|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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
Towns: North Vancouver,
Deep Cove, The
North Shore, Vancouver
Lynn Canyon Park
Mount Seymour Provincial Park
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
Indian Arm Provincial Park
Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve