Discovering The Great Trail with CLIF Bar

Last week, I joined Storm Chaser and Adventurer Ricky Forbes on an exciting mission around Vancouver to explore parts of The Great Trail in collaboration with CLIF Bar and KEEN Canada.

The Great Trail allows Canadians like you and I, to travel from coast to coast across this country’s beautiful and diverse 13 provinces and territories. To commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, 432 existing trails were connected across the country to create TGT. The trail now spans 24 000 kms and is the longest recreational trail in the world. CLIF Bar is proud to have funded nearly 150 km of TGT. You can explore the trail either by running, hiking, cycling, paddling, trail running cross-country skiing, snowmobiling or whatever activity you choose!

So when Ricky got to Vancouver, I packed a couple of CLIF snacks (have you tried the new CLIF Nut Butter Filled Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter? It’s my new go-to for hikes!), put on my KEEN boots and joined him to discover parts of TGT that is right in my backyard.

We started off the day with an urban hike right in Stanley Park on the Seawall. It’s a great place to ride a bike, go for a run or even just a leisurely walk like we did. Along the way we saw some seals in the ocean, beautiful vistas of the North Shore mountains, the impressive Lions Gate Bridge and the legendary Siwash Rock.

We then continued our explorations on the North Shore, heading to the Cleveland Dam, which has been around since the 1950s and which holds a portion of Vancouver’s drinking water. There, you will find a multitude of canopied trails to venture off on that are part of the Coastal Rainforest. You’ll be surrounded by trees that are centuries old, soft green moss, ferns and picturesque views of the canyon. I still pinch myself thinking that I live in such a beautiful place!

Our day ended at Cypress Mountain, where we were able to catch the most magnificent sunset.

From Vancouver, it’s easy to keep heading north up to Whistler or head east towards Kelowna to explore more of TGT.

Though we only scratched the surface of TGT in a day, it’s awesome to think that this amazing trail really connects Canadians through their passion for the outdoors. We have such a wide variety of landscapes around the country, so it’s quite special to be able to see it all via one amazing multipurpose trail.

This adventure day with Ricky and CLIF Bar made me want to explore the ENTIRE trail… Maybe it’s something I will need to add onto my bucket list!

For more information on The Great Trail visit: www.clifbar.com/greattrail

To see where The Great Trail runs near you, go here: https://thegreattrail.ca/explore-the-map/

This post was written in collaboration with CLIF Bar but all opinions are my own. 

 

5 Things to Do in Carlsbad

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Carlsbad is a cute surf town located on the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego. It has been one of my favorite locations to spend time surfing and relaxing. If you’ve never ben to the area before, here are some things I recommend on your trip there!

1) Go for a run on the Seawall. Located along the PCH between Pine Street and Tamarack Ave., the Seawall is a great spot to run right along the coast. The mile long path allows you to be separated from the bike path and cars while also being closer to the ocean. Running on the seawall is exceptional because you have the most spectacular view of the ocean and even sunset during your run. If you’re looking to clock more than just a few miles, you can continue running along the PCH, on the bike path to Leucadia and even Encinitas. Nothing like the ocean breeze and breathing salt water air while running!

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2) Grab breakfast or a juice from Choice Juicery. Choice Juicery is located right on Carlsbad Village Drive in downtown Carlsbad. They’ve got a super relaxing oasis-like property where people can come and sit on turf or beautiful wooden benches. The people on staff are all incredibly friendly. They offer a plant-based menu that is 100% organic, gluten free and dairy free. It’s a great place to grab breakfast – their breakfast bowls and smoothies are sumptuous! My favorite was the “PB&J” bowl with homemade granola & banana. They also serve great salads, superfood snacks and a tasty selection of juices. Their “Hot Sunrise” drink was a perfect mid-day pick-me-up!

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3) Go surfing in South Carlsbad. Beacons beach at the edge of Carlsbad and Leucadia is a good spot for longboards. The waves are usually pretty small and also very forgiving. It’s also a great area to picnic with the family or friends and hang out for the entire day. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, you can also head down to Swami’s in Encinitas just a few minutes south.

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4) Explore downtown. The one thing I loved most about staying in Carlsbad is being able to walk everywhere. The downtown area is adorable and has some super rad vintage shops, record stores, book stores, beach shops, etc. There are also a lot of delicious local restaurants such as PAON (if you’re looking for something more high-end and classic, their homemade pasta was delicious!), or Swami’s Cafe (the best & cheapest brunch spot in the city!), or even Cessy Taco Shop for some cheap tacos or burritos. If you’re looking for a little entertainment, there are some films being presented outdoors throughout the summer and also the Carlsbad Village Theatre that always presents some great plays, comedy shows, etc. The city also has beautiful parks, lot’s of bike paths and great places to hang out.

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5) Grab a post-surf pizza at Pizza Port. Pizza Port is a local institution. If you’re from the area, chances are you’ve eaten at Pizza Port before, celebrated a birthday there, had some of their homemade beers, pizza, etc. I’ve had the opportunity to eat their pizza a handful of times but going to their Carlsbad location is always my favorite. I love their outdoor patio, the family and community vibe there, their delicious garlic buddies, enormous salads and of course, their super tasty pizzas. Though I’m not really a beer drinker, the place is also renown for their cool beers brewed fresh on premise. Some of the beers worth trying: “Sharkbite Red”, “Wipeout IPA” and “Amigo Later”, all found at the Carlsbad location. Make sure you also try their wholegrain beer pizza crust while you’re there, it’s unreal!

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