The largest lake in the Lower Mainland, Burnaby Lake has a rich ecology and is home to many species including ducks, geese, beavers, and much more. The lake also has a 10km hiking path that loops around the entire park area.
Burnaby Lake has several access points, however we will start near the sports field where there is plenty of parking and easy access to Skytrain. From the parking lot, walk towards the Rugby Club building, pass it, and continuing along a small path on the grass field parallel to the road. When you reach the row of trees at the end of the grass field, go left onto the gravel road. Watch for a trail on the right that crosses a ditch and go right, following it towards the rowing pavilion.
A short walk along the trail brings you to another parking lot. The trail continues straight ahead on the other side, however, a short detour to the left brings you to the rowing pavilion. The rowing pavilion has a rich history of hosting events, including the 1973 Canada Summer Games Event that was held in Burnaby and New Westminster. Due to the vegetation that has grown in the lake, large rowing events no longer take place here.
Back on the gravel trail, continue a short distance to a junction and go left. The trail crosses a bridge and continues offering several views of the lake with the North Shore mountains in the background. The Wildlife Rescue Association, an organization that rehabilitates injured wildlife, is located nearby.
The trail continues along the south side of the lake and eventually onto a series of boardwalks that cross a swampy area. A short distance along the gravel trail after the boardwalks brings you to a horse trail. Go left onto the wide horse trail and follow it north until a trail appears on the left just before a gravel parking lot. This is where the Burnaby Equestrian Centre is located. Go left onto the gravel trail and around the parking lot towards a grassy clearing and a dam. Cross the dam to the other side of the Brunette River and go left. Before the trail veers to the right, a bench offers a nice resting point with a view towards the lake.
Continue your hike along the trail as you now walk along the north side of Burnaby Lake. A few junctions offer loops along side trails; ignore these and stay on the main trail. Eventually, you reach a small wooden bridge and the nature house. Go left and walk out onto Piper's Spit to admire all the ducks and geese that live in the area. This is not only a great place for scenic views of the lake but also for bird watching and nature photography enthusiasts to come to. Walk back to the main trail and a few steps further is another short side route. This one leads to a wooden viewing tower that offers great overhead views of the lake from the east to the west.
Walk back to the main trail and continue as it winds along the north side of the lake before reaching a long stretch that runs parallel to the train tracks. At the end of this stretch, the trail veers sharply to the left and arrives at a wooden bridge crossing Still Creek. Depending on the time of day, beavers can sometimes be spotted swimming through the calm waters or foraging along the grassy shore.
After crossing the bridge, keep to the right and a few steps further brings you to the parking lot where you began. To return to the Skytrain, walk to the road, go right, and follow it to the other side of the train tracks.
How to get to Burnaby Lake
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 30 minutes
Burnaby Lake is located east of Vancouver on the edge of Highway #1 and near Lougheed Hwy. The park has several parking areas to start your walk however, for the purpose of this description the walk begins from the large parking lots by the sports fields on the west side of the lake.
From Vancouver, take Highway #1 eastbound to Exit #32, Sprott Street. At the lights, turn left to cross over the highway overpass and stay in the right lane. At the traffic lights at Kensington Avenue go straight and turn left at the stop sign. Immediately turn right into the parking lot by the sports fields. The trail starts along the edge of the sports fields beyond the Rugby Club.
View a map of Driving directions to Burnaby Lake.
Transit Access to Burnaby Lake
Burnaby Lake is also easily accessible by public transit as the Skytrain stops at the Sperling-Burnaby Lake Station along the Millennium Line. From the station, it's a short walk across the train tracks and along an old road which brings you to the sports fields on the west side of the lake.
Dogs at Burnaby Lake
Dogs must be on a leash at all times in Burnaby Lake Park. Please pick up after your dog and dispose of all waste in designated garbage bins around the park.
Toilets at Burnaby Lake
Washrooms are located at the sports field area on the west side of the lake, at the end of Glencarin Road on the south side, near the Brunette River Dam crossing on the east side, and at the Nature House on the north side.
Metro Vancouver Video
Other trails located in the Vancouver City region: