Vancouver Area

Most of our time outdoors is spent around Vancouver.  Below is a list of great places to visit with kids in Greater Vancouver.   Links are also there to take you to the blog any of our adventures at that location.

 

Belcarra

Jughead Island Post

Belcarra is a beautiful park on Indian Arm.  Here there is a picnic area, playground for the kids, Pier on the ocean, crab traps, fishing, boats, canoe / kayak rentals and a couple beautiful hiking trails perfect for little legs.

 

Blackie Spit (At Crescent Beach)

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A resting place for migrating birds, with a path along the beach and a few trails it is a great place for a walk.  Exploring the beach is also fun.  turn over a rock and watch the little crabs hide.  The sailing club often has many little boats out sailing and kayakers also frequently pass by.  There is a small pier, a picnic area and often someone flying a kite.  Sandy beaches are great for sand castles and when the tied it out a skim board is always fun.

 

Boundary Bay Regional Park

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This park is a little out of the way, however is definitely worth the drive.  The beach is beautiful, sandy with a very natural feel.  A wide and level path wanders through the grasslands, perfect for bird watching, or a walk with little ones.  When we were there a new building was about to open, with a concession, change rooms and washrooms (and a green roof!!).  The playground is huge and the boy loved it.  A great destination.

Buntzen Lake

Buntzen lake is a beautiful lake, great for picnics, canoeing, beach games and swimming.  A dock can be found near the west end of the beach, where the kids can see fish swimming around.  A trail runs around the lake making for a scenic hike.  As the kids get older you can take many hiking trails from Buntzen Lake up the mountains on each side.  I have done many of these trails, although not yet with the boys and the views are amazing.  There is also lots of wildlife around, I have seen deer and on more than one occasion Black Bears in the area.  This park is maintained by BC Hydro.

 

Cascade Falls

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Cascade Falls is a beautiful, with a short walk to get to it.  Also off the parking lot there are  a few picnic tables by the creek.  A fun spot if the kids are old enough you can relax with them by the moving water.

 

Chilliwack Lake

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This is a little bit of a drive, but well worth the effort.  The road in is along Chilliwack river, which is fun itself with many places to stop and watch the kayaks and rafts coming down the  river.  There are many camp spots along the way just off the road (not for my taste though).  Just before the lake you arrive at the lake you enter Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park.  The park has recently expanded to surround the lake, so no more camping off the gravel roads.  The Provincial park has a nice campsite, boat launch, playground and beach.   There are many hiking trails, although I have not yet had the chance to explore these.  A narrow gravel road takes you around the back of the lake, with more spots to explore, climb down to the lake, creeks, hiking trails and an old growth forest.

 

Cloverdale Bike Park

This is a great place for the kids to ride.  There are a couple small logs, ladders and dirt jumps.  The boys started riding here as soon as they lost the trailer wheels (even if this meant a run bike).

 

Crescent Beach

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Crescent beach quiet, with a more natural setting.  When the tide is out the sand goes for a long way.  This is a great place for a walk, or to spend playing in the sand.

 

Cypress Falls

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It s hard to believe a place this beautiful is just off the freeway in the city.  You park near a field and find a simple trail and almost immediately you start into a rainforest.  Quickly you can hear rushing water, and then approach the waterfall.  Just past the bridge and waterfall you find yourself in an old growth forest.  It is an easy trail, although we did not make it very far so i am not sure how it ends.  An amazing and quiet place in the city.

 

Deception Pass State Park (Washington State)

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Deception Pass State Park is across the Border, but still makes a great day trip, or camp overnight if you want more time there.  I usually jump off the freeway early and head for Chuckanut Drive, a beautiful road that winds along the ocean making for some great views.  The road has many pull outs, parks and arbutus trees (these trees where always a highlight as a child).  As you approach deception pass you will cross a bridge over to Whidbey Island.  This is a great chance to get out and walk onto the bride.  It is a great spot for pictures and as the tied changes the water rushing through the pass is a great sight.  The south side is the park with great beaches, swimming lake, tidal pools and great hiking trails.  If this isn’t enough you can explore the rest of the island and the other parks.

 

Derby Reach Regional Park

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This park has a few parking lots to stop at different spots along the river.  A trail connects them.  One parking lot is located by a farm house, another by a camp ground.  A nice enough park, although I usually see it from the road as I ride through on my way to Fort Langley.

