As I wrote in a previous post, the Whistler Valley Trail is an awesome labyrinth of off-road, paved trails connecting most of the best places in Whistler – so that you can see the spectacular scenery, parks, and lakes without ever getting in a car! This post is about cycling from Whistler Village along the Whistler Valley Trail to the serene, scenic Green Lake. This route is very gentle (hardly any hills) and entirely off road, as you can see in this video:
The photo below shows Green Lake itself – a great place to stop and enjoy the view.
Take your Wallet!
Don’t forget your wallet and bike lock – the Nicklaus North golf course is en route, and it boasts that it has the best patio in Whistler – the Table Nineteen Lakeside Eatery (which won Trip Adviser’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence award). So you may want to stop there for refreshments.
Set off from Whistler village
Set off northwards from Whistler village, from the intersection of Highway 99 and Lorimer Road. You will see the bike trail starting across the road from the village.
Follow the trail parallel to Highway 99, heading north. You will be cycling under shady trees along a path which undulates up and down. It’s not flat, but the hills are not very big. Watch out for when the trail splits, and take a sharp right downhill into a residential area. This is the steepest hill of the entire route. Wind through this area, and when you encounter a road for cars, turn left and follow the trail. You will very soon come to a very wide, quiet road. Cross this road, turn right, and pick up the trail again, and just follow the trail from this point on.
The Whistler Valley Trail winds along, often under tall trees, and past a rushing stream. For a while you are close to Highway 99, but then you veer off to the right, towards the Nicklaus North golf course. You will cycle past the Riverside Park and Cafe, which is part of a caravan and camping site – Riverside Resort. This is a camping site so perfectly situated that it makes even me want to go camping. It’s right on the Valley Trail, and the tents are nestled under tall trees in one of the quietest parts of Whistler – but close to the Scandinavia Spa and the golf course.
Soon you will be cycling over a small hill, with a practice golf range just to your left – part of the Nicklaus North golf course.
At this point you encounter an important warning:
Grab a bite to eat or a drink
Then you cycle across a railway track. Next you will come to the Table Nineteen Lakeside Eatery, where you can stop if you like, lock up your bikes, and grab a bite to eat or a drink. There is bike parking right outside.
Continue on and you will begin to see Green Lake ahead. The trail heads towards the lake, then veers left to run next to the lake. It’s a big lake and it’s – you guessed it – green. It’s a lovely sight, especially with its tiny floatplane dock, with one or two planes at rest on the water.
Just past the floatplane dock is one of the nicest parts of the route, and one of the most scenic parts of the entire Whistler Valley Trail. It’s a boardwalk bridge across the very edge of Green Lake. Halfway across is a lookout point where you can get out of the way of other cyclists and enjoy the scenery (as Maggie and friends are doing in the photos above and below). Whichever direction you look in, it’s classic Whistler and absolutely beautiful.
Check out the float planes!
Of course, you get a superb view of the float planes on Green Lake from the board walk – it’s well worth stopping to admire the view.
From Green Lake, it is worth carrying on for a while, as you are close to one of the loveliest parts of the trail, meandering along under a canopy of trees. This seems to be one of the older parts of the trail, as there are a few places where tree roots have caused jagged bumps in the asphalt. Best to slow down a little for this short section.
Next you reach a point where you can pop out onto Highway 99 if you wish. This is the intersection of Alpine Way and Highway 99. From there, the trail winds along for a few more miles, between the lake and Highway 99. However, it is quite hilly, and you are almost constantly next to noisy, speeding traffic (although protected by a concrete barrier). A lot of people seem to use this part of the trail for running. You do have quite magnificent views across the lake, as you find yourself on the opposite side of Green Lake from the boardwalk, with the float planes just tiny white dots in the distance.
Soon you will get to a point where there is a sign to let you know that the trail has ended, and it time to double back.
To get back to the Whistler village, the easiest way is to just turn and retrace your path. It is certainly well worth experiencing twice!
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