Traboulay PoCo Trail in Port Coquitlam

No Gravatar

The Traboulay PoCo Trail in Port Coquitlam is a great cycling trail and hiking trail. It is family friendly and dog friendly.

Poco Trail in Port Coquitlam, BC

The Poco Trail is safe and well-maintained, offering something for everyone. Located just 27 km  (17 miles) from Vancouver, it is very well worth a day trip. If you’re trying to enjoy as much of BC as you can in a short time, you could not do much better than this trail. (Unless you wanted to cycle the world-class Stanley Park Trail in downtown Vancouver.) But this ride is not just for tourists – it should be on the bucket list of every local cyclist, because it has so much to offer.

Related: Bike Rentals Vancouver: Where to Rent Bikes in Vancouver

Related: Great Bike Rides in and Around Vancouver

Signage at the Poco Trail in Port Coquitlam, BC
Signage at the Poco Trail in Port Coquitlam, BC

Route: Traboulay PoCo Cycling Trail, Port Coquitlam, BC (also known as the Poco Trail)

Surfaces: mainly off-road, mainly smooth. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter some mud

Location: 27 km (17 miles) from Vancouver

Distance: 25.5 km (15.8 miles) , circular route (or you can just go a few miles from the parking lot and turn around – the route is bi-directional)

Difficulty level: easy but long if you do the entire circuit (but you don’t have to); easy to follow because it is well sign-posted

Type of bike required: any kind, but mountain or hybrid would be best

Safety level: very safe, almost entirely off road

Suitable for: the whole family, including the dog. Unaccompanied children should not do the entire route, because there are a few short parts where you have to cross major roads or travel along the shoulder of a major road.

Poco Trail is suitable for the whole family, including the dog!
Poco Trail is suitable for the whole family, including the dog!

Congestion: Not bad at most times, can be very quiet if you pick your time wellT

Getting there from downtown:  Travel east on Hastings Street through Vancouver and follow the signs onto Highway #1 Eastbound.  Take the Exit #44 for United Boulevard and then stay left following the signage for Maple Ridge.  Turn right at the first set of lights at Shaughnessy Street and enter the parking lot.

Parking: You can park your car right next to the Poco Trail, for free

Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist and our dog Billy in the car park at the PoCo Trail, getting ready for a great bike ride!
Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist and our dog Billy in the car park at the PoCo Trail, getting ready for a great bike ride!

Average Joe Cyclist Rating: Poco Trail rates a Gold Bike-Star for a pleasant family bike ride with diverse scenery and terrains, and lots of interest and historyGold bike star awardFor more guides to bike trails, see Average Joe Cyclist Trail Guides

The Traboulay PoCo Trail is an ambitious, 25.5 km long, dog-friendly, family-friendly cycling and hiking trail. It encircles the busy British Columbia suburb of Port Coquitlam, yet feels as if you are out in the country. Ducks paddle peacefully on lakes, unperturbed by the nearby traffic thundering over the Mary Hill Bypass. And the Traboulay PoCo Trail has something for everyone: diverse cycling terrain and wildlife, interesting features for history buffs, a pub for thirsty adult cyclists and a play park for the kids. It’s also a dog-friendly trail, if you want to take a nice long walk with your dogs. We sometimes take our dogs along for the ride, and when they get tired they ride in their Axiom Premium Pet Baskets (reviewed here).

Poco Trail offers safe cycling for the whole family
Poco Trail offers safe cycling for the whole family

How to Get to the Poco Trail

  • By Car: The Traboulay PoCo Trail is  27 km (17 miles) east of Vancouver. It is most easily accessed by car, driving east on Highway 1, following the signs for United Boulevard. At the Citadel Landing near Shaughnessy Street and the Mary Hill Bypass there is free parking. The green arrow on the map below marks the parking lot.
Map of the Poco Trail in Port Coquitlam, BC
Map of the Poco Trail in Port Coquitlam, BC
  • By Bike: You can cycle from Vancouver to the PoCo Trail on the Loughheed Highway, but if you add in the entire trail, you’d be cycling about 100 km (62 miles), which is more than most day  trippers are likely to want to do.
  • By Public Transit: Take your bike on the Skytrain and get off at Sperling or Braid Skytrain stations. Then cycle to the PoCo Trail along Loughheed Highway.

