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BC Parks & Recreation
From national parks to regional parks, you’ll find hundreds of acres of green spaces and miles of trails ripe for exploring around British Columbia. When you’re in Chilliwack, don’t miss the chance to visit Chilliwack Heritage Park with its outdoor arenas and sporting events.
In North Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers something fro all ages and is a must-see destination where you can walk across the bridge suspended 230 feet off the ground. Bear Creek Provincial Park is a popular summertime destination in eastern British Columbia. It’s famous for its sandy beaches, canoeing and kayaking activities, and hiking trails.
When you’re exploring the city of Victoria, head to the 200-acre Beacon Hill Park on Vancouver Island. This park is within walking distance of Inner Harbor and is a haven for birds and native flora.
Get back in touch with nature at Richmond Nature Park, a 200-acre destination that offers miles of hiking trails and plenty of birdwatching opportunities.
Beacon Hill Park
While in the vibrant city of Victoria, take a break and enjoy time outdoors. Make your way to Beacon Hill Park, an historical two hundred acre park located in downtown Victoria, on Vancouver Island.
This beautiful park was established in 1882 by Sir James Douglas and named for the original navigational beacons overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The park is within walking distance to a variety of shops, restaurants and Inner Harbour.
The park is a haven for numerous species of birds, ducks, blue herons and Canadian geese. Enjoy strolling on the trails along the shore and through the Douglas-fir trees and native flora.
Kids love the visiting the Beacon Hill Children's Farm and playing on the playgrounds. Additional park features include sports fields, tennis courts, landscaped gardens, a water park, the Cameron Bandshell and a 127-foot totem pole, the world's fourth-tallest.
Bear Creek Provincial Park
Spanning 178 hectares on the shores of Okanagan Lake, Bear Creek Provincial Park is one of eastern British Columbia's most popular destinations, especially in the summertime. The park features over 400 metres of coarse sandy beaches, stretching from the lake to the namesake Bear Creek - visitors can swim, water ski, canoe and kayak.
On land, the park stretches back into the mountains with 5 kilometres of hiking trails. Lookout points of the lake are plenty, while avid hikers are sure to explore the Bear Creek canyon carved into the bedrock. And once the day's fun is done, you can relax at the park's day-use area - picnic tables, BBQ stations, playgrounds and grassy fields await you. This park is located near the Kelowna area.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Spanning the Capilano River in North Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a major attraction in the Vancouver metropolitan area.
Park visitors are encouraged to cross the 450-foot Capilano Suspension Bridge – built in 1889 and reaching 230 feet high – and check out other attractions like Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park also features plenty of stops for kids, including the Story Centre, Kia’palano Totem Pole Park, and the Rainforest Explorers Program. And if you're hungry, grab lunch at the Loggers’ Grill – or simply grab a drink at the Capilano Coffee Company.
Just don't forget to stop by the Capilano Trading Post.
Chilliwack Heritage Park
Just off the Trans-Canada Highway, this 65-acre park located in the midst of Chilliwack most famously boasts a 150,000-square-foot exposition building. Trade shows, conventions, conferences, concerts, and horse and dog shows are just a sample of the events run here at the northeast end of the Vancouver area.
The park also features ample parking, outdoor arenas, and multipurpose fields. However, most come for the large scale events and conventions - some of the more notable include Arena Cross, BMX Bike Grand Nationals, kart racing, and outdoor summer concerts.
Located just miles from downtown Victoria, Goldstream Park offers guests a unique outdoor experience native to the region. Known for its annual fall of salmon runs in Goldstream River, outdoor enthusiasts are also encouraged to take in the beautiful scenery of douglas-fir and red cedar trees.
The park also features several hiking trails traversing the near four kilometers of Vancouver Island scenery. Be sure to look for bald eagles, as the park boasts a large number during the salmon run. The park also offers picnicking, swimming, and mountain biking to prospective visitors.
Lynn Canyon Park
Recreational enthusiasts have plenty of reasons to visit North Vancouver. Popular activities include skiing and flying down a zipline at Grouse Mountain, mountain biking and hiking. Lynn Canyon Park, established in 1912, grew from twelve acres to 617-acres throughout the years, remaining one of the city's prominent parks. The park features numerous hiking trails, including the popular Baden-Powell Trail. Schedule plenty of time to explore this magnificent park.
