Walking Programs | UBC Recreation

Whether you’re trying to build your overall sense of wellbeing, reduce stress, lose weight, make new friends, or reduce your risks of cancer or cardiovascular disease, walking can help you on your way. Our walking programs are free or inexpensive, and designed for all students, staff, faculty and community members. Join us for a walk and every time you Step It Up, you’ll be entered to win a FREE FITBIT FLEX (one is available per term).

Step it Up

Join us for FREE one hour guided walks regularly.  Take an hour to take care of yourself and meet new people!

UBC Outdoor Art: Wednesday October 4 @ 12 pm

Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, “Native Hosts,” 1991-2007. 12 aluminum signs, 46 x 91 cm, steel posts, 183 cm. Collection Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC.

Meet at the Belkin Art Gallery.
Since the late 1950s, UBC’s Outdoor Art Collection has captured the imagination of visitors from around the world about diverse topics such as conservation and land development, our relationship with First Nations, and how we picture our past and future. There are over 20 works of art across the campus. Join the Belkin Programs staff and the UBC MoveU Crew on a mini-tour along Main Mall, ending at the Reconciliation Pole. In case of rain, wear your boots and bring your umbrellas!

Scenic Beach Walk: Wednesday January 18 @ 12
Martha Piper Plaza (start & end)

  • We'll travel down the paths behind the Museum of Anthropology, near Nitobe Garden, behind the President's House to the beach. 

Walk with the Whale: Tuesday January 24 @ 12:30 pm
Beaty Biodiversity Museum

  • Join this free Tales of Treasure Tour at Beaty Biodiversity Museum that highlights the curators favourite specimens, and tales of founding scientists.
  • Arrive early as space is limited to 30 participants!


Dog Lover's Stroll Thursday Feb 2 @ 12 pm

Martha Piper Fountain (start & end)

  • If you love dogs, or own one, come join us for a dog walk down the stairs behind Green College to the beach. It's an off-leash dog walk down the stairs.
  • We apologize to those with disabilities as this walk isn't fully accessible.  You are, however, more than welcome to join us for the first portion of the walk (which will go from the plaza to the path where the stairs begin). 

Thursday February 9 @ 12 pm: Belkin Public Art Tour

  • Join this free public art tour, offered in a longer, extended (more steps!) version from the Belkin Art Gallery.  It will be a one hour tour, but adapted from the original public art tour that's been offered in the past, so that you can get more walking in while you learn about the different public art around campus. Meet us at the Belkin Art Gallery at noon to check-in.


Friday February 24  @ 12 pm: New Aquatics Centre Tour & Recreation Open House

This free guided walk will start at the new UBC Aquatics Centre, with a quick tour and then walk out to the UBC Tennis Centre to join the Open House being offered by UBC Recreation which also will offer: 

  • Free lunch for the first 50 people at the Tennis Centre
  • One-day-only pre-registration for UBC Summer Camps
  • Free fitness classes
  • A nutrition talk
  • A festival-like atmosphere with games, prizes, and giveaways
  • Information on all UBC Recreation program areas for staff, faculty, and community members 

Tuesday February 28 @ 12 pm: Photo Walk

  • Bring your photography skills (your DSLR or your smartphone) and explore campus through the lens in this one hour free guided walk.  This walk will be led by the Live Active Outreach team (a team of Intramurals students).  Meet us in the main lobby of the Student Recreation Centre (6000 Student Union Boulevard).  Rain or shine!


March 7: Green Buildings Tour- The Step It Up Version

  • Join us for a special one hour Green Buildings Tour that is designed to maximize your step count, while learning about the sustainable buildings around campus.  Meet at the CIRS building lobby at noon. 

March 14: Tour the Pacific Museum of the Earth

  • This specialized one hour, free guided tour will maximize your walking while exploring UBC's newest museum.  Learn about dinosaurs, minerals, and the hazards of natural disasters while improving your wellbeing. Meet at noon at the lambeosaur skeleton in the lobby of the Pacific Museum of Earth (Earth Ocean Sciences Building at 6339 Stores Road).

April 3 @ 12 pm : Nitobe Memorial Garden Walk 

Stress less by visiting the Nitobe Memorial Garden for free and enjoy a guided tour in this beautiful authentic Japanese garden on April 3 at noon. The tour will be approximately 35 minutes followed by a short, guided meditation (beginners are very welcome). The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a fairly accessible place with no steep hills or extensive stairs, but it should be noted that there is some gravel which could be more difficult for wheelchair and walker users.  This walk is open to all UBC students, staff, faculty and community members and is hosted by the Live Active Outreach Crew, which is a group of Intramurals student volunteers.

Monday April 24 @ 12 pm: People & Paws Walk

One of many events for Wild About Vancouver

  • Dog owners and dog lovers unite! We're hosting a walk for people to bring their dogs and visit with dogs.  Meet us at the entrance to the Student Recreation Centre (6000 Student Union Blvd) at noon for an hour long walk through the trails of Pacific Spirit Park.  Some of this walk will be leash optional.

Down To Tower Beach: Thursday June 1 from 12-1 pm
Meet at the Student Recreation Centre (6000 Student Union Blvd)
Join us as we travel down the beautiful shaded stairs to Tower Beach, take a moment to breathe the fresh air and then head back up. The stairway is quite long and surrounded by beautiful greenery, and the view from the beach is spectacular.  It's well worth the effort!


UBC Walkabout

Congratulations to all the participants in the 11th annual UBC Walkabout on finishing their 9 weeks of walking! We look forward to seeing you in January 2018 for the 12th annual Walkabout!

Concerned about accessibility or health conditions?

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

People who have physical disabilities are more than welcome to participate in our programs - there are only a few exceptions with our programs (the Stair Challenge, for example) that are unfortunately inaccessible. For those who want to participate in the Walkabout or other step counting programs and are using wheelchairs, we recommend using this resource sheet to translate "steps" from distance.

While walking is generally recommended as a great activity for many who live with chronic health conditions, it's important to always check with your doctor in advance of starting any new physical activity program to ensure that it's a good fit for you. For the guided walks, we will include details about the route, speed of the walk and distance so that you can assess if it's a good fit for you. Please see the below links of some good resources regarding some common chronic health conditions and the benefits of physical activity.


Cardiovascular Problems


Multiple Sclerosis

For those who have questions about accessibility or health conditions, we're happy to discuss the details of the programs with you. Please contact Suzanne Jolly (suzanne.jolly@ubc.ca or 604-827-3872) with questions.

Why Walk?

  • It is a low cost option to get moving, not requiring a lot of time, initial fitness level, or special clothes or equipment.
  • It is a way to enjoy our campus.
  • It is easily done between classes, on the way to/from work, or as part of a meeting.
  • You can do it with family members, colleagues or friends of all ages, without excluding anyone.
  • You can easily make friends while walking.
  • It is good for your mental health - either for preventing mental health concerns or reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses.
  • Help improve your cognitive functioning, focus, and energy levels for school or work.

There are lots of ways to Step it Up this year:

  • Sign up for the UBC Walkabout to count your steps for 9 weeks with 5 teammates;
  • Start considering a new way to get your family moving by participating in the Walk'n Roll to School Program that's designed to help families choose active transportation to commute to school;
  • Join Jane's Walk at UBC to learn about the UBC community and explore the campus.