Access: From downtown Vancouver hop a #210 Upper Lynn Valley bus from Dunsmuir Street next to Burrard SkyTrain station. Stay on the bus to the end of the line at the corner of Evelyn & Underwood Streets. The bus trip should take around 45 minutes. Take the short-cut east past two tennis courts and continue half a block to the corner of Dempsey and Lynn Valley Roads. From there you'll see the park entrance to the north. Follow Intake Road for about a kilometre before reaching the park proper.

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Those in North or West Vancouver can take the #228 Lynn Valley bus from Lonsdale Quay to the corner of Dempsey and Lynn Valley Roads.

Formerly the source of drinking water for the city of North Vancouver, Lynn Headwaters Regional Park was opened to the public when floods damaged water intakes in 1983. Hiking is by far the main attraction here with trails suited to all levels of experience and ability.

Be sure to top up your water at the picnic area as most of the water you'll meet up with while hiking has been polluted by people and their dogs. From the picnic area cross the bridge to access the trails of 4,685-hectare Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. An information board here provides hikers with background information on the park, directions, maps, trail conditions and common sense safety information.

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Vanilla Leaf

Vanilla Leaf

While modern adventurers smear their skin with toxic chemicals to keep pesky bugs at bay, natives of the Pacific Northwest took a less carcinogous approach. The fresh-squeezed juice of common Vanilla Leaf was applied to fend off mosquitos and black flies. Dried leaves, smelling faintly of vanilla, were hung in bunches about the longhouse for the same purpose. A potion of boiled Vanilla Leaf was used to wash bedding to eliminate bed bugs and mites and as a hair treatment to fend off lice and fleas. Look for Vanilla Leaf at trailside in heavy forest wherever moisture accumulates.

Illustration by Manami Kimura