The Guided Walk with Cliff makes you receptive to so many small details using your senses. You transition from urban noises to wild life, hear wind sounds, smell hemlock needles, see the majestic beauty of the red cedars, and feel the energy of the trees going through your body right down to your feet when touching them. Cliff even provided me with some of his homemade baking. This is a unique forest bathing experience facilitated by the guidance of a wellness professional using horticultural therapy. Thanks a million Cliff!

M. Duran – Actor, Director, Mountain Runner

About your guide Cliff Thorbes…

I’m Cliff Thorbes, your guide for a Guided Therapeutic Nature Walk.

I’m a Registered Horticultural Therapist with the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association and hold a current certification in Remote First Aid.

Walking in a forest environment has been shown to boost mood, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and be more effective in producing these outcomes than walking in an urban area.

As a long-time resident of both West Vancouver and the West End in Vancouver, British Columbia, I have insider’s local knowledge of both Stanley Park and Lighthouse Park. Both are biologically rich, and examples of the few remaining old-growth rainforests in the Lower Mainland.

What does a GUIDED WALK consist of?

Your walk with me lasts between 2 – 2.5 hours, and is designed to be an intimate experience between you and nature.

We will meet at a designated meeting spot, and after a short introduction and some gentle stretching, we’ll be on our way. Along the walk, I provide you with interesting bits of information about native flora, and facilitate techniques that help to relax you, and help you to connect more mindfully with nature.

Where does the Guided Walk take place?

I offer walks in Stanley Park and Lighthouse Park. I can also provide a one-hour virtual experience.

On April 16 2022, I’m providing a Guided Therapeutic Nature Walk in collobaration with Stanley Parc Ecology Society. You can register here.

Stanley Park is a 400-hectare example of a magnificent natural West Coast rainforest in the midst of the urban landscape of Vancouver. Much of the park remains as densely forested as it was in the late 1800s. The forest consists of primarily second and third growth and contains many tall Douglas-fir, Western redcedar, and Western hemlock, with some as tall as 76 metres (249 feet), and hundreds of years old. A large variety of animals live in the park, including many birds. Mammals include a large raccoon population, coyotes, skunks, beavers, and a thriving grey squirrel population.

Stanley Park Map and Guide

Directions to Stanley Park

Directions to Stanley Park Nature House

For the naturalist, Lighthouse Park offers tremendous variety within its 75 hectares. The diversity of environmental conditions within the park boundaries and the relatively undisturbed forest provide an opportunity to see native flora in near virgin states. Giant Douglas-fir dominate the forest, with Western redcedar, and Western hemlock. Bigleaf maple, Pines, and Arbutus form the forest understory along with a rich variety of shrubs, ferns, and mosses.

Lighthouse Park Trail Map

Getting to Lighthouse Park…

If you are driving, you can park in the Lighthouse Park parking lot. It’s free.

If you are taking Public Transit, take bus #250 Horseshoe Bay from Downtown Vancouver and continue across the Lions Gate Bridge, past Park Royal Shopping Center, and through Dundarave Village. The bus stop for Lighthouse Park is Beacon Lane on Marine Drive. From the bus stop it’s just a short walk down Beacon Lane to the park entrance.

Please be aware…

  • I take my time guiding you at a leisurely pace. 
  • Be prepared to navigate the occasional uneven trail, slippery rocks, muddy patch, and overhanging foliage.
  • There are no accessibility features at this time.
  • This experience is weather dependent and may be cancelled on short notice.

What you need to bring…

  • Sturdy walking footwear with good gripping tread
  • Clothing appropriate for the weather (I recommend a long sleeved shirt and pants, hat, and a waterproof jacket if there are showers in the forecast)
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Medication for any health emergency you are at risk for

Requirements for this activity…

  • Age minimum to attend is 10, and minors must be accompanied by their legal guardian.
  • You can expect the activity level to be moderate.
  • All participants must sign a Waiver/Release Agreement before participating.

Email Cliff at to schedule a Guided Walk.

©Cliff Thorbes 2022

%d bloggers like this: