Burnaby Mountain Trails
Did you know...?
There are over 22 multi-use trails surrounding SFU campus that are FREE for all SFU students, faculty, staff and community to use? As you set off on a vigourous hike, a leisurly stroll or a heart-pumping bike ride, you are sure to find a trail that 'takes your breath away' as you enjoy fantastic views of the gorgeous scenery.
Please click below for a printable version of the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area Trail Map.
Do you want to learn more about the trails that are most accessible from SFU campus? How long will it take to walk? Can you complete it during your lunch hour or school break? How difficult will it be to walk? Check out the descriptions below and refer to the online printable trail map to learn more! After experiencing these hikes yourself, please feel free to post your own comments about what you thought of the trail in terms of difficulty, enjoyment, and views!
Trans Canada Trail - There are two main entrances to this intermediate trail, both along the north side of SFU campus. If you choose to walk west towards Horizon's restaurant, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the lower mainland. It is a bit of a trek back, and will take you approximately 45 minutes round trip. Another option is to walk east where you can enjoy gorgeous views in between the trees of the barnet inlet and north shore mountains. Because this trail ends up in Port Moody, just walk the trail for half the time you'd like to walk in total, then turn around to complete the other half! You will experience some downhill, uphill and flat spots along this route.
Cardiac Hill - As the name suggests, this is not for the faint of heart. An advanced trail, the entrance is located on the northeast side of the campus near the upper bus loop. It is a straight up and down adventure, not unlike an SFU version of the Grouse Grind! This trail links up with the Trans Canada trail where you can enjoy a less intense walk back.
Mel's Trail - This is an intermediate trail located on the east side of campus (near Univercity). You can choose to go for a longer walk where you end up going north towards the Trans Canada Trail, or just walk the trail for half the time you'd like to walk in total, then turn around to complete the other half!
Poplar Trail - The walk to the entrance of this trail will take approximately 10 minutes from Univercity, so make sure to factor this into your round trip time. An intermediate trail, you can choose the shorter route west which hooks up to Mel's trail and the Water Main trail, or you can choose the longer route east to hook up with Mel's trail that will lead you back to Univercity.
Water Main Trail - This entrance is located close to the Poplar trail entrance, close to Nelson Way. This is an intermediate trail that leads you all the way down to the water pumping station and eventually Gaglardi way. To keep it short, just walk the trail for half the time you'd like to walk in total, then turn around to complete the other half!
There are a variety of other trails that surround SFU campus that are more for those looking for a one to three hour hike on the weekend or after school. Please refer to the trail map for more details.
Health Benefits of Using the Trails
Being active outdoors is the perfect combination. Relieve stress, appreciate nature, and enjoy the many health benefits of walking and running! With the recommended time of physical activity per day being 30 minutes, these trails are a perfect way to keep your heart healthy and yourself happy!
Our trails are shared and accessed by a variety of users at the same time - from beginner to advanced hikers and cyclists. As well, one trail is provided for equestrian users. Please be courteous to all, remember that pedestrians have right-of-way and keep the trails clean by refraining from littering.
Some of the trails travel over very steep terrain so it is extremely important to stay on the trails at all times. It is also important to let someone know where you're going and how long you'll be before you set out on your trail walk or run. Please use common sense and recognize your physical limitations. Leave the forest when there are high winds. Trails are open for use between dawn and dusk. Please respect this and do not use the trails when they are closed.
This is an important mountain ecosystem of slopes forested in deciduous and coniferous trees. Blacktail deer, coyotes, bald eagles and a wide variety of smaller animals all make their homes in this lush and rugged terrain. Black bears and cougars are occasional visitors, seeking out the numerous creeks and streams along the trails. The grade climbs from about 25 metres above sea level to the summit of Burnaby Mountain at 366 metres. As you reach the top, pause for a breath and consider how the preservation of this environment ensures that generations to come will enjoy and appreciate our natural heritage.