I received an email a while back from someone offering to cover Burnaby Lake Regional Park for the Park Series, which I gladly accepted. The following post is written by Mike from VancouverTrails.com.
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Home to such animals as Wood Ducks, Blue Herons, Beavers, Eagles, and Canadian Geese, Burnaby Lake is an important wildlife sanctuary and a great place for bird watchers and nature photographers to enjoy. There is 19km of hiking trails, 6km of horseback riding trails, soccer and rugby fields, and a rowing pavilion amongst other sports facilities around the lake area.
Metrics: The lake is 3.11 square kilometers and has a 10km walking trail that surrounds the entire lake.
How to Get There: Burnaby Lake is located in the center of Burnaby, on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway about about 30 minutes driving time east from downtown Vancouver. The park has several access points including the Sports Complex by the soccer fields on the west end, the Nature House located off of Winston Street on the north, and the parking lot off of Avalon Avenue near the Burnaby Equestrian Centre on the east side.
The park is also easily accessible by public transit as the Skytrain stops at the Sperling-Burnaby Lake station along the Millennium Line and a short walk across the train tracks brings you to the Sports Complex on the west side of the lake.
History: The lake was created 12,000 years ago by a glacier and more recently was used for logging operations as several saw mills were located along its shores during the late 1800’s. Today, the lake is an important wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 70 species of birds.
In 2008, the City of Burnaby and BC Government agreed to spend $20 million on dredging the lake so that it could be used again for rowing competitions. The funding was also to be used to improve the wildlife and fish habitat within the park.
Notes: My first experience going to Burnaby Lake was as a child, my parents took orphaned baby raccoons to the Wildlife Rescue Association on the south shore of the lake. Today, I jog the 10km path around the lake or just take an evening stroll along Piper’s Spit where beavers can often be spotted swimming from their lodge as the sun sets.
Read more from Mike over on VancouverTrails.com: “Vancouver Trails has a range of trails from easy to difficult, from half day to full day hikes, each divided amongst several regions and each with their own unique terrain.”