Cleveland Dam North Vancouver, BC

Travel these days is pretty limited, so it’s a bit of a reach to call this post “travel” but I’m taking it anyways. The Cleveland Dam isn’t exotic, and it doesn’t take a plane or boat to get there, but it felt like a mini-getaway, and I count that as travel.

Last Saturday morning, Brad and I left the kids with the babysitter and drove out to North Vancouver together. We had initially wanted to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but with the change of months/season happening mid-week, apparently, they closed between the time I had checked their website and when we got there Saturday morning. They’re already preparing for the Canyon Lights display. Maybe we’ll take that one in this year?

Lucky for us, the Cleveland Dam is just up the hill from the Suspension bridge, so that’s where we ended up for what turned out to be a lovely fall hike.

Smiling Husband and Wife in Front of Damn on Sunny Day

I unintentionally dressed to match Brad's beard

North Van has always been a special place for Brad and I. It’s where I lived when we first met, where we first said our “I love yous”, where we spent hours on the phone while we got to know each other long distance and where he helped me move from when I moved north to PG and in with him.

We were really in need of some time to reconnect, without having to referee our minions. Having time together at home after the kids go to bed is just not the same as leaving the house together and doing something, just us two. But booking something in the evenings is hard because what is there to do these days? I long to go to a live show, a concert, the Whitecaps. Those aren’t options right now, so our best plan was to get outside, during the day, especially since the weather has been nice and sunny.

When we were planning our date day, I felt myself telling Brad that I didn’t want to do certain things without the kids and he reminded me of something I often forget. Just because we do something without them, doesn’t mean that we can’t go back one day with them and experience it, too! We are not just parents, we are not only a family of four. Our relationship is so important, most important maybe. It’s just that the kids take up a majority of our time, and rightly so.

But we can’t forget about us.

Back to the Cleveland Dam.

I’d heard of this beautiful place from an old co-worker who raved about it many years ago. And in the near-six years that I lived in North Van, I had never been there. I’m happy that our plans were changed and we were able to not only take in the sights, but also explore the trails and get in a little bit of a work out. Even though it was a warm, humid fall day that ended in us being much sweatier than either of us had anticipated. We had a lovely time exploring the trails, taking in the Dam from the top and then from a lookout at the bottom. I needed it very much, not only the time with Brad, but also the time to wander, outdoors. Next time, we'll bring the kids and visit the Salmon Hatchery (pictured below).

Cleveland Dam Water View Between Rocks

From the Bottom of the Dam

Man and His Shadow on Cleveland Dam Trail on Fall Day

On the Trails, Pondering Life?

I know that we are expecting rain in the next couple of days, but I am hopeful that there will be some windows of sunshine over the weekend so we can take the kids out exploring. Not necessarily out to North Van and the Cleveland Dam, but somewhere in the trees that’s hopefully not too busy, where we can just wander and take in the season.

I’ve rarely met a trail that I don’t like, so tell me, what’s your favourite place to hike? Even better if it’s minion-friendly and in the lower mainland.

Fingers crossed for more beautiful fall weather,


Wooden Foot Bridge Between Trees



On the trails,
I lose myself
and find myself
all at once.

Sunny Fall Day, View of Tree-Lined River
Gravel Trail Through Tall, Skinny Trees in Autumn

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