Time: 3.5 hours
Round-Trip Distance: 8 km
Elevation Gain: 110m
Distance from Vancouver by car: 1 hour
Accessible by Public Transit? Yes
I really enjoyed this moderate trail circling Buntzen Lake. I enjoyed that it was a loop, so we did not have to retrace our steps. You can start from either the southern or the northern end of the lake.
Once we disappeared into the forest away from the recreation areas, it was really serene and peaceful. Some of the more notable stops along the way include these lookout points.
An interesting note is that the entire area is second-generation growth and created for the purpose of producing electricity for the city of Vancouver. The Buntzen Lake hydroelectric project was developed in 1903 and was the first hydroelectric generator to provide electricity to Vancouver. Through the years, BC Hydro has maintained the network of trails throughout the area. You can see the power lines while walking on some parts of the trail.
I saw many dogs along the way - I guess this is a dog-friendly trail. We were lucky enough to meet some horses all the way from Langley on this trail!
I loved this lookout point near the end of the trail atop some rocks. I just sat there drinking in the view - it was so quiet that you could only hear nature's music.
There was also a really nice suspension bridge near the end.
The views at North Beach were worth the relatively long trail. This is also a perfect spot to have a barbeque or picnic.
Overall, this hike is the perfect relaxing half-day trail relatively near Vancouver with great scenery and family-friendly activities. At the same time, you will still feel like you're getting in a good workout due to the distance and variation in elevation.
Till the next hiking adventure!