Bring along your swimming suit for a dip in one of the park's swimming holes or relax under one of the 80 to 100 year-old trees, while enjoying a picnic lunch. Be sure to cross the 160-foot high Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Before leaving the park, visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre to stroll through the natural history museum and view the interactive exhibits when you visit Vancouver.
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
Located northeast of North Vancouver, the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park preserves a large swath of the old growth wilderness that sits just above the Vancouver metropolitan area. Popular with locals (this area isn't called the Enchanted Forest for no reason), the park features over 54 kilometres of hiking trails and a wealth of lookout points.
Open all year long, with varying hours throughout the seasons, the park also features reservable facilities such as the BC Mills house, dog friendly walks (though leashes are required), and a picnic area. Beyond the trailheads, however, are miles and miles of pure wilderness. Be sure to bring basic necessities and register your hiking plans beforehand.
Mount Robson Provincial Park
Covering an area of approximately 2,250 square kilometres, Mount Robson Provincial Park is one of eastern British Columbia's sterling attractions.
Its namesake peak, at 3,954 metres (or 12,972 feet) is the highest in the Canadian Rockies and is one of the most photographed sights along Highway 16, also known as the Yellowhead Highway.
Other notable and beautiful landmarks include the icebergs floating in azure Berg Lake, the Berg Glacier above it, Robson Meadows, Hargreaves Lake, Toboggan Falls, Yellowhead Mountain, and Mount Fitzwilliam.
A visitor centre is open south of the Mt. Robson viewpoint from May to September – it offers comprehensive information on the numerous hiking, fishing, climbing, and backcountry opportunities here.
Notable hiking trails include the Kinney Lake Trail, Berg Lake Trail, and Yellowhead Mountain Trail, pairing hikers with splendid scenery and unique flora and fauna. The park is located east of Valemount.
Richmond Nature Park
Free to the public throughout the year, the Richmond Nature Park is must-do for those looking for outdoor adventure in Richmond and the Vancouver metropolitan area. A beautiful 200-acre spot of southern British Columbia, Richmond Nature Park has everything from an educational and interpretive Nature House to seven total kilometers of hiking trails.
Bird watchers, keep an eye out for hummingbirds in the spring, and owls and northern migratory birds in the fall at the Richmond Nature Park. See the natural side of Vancouver during your time in the city, and settle into to a Best Western hotel in Richmond, Vancouver, or Burnaby.
Located in the east end of Vancouver, Stanley Park is a top destination for urban dwellers and travelers alike. Covering 1,001 acres (or 400 hectares) on the east border of downtown Vancouver, the park preserves the West Coast rainforest as it once was from the late 1800's before the city's growth. Densely forested, Vancouver's largest urban park contains approximately half a million trees, some of which are still hundreds of years old.
Over 8 million people visit each year to this National Historic Site of Canada. Features include the noteworthy seawall, a 5.5 mile (or 8.8 kilometre) walkway around the park open to bicyclists and pedestrians and the Stanley Park miniature train. Many hiking trails cross the park, and there are plenty of lookout spots with views of the surrounding Pacific Ocean. For more comfortable exploration, visitors can catch one of the bus, shuttle or horse drawn carriage tours.
Strathcona Provincial Park
Stretch those legs with a hike or enjoy a picnic in outdoor BC. Strathcona Provincial Park encompasses over 2,458 square kilometers of rugged mountain wilderness, and is home to the highest mountain peaks in the Vancouver Island Ranges.
The park, the oldest in British Columbia, is located west of Campbell River in central Vancouver Island. Outdoor enthusiasts love spending time in the park.
Whether canoeing on the Upper Campbell and Butte Lakes, rock climbing on some of the 150 routes in Crest Creek Crags, bicycling and hiking on the variety of trails or fishing on the many waterways, there's endless outdoor activities.
Whiffen Spit Park
Extending into the mouth of the Sooke Harbor, the Whiffin Spit Park traverses the length of the Whiffin Spit. Visitors can walk the entire length of the spit, observing how it protects Sooke and Sooke Harbor from the Pacific Ocean's wind blasts. The Spit also affords great views of the southern Vancouver Island coast line.
The hike is flat the entire way, with visitors passing by lookouts with bench seating, small beaches to walk across, and the lighthouse at the end. The hike is longer than it looks and it's recommended to pack in a wind breaker.