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Vancouver’s Best Parks and Nature

Deep Cove in Fall

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.


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Public City Parks | Regional Parks | Provincial Parks | Best Places for Hikes | Best Places for Camping | Vancouver’s Best Beaches | Vancouver’s Top Gardens | Best Public Golf Courses | Other Information


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 Metro Vancouver are listed below. This section includes municipally-managed parks in the City of Vancouver, Burnaby, the North Shore, the Tri-Cities, Surrey and elsewhere in the Lower Mainland. Further below, in a different section, is a list of regional and provincial parks.


WildPlay Element Park in Maple Ridge


Municipal Parks in the City of Vancouver

  • Ambleside – a picturesque park in West Vancouver with beaches, a walking path along the water and views of English Bay and Lions Gate Bridge.
  • Jericho Beach – a beautiful beach that also includes a park with fields and walking trails.
  • John Hendry Park – a great Vancouver park that’s home to the weekly Trout Lake Farmers Market on Saturdays in the summer.
  • Kitsilano – a popular park with a sandy beach, a massive outdoor swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, a children’s play area and grassy fields.
  • Queen Elizabeth Park – a beautiful park perched on the hill and home to the Bloedel Conservatory. Also has a pitch and putt golf course and a disc golf course.
  • 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.
  • Stanley Park Seawall – there are trails all through the park. The most famous walking and cycling route, however, is along the perimeter of the park. See our article about the Stanley Park Seawall for full details and a video about the famous Vancouver landmark/pathway.


Cates Park Waterfront in Snow
View of Burnaby Mountain from Cates Park


City Parks in Burnaby

  • Barnet Marine Park – a waterfront park at 8181 Barnet Road just off the Barnet Highway between Burnaby and Port Moody.
  • Burnaby Mountain – a mountain with parkland overlooking the region.
  • Central Park – a forested park in Burnaby that’s home to Swangard Stadium.
  • Deer Lake Park – a popular city park in Burnaby with walking trails around the lake. The park is also home to the Burnaby Village Museum, Burnaby Art Gallery and Shadbolt Centre for the Performing Arts.


City Parks in Maple Ridge

  • Maple Ridge Park – a city park with forested walking trails, children’s play areas, off-leash dog areas and a river.
  • Whonnock Lake – a small park with a lake, sandy beach, docks, picnic shelter and children’s play area.



City Parks on the North Shore

  • Cates Park – a waterfront park with grassy open spaces, a large children’s play area, beaches and walking trails through the forest in North Vancouver.
  • Cypress Falls Park – a park in West Vancouver with hiking trails and waterfalls in the forest.
  • Deep Cove – a pretty ocean-side village that’s home to Panorama Park and the Baden Powell Trail path to nearby Quarry Rock.
  • Inter River Park – a park on the North Shore with walking trails through the forest as well as soccer fields, a BMX bike park and off-leash dog areas.
  • 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. It’s a municipal park, but more similar in style to other regional parks.
  • Maplewood Flats – a conservation area run by the Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia in North Vancouver.
  • Whyte Lake Park – a very non-urban park with a hiking trail at the northern edge of West Vancouver.
  • Whytecliff Park – a stunning place not far from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.


City Parks in the Tri-Cities

  • Town Centre Park – an impressive park in Coquitlam with an outdoor stadium, skateboard park, children’s water park and Lafarge Lake.
  • Mundy Park – a 178-hectare forested park with extensive trails in Coquitlam.
  • Rocky Point Park – an exceptional 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.


Shoreline Trail in Port Moody
Shoreline Trail at Rocky Point Park


City Parks in Surrey


Municipal Parks Elsewhere in Metro Vancouver

  • Mill Lake Park – a popular urban park in central Abbotsford.
  • Minoru Park – a pleasant city park in the heart of Richmond.
  • Queen’s Park – a large city park in New Westminster with forested walking trails, sports facilities and a large children’s play area.


Capilano River Regional Park
Capilano River Regional Park


Best Regional Parks

If you are looking for nature, you’ll find lots of it in regional parks which are managed in most cases by Metro Vancouver. Included in this list are a couple of extra places (which are neither city nor provincial parks).


Minnekhada Regional Park
Minnekhada Regional Park


Other Similar Places

The following places aren’t regional parks in that they aren’t managed by Metro Vancouver. They are similar in style and appearance though, which is why we include them here.

  • Baden Powell Trail – a fabulous hiking trail that passes through a number of North Shore parks and includes spectacular views from Quarry Rock near Deep Cove.
  • Buntzen Lake – a beautiful reservoir managed by BC Hydro that’s popular for hiking and swimming. (It’s not actually a regional park, managed by Metro Vancouver, but it’s like a regional park.)
  • Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve – a good place for leisurely walks and bird watching on the Vedder River in Chilliwack.
  • Pitt Lake – the lake and region just north of Pitt Meadows offers great places for walking and cycling along the dykes.
  • Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary – arguably the best place to see birds in the Lower Mainland.
  • Rice Lake – a beautiful lake to walk around and fish at in North Vancouver.


Reifel Bird Sanctuary
Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta


Best Provincial Parks

Provincial parks are amazing places for hiking, swimming and camping.


Entrance Bay Dock at Cultus Lake
Entrance Bay at Cultus Lake



People and Geese at Alice Lake
Alice Lake Near Squamish


Best Places for Hikes

Check out Vancouver’s Best Hiking Trails for information on great hiking areas in the region.


Best Places for Camping

For a list of the region’s best campgrounds see our article about Camping in and Around Vancouver. Top places to go camping include provincial parks at Alice Lake, Cultus Lake, Golden Ears, Porteau Cove, Rolley Lake and Sasquatch Lake.


Vancouver’s Best Beaches

Check out Vancouver’s Top Beaches including English Bay, Kitsilano, Crescent Beach, White Rock, Ambleside, Alouette Lake, White Pine Beach and others.


Alouette Lake Beach
Alouette Lake Beach


Vancouver’s Top Gardens

The best gardens to visit in Metro Vancouver include the following:

  • Bear Creek Park – a public garden in Surrey that’s usually open throughout the year with paved trails, small bridges and all sorts of plants.
  • Darts Hill Garden Park – located in Surrey and only open to the public on select dates, this garden offers forested paths with plants from around the world.
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Garden – one of the best city gardens in the world is located in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
  • Glades Garden – sometimes open to the public, this park features rare plants and fine trees in Surrey.
  • Queen Elizabeth Park – located at the highest point in Vancouver, the gardens here feature great views and flowers. There are also exotic plants at the Bloedel Conservatory.
  • Stanley Park – there are multiple public gardens to admire at one of Vancouver’s top attractions.
  • UBC Botanical Garden (including Nitobe Memorial Garden) – a park-like attraction with forested paths, a Japanese garden, aerial trails and more.
  • VanDusen Botanical Garden – owned by the City of Vancouver, this garden includes trees and lakes, as well as plants from across the globe.


Autumn at VanDusen Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden


Best Public Golf Courses

Some of the best golf courses in Vancouver are as follows:

  • Morgan Creek Golf – located in Surrey, this course is well-maintained and open throughout the year with good drainage.
  • Northlands – a beautiful but hilly par 71 course located beside a mountain in North Vancouver.
  • Redwoods – a par 71 course away from the city in Langley, featuring tall trees and views of coastal mountains.
  • University Golf Club – a traditional course in Vancouver’s University Endowment Lands featuring narrow fairways surrounded by trees.

Check out Vancouver’s Top Golf Courses for a longer list of the Lower Mainland’s best public golf courses.


Other Information

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: