Hiking Valencia, Spain

trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

One of the best urban hikes anywhere is in Spain’s 3rd largest city. Home of paella. 😀

While many tourists stick to the historic centre, the best walking is on a long green space to a complex designed by local architect Santiago Calatrava — the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), which contains an opera house/performing arts centre, a science museum, an IMAX cinema/planetarium, an oceanographic park and other structures such as a long covered walkway and restaurants. 

It’s impressive.

Cityscape of Valencia. Turia park. Aerial view

Usually called Turia Garden, the park is officially 9km long. But expect your mileage to be quite a bit longer. I was on it at least 5 hours with side trips.

To start, I caught the subway to the Zoo on the far left of this map.

click for larger version

One essential stop is the Botanical Garden of Valencia (Jardí Botànic).

You really need several hours to explore the massive City of Arts and Sciences. There is a lot to do and see.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of this urban hike on YouTube.

Pico da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro

Climbing Rio’s highest peak in Tijuca National Park reveals interesting rocky formations and viewpoints overlooking the city’s North zone, Guanabara Bay, Bico do Papagaio Peak, Pedra da Gavea, Maracanã stadium and Serra dos orgãos mountains.

Here’s the famous photo op on a steep section.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – trip report – Rio de Janeiro Pico da Tijuca Hike

Banff’s Marsh Loop Trail in Winter

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

A very popular short walk out of Banff townsite in the Canadian Rockies, the highlight is seeing song birds, waterfowl and amphibians.

Not so much in winter. 😀

Yet I’d argue it’s even more beautiful with snow and ice.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

10 Adventures has a great write-up calling it the Marsh Loop Hike. (3.4km)

Dale Hodges Park, Calgary

by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky mountains.

BEST urban hiking — in my opinion — is along the north bank of the Bow River in the NW of the city of nearly 1.3 million.

A new attraction has been added. Dale Hodges Park – stormwater wetlands, wildlife habitat, trails for cycling and walking, and lookout points across the scenic river valley.

Formerly a gravel pit, it won the highest award of honour from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects for its use of environmental landscape design.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’d never seen a muskrat (photos) in my home town. Until I visited Dale Hodges Park.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Bobcats in Calgary

In my travels around the world I’ve seen much elusive wildlife including snow leopards.

BUT I’d never seen more than bobcat paw-prints.

In recent years, bobcats have been moving into big city Calgary, population 1.2 million plus.

MyCalgary.com

The city offers plenty of squirrels and jackrabbits.

One took a nap in a city yard a couple of weeks ago.

I saw this one just after dawn in the neighbourhood where I grew up. It seemed totally unworried about me standing only about 2m distant.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni BC

Hole in the Wall, a short day hike, is a is fast becoming a major attraction for the Vancouver Island community.

The hole is all that remains of a decades old water line.

Check in at the Port Alberni Visitor Centre for directions.

Parking is difficult though the trail itself is only an easy 1.3km return walk.

Rather than following the normal route as posted on AllTrails Port Alberni Hole in the Wall, I walked instead from an industrial park end of Sherwood Road.

Definitely muddier and less traveled, I did find it interesting. Nobody else parked there.

Here are the rough trails as shown on Maps.me.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of my hike on YouTube.

Glorious Rathtrevor Beach at Dawn

Dawn low tide at Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville on Vancouver Island.

I’ve been walking early morning at Rathtrevor for months during COVID lockdown. This edit gives you a good feel for the glorious setting.

I’ve not yet tired of taking a morning walk in exactly the same place each day. Every dawn is different.

Low tide here stretches nearly a kilometre out into the Strait of Georgia.

Thousands of birds are here Spring and Autumn during migration. This video shot in November.

Rathtrevor has a terrific campground, if you ever get the chance to visit.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

%d bloggers like this: