6 Things to Do at Burnaby Lake Regional Park

Trail at Burnaby Lake Regional Park

Photo: Burnaby Lake Regional Park

A visit to Burnaby Lake Regional Park is a great way to escape to nature without leaving the city. The large park protects a lake, wetlands, and forest and is home to lots of fish, birds, and mammals. Humans will enjoy hiking, wildlife watching, nature programs, and lots more. Use this guide to help you plan your trip to Burnaby Lake Regional Park.

How to Get to Burnaby Lake Regional Park

There are three main entrances to Burnaby Lake Regional Park: on Avalon Avenue, Piper Avenue, and at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex on Sperling Avenue. You can also reach the park on public transit. Take the Millenium Line Skytrain to Lake City Way or Production Way Stations and walk into the park. Or take the 110 or 101 bus.

 

Tips for Visiting

  • Use the park map to find your way around.
  • Dogs must be on leash in the park. Dogs are prohibited at Piper Spit.
  • Smoking, vaping, cannabis, drones, alcohol, campfires, and collecting plants are not allowed.
  • There are toilets at most parking lots in the park.
  • Be safe in the park. AdventureSmart recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.

 

Hike Around the Lake

The wetlands around Burnaby Lake are a great place to experience a peat bog ecosystem without leaving the city. Along the southern part of the lake, you’ll find many sections of boardwalk that take you over wet areas. But pay attention to the sections of path between the boardwalks. Some traverse sections of peat bog that can feel bouncy or springy underfoot! The 10-kilometre-long loop takes about 3 hours to walk.

Burnaby Lake

Photo: Jiyoung_Kim_photo/Pixabay

 

Check out the Accessible Trails

Many of the trails at Burnaby Lake Regional Park are accessible. These flat hikes are great for wheelchair-users, people who use mobility aids, or child strollers. Park at the Piper Spit entrance to enjoy the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. The 2.6-km-long Cottonwood Trail starts here too. It has minimal slopes and a semi-firm surface. The Brunette Headwaters Trail, Avalon Trail, Conifer Loop, and Spruce Loop rails are also somewhat accessible with minimal grade changes and no stairs, but they may have loose gravel.

 

Try Geocaching

Geocaching is a hobby where you use a GPS device or a phone app to find a treasure hidden at specific GPS coordinates. There are secret caches of small treasures (called geocaches) across the globe, including lots in Burnaby Lake Regional Park! Read our guide to geocaching to find out how to try this family-friendly activity.

 

Watch for Wildlife

Burnaby Lake is a great place to spot wildlife. Watch for herons stalking along the shoreline, ducks bobbing in the reeds, and songbirds flitting from bush to bush. Time your visit for dawn or dusk for the best chance to see beavers paddling across the lake or gnawing on branches. On sunny days, watch for endangered western painted turtles basking on rocks. Don’t be alarmed if you spot numbers written on their backs – these turtles are part of a study organized by the Coastal Painted Turtle Project.

bird watching at Burnaby Lake

Photo: Burnaby Lake Regional Park

 

Go Trail Running

Did you know you can trail run in the heart of Vancouver’s suburbs? The 10 km loop around Burnaby Lake makes a great trail run. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife along the way. Don’t skip the spur trail to Piper Spit. It leads to a tower you can climb for great views. Keep on track by packing a copy of the park map.

 

Sign Up for a Nature Program

Metro Vancouver Parks runs nature programs for kids and adults throughout the year. Visit their website for listings. This fall, you can participate in the Piper Spit Bird Count, a citizen science initiative that aims to track the local bird population. Or learn about one of Vancouver’s most ubiquitous birds at The Nature of Crows in November.

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