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On the Trails...

One Never Knows Where One Will Meet New Friends

Nicole and Sebastian on Sleepless Nights

For many years when hiking up the trail from the Sunset Gate, I had looked up at the bluff high above. When I finally did climb it, I found the bluff towers high above the village afforded an incredible view as a reward for the hard slog. After that, I knew we just had to build a trail up there. Back in 2008, we set off in search of a route.

It was much steeper than we anticipated, and at a very tricky part, some of the team reported that they were having sleepless nights and did not wish to carry on.

Fortunately, Ken Moore –who is completely fearless– joined me to work past the steepest part, and we managed to coax the others back to complete the project. In their honour, we named it 'The Sleepless Nights Trail.'

Recently, as our group stood atop the Sleepless Bluffs during our Monday hike, we were surprised by a young couple who suddenly appeared out of the forest.

“Hello” I said, “do you live in the village?” to which one of them responded “No, we just flew in from Germany last night."

Sebastian was a pilot and Nicole a flight attendant on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt.

Sebastian had decided to rent a car for the day on his layover in Vancouver and Nicole had come along with him.

When I asked Sebastian how on earth he had managed to find our little trail, he said he discovered Lions Bay on his phone, and it showed a trail map, so he decided it would be good to get out of the city and do some exploring.

We invited them to join the group at John and Sandy Reinders' for coffee afterwards, where we exchanged email addresses and told them to call us on their next flight here. In turn, we have been promised that when any of us are next in Germany, we will be met at the airport and taken to explore some of their local trails.

It was a memorable way to meet some lovely new friends, and an adventure Sebastian and Nicole will likely never forget.

Have you had an unexpected encounter on our village trails? Share your comments below, or email

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John, a great story! The unsung Lions Bay trail builders and maintainers are very very much appreciated. Many people don’t know the amount of work required to maintain them all and keep the various wooden structures and steps sound for use. I’m sure John would appreciate some new Village volunteers to start learning the ropes for taking over some of the work. Also when you are out enjoying a trail, you could simply take along your garden pruners and do some trimming as you walk along. Thank you John and all the other Trailblazers for all your hard work over the years and for years to come! The trails are a legacy for all of us to enjoy.


A seemingly small but undoubtedly pleasant reward for the tremendous amount of work you have done creating and maintaining our trail network, John. I hope you and your crew are sleeping well these nights as you reflect on your many accomplishments.

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Thanks Douglas, over the last 23 years I have been lucky enough to find a wonderful group of volunteers,who got great satisfaction out of building our 23 km. village trail system.


Alison M.R.
Alison M.R.
May 24, 2023

Thanks for the story, John. I often wondered how Sleepless trail got its name.

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