Diverse Terrain on the Poco Trail

The Traboulay PoCo Trail offers many happy changes and surprises, as the terrain switches from good gravel track, to very infrequent roadside shoulder, to tree-canopied single track, then to meandering, multi-user paved trail.

Beautiful flowers create extra interest as you cycle along the Poco Trail
Beautiful flowers create extra interest as you cycle along the Poco Trail

One moment you will be cycling past a blueberry field, the next you’re next to the peaceful De Boville slough, filled with modest boats that all seem to be doing nothing in particular. Time slows down on this trail in a magical way. One minute you’ll be hitting the brakes to admire a soaring Blue Heron, and the next you’ll be skidding to a halt to confirm that yes, that really is a llama grazing solemnly on the adjacent farm. There’s so much to see that you quickly realize there’s no need to hurry. The Poco Trail is about the journey, not the destination (which is after all, usually the car park).

The trumpeter swan we spotted in Colony Farm on the Poco Trail
The trumpeter swan we spotted in Colony Farm on the Poco Trail

Interest is maintained all the way by a rich diversity of animal life, including eagles, ducks, horses, cows, llamas (!) and even a solitary but splendid swan. All the way, the Poco Trail is well sign-posted and easy to follow.

Aerial view of the historic Colony Farm, through which the Poco Trail passes
Aerial view of the historic Colony Farm, through which the Poco Trail passes

Part of the trail runs through the historic Colony Farm, which is one of the most biodiverse areas in BC and is home to over 150 species of birds – obviously, this is a great place for bird watchers! Watch this video about Colony Farm and I guarantee you will soon be planning a trip to the Poco Trail.

A River (or Two) Runs Through it – Rivers at the Poco Trail

The Coquitlam River runs next to the Poco Trail
The Coquitlam River runs next to the Poco Trail

The Traboulay PoCo Trail constantly crisscrosses water. A lot of the time you will be cycling on dykes beside the Pitt River; other times you’ll be biking on single-track next to the sometimes fast-flowing Coquitlam River. The river provides many inviting picnic spots. The sound and smell of water adds to the peaceful ambiance of this lovely slice of wilderness.

There are many inviting picnic stops along the Poco Trail
There are many inviting picnic stops along the Poco Trail
GREAT BIKE TRAILS IN AND AROUND VANCOUVER
Great Bike Rides in and Around Vancouver
bike rentals
The Whistler Valley Trail
Whistler-Valley-Trail
Central Valley Greenway
CVG-and-Lougheed
Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver
Brockton-Point-Stanley-Park-600
Seaside Bike Route, Vancouver
Seaside-bike-route-cyclist
Galloping Goose Trail, Vancouver Island
Galloping-Goose-Trail-horses-and-cyclists
Lochside Trail, Vancouver Island
lochside-trail.indexed1.indexed
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Pacific Park boy cycling small
West Dyke Trail, Richmond
West Dyke trail
Deer Lake Park Bike Trails, Burnaby
Deer lake park
Traboulay PoCo Trail, Port Coquitlam
Traboulay trail Poco
Barnet Highway, Burnaby
Barnett Highway
Shoreline Trail, Port Moody
Children-cycling-on-Rocky-Point-bike-trail
Springboard Trail, Belcarra Park, Port Moody
Springboard Trail, Belcarra Park uphill
Lower Seymour Trails, North Vancouver
Lower Seymour(1)
Osprey Loop, Pitt Meadows
Osprey
Bike Rentals Vancouver
x-Seaside-riders
Second Beach Pool to Prospect Point, Stanley Park
Vancouver-cycling-Second-Beach-to-Prospect-Point
Convention Center to Science World
Convention-to-Science-World-2-small1

The Gilnetter Pub on the Poco Trail

If you’re not the picnicking type, do not despair! Just a couple of kilometers east of the car park you’ll find the Gillnetter Pub. It offers better-than-average pub fare, and it’s right on the Pitt River, with a great view. And you can lock your bikes within sight of your table.

