Where are Vancouver’s best parks and places for nature? The region has dozens of city, regional and provincial parks and beaches to choose from.
Vancouver Parks and Nature
Below are lists of the best parks and places for nature in the Lower Mainland (in alphabetical order):
Best Public City Parks
Some of the best city parks in the Lower Mainland are the following:
- Ambleside – a great park in West Vancouver with beaches, a walking path along the water and views of English Bay and the Lions Gate Bridge.
- Bear Creek Park – a popular park in Surrey with a miniature train for the kids, an outdoor pool and attractive gardens with a duck pond.
- Burnaby Mountain – a mountain with parkland overlooking the region.
- Central Park – a great park in Burnaby, and home to Swangard Stadium.
- Deer Lake Park – a popular city park in Burnaby with walking trails around the lake.
- John Hendry Park – a great Vancouver park in the summer that’s home to the weekly Trout Lake Farmers Market on Saturdays.
- Minoru Park – a nice city park in the heart of Richmond.
- Mundy Park – a 178-hectare forested park with extensive trails in Coquitlam.
- Queen Elizabeth Park – a beautiful park perched on the hill and home to the Bloedel Conservatory.
- Queen’s Park – a large city park in New Westminster with forested walking trails, sports facilities and a large children’s play area.
- Rocky Point Park – a great park on the waterfront in Port Moody with walking and cycling trails, a pier, outdoor pool and large children’s play area and water park.
- Stanley Park – this is the absolute best and most famous city park in the region, and one of the finest in the world. It has beaches, nature trails, a massive outdoor pool, world-class views and a seawall for walking and cycling around.
Best Regional and Provincial Parks
If you are looking for nature, you’ll find lots of it in the following regional and provincial parks, which are the Lower Mainland’s best.
- Alice Lake – for camping, canoeing or just walking around (located near Squamish, 45 minutes north of Vancouver).
- Baden Powell Trail – a fabulous hiking trail that passes through a number of North Shore parks and includes fabulous views from Quarry Rock near Deep Cove.
- Belcarra Regional Park – near Port Moody and home to beautiful Sasamat Lake.
- Boundary Bay Regional Park – a great park near Tsawwassen that’s also a famous bird sanctuary.
- Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park – a world famous park for bald eagles in the winter near Squamish.
- Buntzen Lake – a beautiful reservoir managed by BC Hydro that’s popular for hiking and swimming.
- Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park – a popular provincial park with lots of hiking trails in the Fraser Valley.
- Capilano River Regional Park – home of the Cleveland Dam, nature trails and source of much of the region’s fresh drinking water (North Vancouver).
- Cultus Lake – a popular park and campground in the Fraser Valley.
- Cypress Provincial Park – home of Cypress Mountain (the ski resort), but also amazing hiking trails in the summer.
- Golden Ears Provincial Park – location of beautiful Alouette Lake and a great place for summer camping in Maple Ridge.
- Lighthouse Park – a park in West Vancouver with a rugged coastline and views of Vancouver in the distance.
- Lynn Canyon Park – a world-class park in North Vancouver with hiking trails to Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and Rice Lake.
- Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – home to some of the North Shore’s best hiking trails.
- Mount Seymour – it’s a ski hill (and that part’s not free), but also a provincial park with free trails for snowshoeing in the winter and hiking in the summer.
- Pacific Spirit Regional Park – located in the UBC Endowment Lands, it has over 70 km of walking and hiking trails, not to mention clothing-optional Wreck Beach.
- Pitt Lake – the lake and region just north of Pitt Meadows has lots of great places for walking and cycling along the dykes.
- Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary – the best place to see birds in the Lower Mainland.
- Rice Lake – a beautiful lake to walk around and fish at in North Vancouver.
- Rolley Lake Provincial Park – a great place for summer camping in Mission.
- Shannon Falls – a park with a beautiful water fall 45 minutes north of Vancouver.
- Stanley Park – yes, this is a great city park (where you can stroll and feed the ducks and squirrels), but also a place where you can hike through the forest.
- Stawamus Chief – for hiking and mountain climbing (located in Squamish, 45 minutes from Vancouver).
- Whytecliff Park – a stunning place not far from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.
Vancouver’s Best Beaches
Check out Vancouver’s top beaches, including English Bay, Kitsilano and Ambleside.
Best Places for Hikes
Check out Vancouver’s Best Hiking Trails for information on great hiking areas in the region.
If you want to go for a hike (or paddle or back-country snowshoe trip) want a local guide to take you, and at an affordable price, then check out guiides.com. Guiides.com is a Vancouver-based company that matches adventure seekers with local guides.
Vancouver’s Top Gardens
The best gardens to visit in Metro Vancouver include the following:
- Bear Creek Park in Surrey.
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
- UBC Botanical Garden (including Nitobe Memorial Garden).
- Stanley Park.
- VanDusen Botanical Garden.
- Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Darts Hill Garden Park (in Surrey).
- Glades Garden (in Surrey).
Best Public Golf Courses
Check out Vancouver’s top golf courses for the list of the Lower Mainland’s best public golf courses.