscious greenery, the cool breeze rushing through your hair as you sprint along rough, stony trails—it is quite rejuvenating. A beginner trail run is the lovely Rice Lake in North Vancouver. For an average hike, head up to Anmore where you can run around the beautiful Buntzen Lake, accessible year-round. If you are looking for more of a challenge, drive down the highway and explore various trails in Golden Ears Provincial Park, which has scenic views of both the mountains and the clear waters of Aloutte Lake.
Ice Skating Under the Stars With winter fast approaching, ice skating can be a fun activity to do with your classmates! It’s a great team bonding exercise because when you slip and fall, your team will be there to help get you back up. At Starlight Skating Rink at Harrison Hot Springs, they feature an outdoor rink with stellar views. They offer skate rentals for a fee, but the facility is provided free of charge. While you are at it, Harrison Hot Springs also has some intermediate hikes such as Bear Mountain and Slollicum Peak.
With group projects on their way this month, take some time to go out and enjoy the scenic West Coast backyard with your team. The team that gets fit together, wins together!