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  Category   Seymour River, North Shore, North Vancouver, BC
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The Seymour River rises in the Coast Mountain Range north of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. The river flows south in Vancouver's North Shore Mountains and empties in Burrard Inlet, off the Strait of Georgia.

The Seymour River is one of three primary sources of drinking water for residents of Greater Vancouver, along with the Capilano and Coquitlam Rivers. The Seymour Reservoir supplies one third of the region's drinking water. In the event of an emergency, the Seymour Reservoir would be the Lower Mainland’s primary water source because of the protection provided by its high elevation. The Seymour Reservoir and Seymour Watershed are closed to the public.

In the heat of a summer day the only element debatably more precious than a swimming hole is cool, fresh air. When you find both together, it's heaven. One of the best places to find such swimming holes is on the Seymour River in North Vancouver. Unlike many other streams and lakes on the North Shore, water in the Seymour is several degrees warmer, owing to the large 12-mile-long (20-km) reservoir backed up behind the dam, from which a steady volume is released downstream in order to sustain fish habitat.

Not only does the Seymour register just the right reading for refreshment, but you are almost always assured of a constant breeze blowing through the valley to wick off moisture without need of a towel. Yet another benefit is the proximity of the Seymour Demonstration Forest, through which much of the Seymour River flows. From the entrance to the forest, take the well-marked Homestead Trail (0.6 mile/1 km) to the Seymour River. You can hear the river to the east of the trail before you see it.

Follow north along Homestead Trail until it comes into view, then make your way down the embankment to the river's boulder-filled channel. Although water levels in summer are at their annual lows, you'll quickly find that there are plunge pools galore; there'll be one that's just the right size for you. Remember to wear an old pair of running shoes or sandals to negotiate your way over the boulders, some of which are rendered slippery by algae.

You may find that you are sharing the river with the occasional group of anglers; however, the Seymour is of proportions generous enough for all. It would be surprising if, after a quick look around, you couldn't find a quiet place to yourself. After all, the Homestead Trail merges with the Fisherman's Trail and meanders upstream for almost 9 miles (15 km); somewhere along its length, there's bound to be a swimming hole with your name on it.

The Seymour River is a river of a whole different hue when comparing kayaking on the nearby Capilano River. About the only thing the two have in common is that they're both dammed. The Capilano stole the Seymour's thunder when challenges were being handed out (but don't tell that to someone learning to paddle here). There's not a canyon in sight, just a shallow boulder-and-rock garden riverbed, with a small patch of fast water just before the river passes under the Seymour Creek Bridge near its confluence with Burrard Inlet. An old weir creates a sudden drop at this point. Hang onto your paddles.

Best places to put in on the Seymour are either at Riverside Park, at the intersection of Riverside Drive (East) and Chapman Way, or at the west end of Swinburne Avenue off Riverside. The take out is downstream from the BC Rail bridge over the Seymour River at the west end of Spicer Road off Riverside Drive (West).

The Seymour River Fish Hatchery in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve has ponds full of coho and steelhead fry beside Hurry Creek. The fish hatchery and education centre are run by the Seymour Salmonid Society. You'll have to make your way almost to the Seymour Dam to see them. By then you'll need a break. Follow the trail from the hatchery to the river, where you'll discover a sweet little beach offshore at which spot the fry school when first released in spring. Come summer, you can even take a dip with them!

Nearest Towns: North Vancouver, Deep Cove, The North Shore, Vancouver

Nearest Parks:
Lynn Canyon Park
Mount Seymour Provincial Park
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
Indian Arm Provincial Park
Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

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