The Gilnetter Pub on the Poco Trail offers a welcome stop. It's right near the car park, so you can park your bikes at the end of your ride and enjoy a well-deserved meal
The Gilnetter Pub on the Poco Trail offers a welcome stop. It’s right near the car park, so you can park your bikes at the end of your ride and enjoy a well-deserved meal. This pub was a favorite of ours long before we discovered the Poco Trail

Plenty for History Buffs on the Poco Trail

If you’re not enchanted by the ever-changing terrain and the great scenery (or by the pub), you may be impressed by the history lessons offered along the trail. At Citadel Landing you can see living evidence of the backbone on which British Columbia was built: the logging industry.

You can witness logging and beautiful scenic vistas from the Poco Trail
You can witness logging and beautiful scenic vistas from the Poco Trail

About 12 km (7 miles) later, you’ll come across a series of informative signposts. From them you will learn that the Traboulay PoCo Trail was pioneered in 1967, to celebrate Canada’s one-hundredth birthday. As with so many impressive projects, this great trail was spearheaded by a small, dedicated group, who became known as the “PoCo Trail Blazers”.

Informative signposts along the Poco Trail offer a history of the area
Informative signposts along the Poco Trail offer a history of the area

The PoCo Trail was named after Leonard Macaulay Traboulay, an emigrant from Trinidad who became mayor of Port Coquitlam in 1981, and held the position for nineteen years. In a stroke of trail-making genius, the developers of the Poco Trail have added historic plaques to the trail, so that you can cycle forwards or backwards in time, depending on which direction you’re going in. The plaques tell about key events in Port Coquitlam history.

Informative plaques on the Poco Trail enable you to travel backwards or forwards in time, depending on which direction you cycle
Informative plaques on the Poco Trail enable you to travel backwards or forwards in time, depending on which direction you cycle

Next you will reach the entrance to Kwikwetlem First Nation territory (Kwikwetlem is Stolo for “Red Fish up the River”). The name of the Stolo people means “People of the River.” The PoCo Trail is a lot quieter around here, but still used by a wide variety of cyclists and hikers.

Poco Trail

Facilities: Washrooms and Play Park on the PoCo Trail

There are at least two sets of washrooms on the Poco Trail, and they were clean, well-lit, and well-equipped too.

Poco Trail

A nice feature for cycling families is the big children’s play park that is halfway around the PoCo Trail. It provides a welcome break for tired young cyclists! Personally I used to find that my children needed some kind of bribe to get them excited about a bike ride, and this park is perfect for bribing young ones: “Just a little way further and you get to play in the park!” (If you need a bribe for adult members of the family, the Gilnetter Pub is probably a better bet.)

Here are tips on encouraging kids to cycle.

Bottom Line on the PoCo Trail

The Poco Trail offers something for everyone
The Poco Trail offers something for everyone

The Traboulay PoCo Trail is a great cycling trail. It offers something for everyone, it’s well-maintained – and it’s totally worth journeying 27 km (17 miles) out from Vancouver. If you’re trying to see as much of BC in as little time as possible – on a bike or hiking – you could not do much better than the Poco trail. And it’s a trail for all abilities: there were no steep climbs, and no terrifying descents.

The Poco Trail is so family friendly that you can tow your kids around in a bike trailer
The Poco Trail is so family friendly that you can tow your kids around in a bike trailer

History, nature and diverse, easy cycling … the PoCo Trail is a little slice of cyclist heaven for the whole family – and it’s dog friendly too!

The Poco Trail is dog friendly
The Poco Trail is dog friendly

Here are many more great bike trails.

And here’s the Osprey Loop – another dog friendly and family friendly cycling and hiking trail – this one is in Pitt Meadows, 30 minutes east of Vancouver.

Osprey Loop dog friendly trail
The Osprey Loop is another dog friendly trail not far from Vancouver

Did you like this post or find it useful? If so, please support our blog in one of these ways:

To support this blog, please consider clicking on one of the Amazon links before buying from Amazon. Small commissions help pay for our time. It costs you nothing at all except a click. For more information, please see “How Our Affiliate Links Work” in the right-hand side bar (down below if you’re on a mobile) or our Policies page.

If you don’t want to buy anything, fair enough – but please consider supporting this blog by SHARING this post (using the Share buttons below) or by LIKING our Facebook page. BEST OF ALL – just SUBSCRIBE to our blog (click on the link below, next to Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist’s lovely face). It makes you part of our community, and makes sure you get free updates about all our posts, once a week. Thanks in advance – reader support keeps us going and makes it all worthwhile!

Comments

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required Please type your Email Address * Please type your First Name *