Walking & Rolling Programs

Walking is a convenient, accessible, and free way to improve your health, reduce stress, and make connections with the community and nature. In line with the 2021 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults recommendations to encourage the development and mobilization of community walking groups, our walking and rolling programs offer free and welcoming opportunities for you to take some time for yourself, connect with peers and colleagues, get outside, and move!

Join us by registering for Walk for Joy, Wellbeing Walk & Roll, or trying out our UBC Walking Map!

We also offer private group walks for UBC student, staff, and community groups! If you are interested in a private group wellbeing walk, please reach out to us at MoveU.Crew@ubc.ca with your group details and preferred date and time and we will get back to you with walk ideas! 

Walk for Joy (registration starting in January each year)

Walk for Joy (formerly known as Walkabout) is an annual 9-week walking and rolling challenge that strives to promote regular physical activity in social settings. It was designed and launched in 2005 by the late Dr. Joy Butler of the Faculty of Education, UBC. Walk for Joy is a partnership initiative with UBC Recreation and UBC Human Resources. The name of the program has been changed from its original “Walkabout” to commemorate Dr. Butler. Numerous community partners provide prizes for Walk for Joy participants and those who complete extra challenges!

Walk for Joy is open to all UBC students, staff, faculty, and community members. Registration takes place in January each year. For more information and registration, please see the Walk for Joy webpage

For any questions about Walk for Joy, please email physical.activity@ubc.ca

UBC Walking Map

Use this map to discover walking routes and destinations on the UBC Vancouver Campus. You can also download a PDF UBC Walking Map for additional resources.

Sites of interest and walking routes are organized into separate layers:

  • Gardens, Parks, and Farms
  • Arts and Culture
  • Beaches
  • Community Hubs
  • Great Stairs
  • Recreation Facilities
  • Wheelchair Accessible Nature Routes
  • Wreck Beach Trail – 30 Minute Walking Route in Nature
  • Tower Beach Trail – 30 Minute Walking Route in Nature
  • Main Mall Trail – 30 Minute Walking Route in Nature
  • Thunderbird Trail – 30 Minute Walking Route in Nature
  • Sword Fern Trail – 30 Minute Walking Route in Nature

Many thanks to Devon Harlos, a graduate student in SCARP (and a Sustainability Scholar) for her development of this project and to all the stakeholders who invested their time to help us create a useful tool.

Instructions for Using the Map

You can turn these layers on or off by clicking the layer icon located in the top left corner of the map window. To find out more about a destination, click on the map icons. These will lead you to more information and relevant links.

If using a mobile device, click on the box in the top right corner of the map window to open the map on the Google Maps app. By clicking on one of the destination icons the app will automatically calculate walking times from your current location and give you directions.

Tips for Having A Great Walk

  • Wear proper footwear and bring clothing appropriate to the changing weather
  • Bring a friend for a walk with you; research shows that walking with others makes you more likely to walk more often and it’s a better option for safety too!
  • Wheelchair accessible routes highlighted are routes that we’ve found enjoyable and are entirely paved pathways with curb ramps where necessary (and very small ranges in slope). There are more on campus-- we hope to expand these offerings!
  • Walk briskly for more benefits for your wellbeing.

Concerned about accessibility or health conditions?

Find out how UBC Recreation is making our programs and facilities more inclusive by visiting the Inclusivity at UBC Recreation webpage.

We understand that walking isn't an option for everyone and we believe in including everybody whenever possible.

People who have physical limitations are more than welcome to participate in our programs - there are only a few exceptions (the Stair Challenge, for example) that are not accessible. For people who want to participate in the Walkabout or other step counting programs and have concerns with mobility we recommend that they check with their primary healthcare provider prior to starting a fitness routine.

For the guided walks, we do our best to include details about the route, intensity of the walk, and distance so that you can assess if it's a good fit for you. Refer to the resources below regarding some health conditions and the benefits of physical activity.

If you have any questions about accessibility or health conditions, we're happy to discuss the details of the programs with you. Please contact physical.activity@ubc.ca for information and support.