 

English Bay

Sailing in the water, cycling, or walking the sea wall this is a great place.  Sandy beaches, lots of people, and lots of sea wall in either direction.

 

Garry Point (Steveston)

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On quieter days it is a great place for kids to ride there bikes.  As the weather gets warmer we usually walk the paths.  Often there are many kites here.  You can get fish and chips, walk the dykes or head into Steveston from here.

 

Golden Ears Bridge

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With Bike paths to it (almost complete on the south side), over it and a large network of trails perfect for family riding on the North side this is a good family cycling spot.  You can walk these trails as well.

 

Golden Ears Provincial Park

A large (and cold) lake for power boating, canoeing, swimming or a picnic it is a great destination.  As you move further into the park there is camping, hiking and backpacking.  It is in a damp valley, so it c an get cold, but this also gives this park it’s beautiful rainforests.  Mountains and waterfalls can also be found here.

 

Kitsilano Seawall

Very wide, a great place to walk or take a leisurely bike ride.  If you head towards the Maritime museum you can see a large Submaring, a Viking ship and kites.  If you head the other way there is lots of boats, beautiful views of the ocean, playgrounds and many other sights.  This is always a popular choice with the boys.

 

Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver

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This is my favorite place around Vancouver, with beautiful views, rock climbing, huge trees, an arbutus forest and a lighthouse there are so many reasons to make the trek out to this park.

Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge

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This is a favourite spot of mine.  A suspension bridge, a creek squeezed through a gorge creating waterfalls, beautiful forest.  If you follow the water down stream you can get right to the water where it flattens out.  If you head up stream the trails lead to the Seymour demonstration forest.

 

Mud Bay Park

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This is a nice quiet and long trail along the beach.  I ti great for bird watching.  We usually take the bikes here, so we can make it further, although we have yet to ride to the end.  At first this trail is close to the freeway, however over time it gets further away, until it is a quiet, one side is the ocean, the other is farmland.

Redwood Park

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A trip to Redwood has trails, forests, tree house, fairy doors, picnic area and a playground.  All around great place to get the kids outdoors and let them find their own adventure.

 

Ross Lake

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Had great trips here, no bugs and lots of water, then others where the bugs were to bad to get out of the car.  It is a great spot, just under an hour down a gravel road from Hope.  It has hiking trails, camping, canoeing, boating, a field and a playground.  Most of the lake is in the US (if you cross the border here camping is free at the US sites), just the tip is in Canada.

 

Seymour Ski Area

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In the summer there are beautiful hiking trails, in the winter it is a great spot for skiing, snowboarding or snow shoeing.  One of the snow shoe trails is even free.  During the winter this does get very busy.

 

Lower Seymour Conservation Area

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This is a great place to take a hike through the forest, along Seymour river or around Rice Lake.  Along with all the hiking, there is also alot of cycling trails and a 10 km paved road .  A great place for the family to get outdoors among old growth forests.

Silver Lake Provincial Park

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About 20 minutes past Hope, it is a small Park, nice camp site and nice lake.  Have seen a Black Bear here, but never had any issues.  Had fun camping, walking the trail and canoeing.  From here you can drive down the road to Ross lake, or quickly get back to hope for supplies.

 

Steveston

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A small community feel in Richmond, it has a wharf you can walk on and see all the fishing boats selling there catch.  A path for walking and little shops to explore.  A cannery museum, many restaurants and coffee shops to relax at.  From here you can walk to a few parks, or the dykes to extend your walk.

 

Tynehead Park

The older part of this park is in the forest, following streams through the park.  There is a fish hatchery and on occasion I have seen some smaller animals.  When I was younger I used to regularly run these trails.  The newer area is paved, with few trees is more open.  We like to take the boys here to ride there bikes.  The loop is just shy of 5 km, bt does have a good sized hill for there little bikes.

 

West Side of Harrison

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Exploring up the forestry roads here brings you to small lakes, rivers, a fish hatchery, great views, many forestry camp-sites and access to Harrison lake.

 

Widgeon Creek

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This is a great place to go canoeing, with lots of wildlife, different places to explore with your canoe and camping if you wish to stay longer.  You launch at Pitt lake, but cross the river instead of heading up the lake

 

 

4 comments


  1. A really helpful list. Although we live a very long way away, we love Vancouver and will use this list on our next visit.

  2. What a great resource of information you have here! I’ll have to re-visit the next time we plan a trip north. It’s always nice to get a good review of places we plan to visit.

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