One question: If you don’t take pictures of your summer adventures, did they ever really happen?
The only problem is that you don’t know where to go to take these pictures, and you can’t afford a vacation. But if you’re willing to get creative in our own beautiful British Columbian backyard, you’ll be surprised by what you find. Especially in the regional parks of Metro Vancouver.
But what makes exploring these areas even more thrilling this summer is that there’s an extra incentive for visiting them. Metro Vancouver is celebrating 50 years of regional parks and is offering a passport to all Vancouverites. You can download the MV Passport app online and collect stamps when you visit 18 participating regional parks — stamps you can turn into rewards and even prizes. So, it’s a win-win situation that’s worth you and your friends ‘gramming about.
To help you find the hottest regional parks in Metro Vancouver, we’ve compiled a list of Instagram-worthy regional parks that you can visit in Metro Vancouver.
Located in Richmond, this picturesque regional park isn’t your average green space. Rather, it’s where the Fraser River meets the sea, so it boasts a beautiful long beach. Visit this location any day of the week and relax as the sun sets. You might even catch a glimpse of some wildlife while you’re there.
A true wilderness haven, Lynn Headwaters Regional Park features both rugged backcountry routes that require the right experience, equipment and level of fitness, and front country trails that offer options for those looking for shorter day-hikes. Walking through dense forest means you’ll have plenty of Instagram opportunities. But remember to hike smart when you hit any of the trails including the Lynn Loop because there are steep slopes and fast-running creeks abound.
And since you’ll want to visit several regional parks this summer, you can get a Metro Vancouver passport and collect stamps to earn rewards and prizes just by visiting the parks.
It’s camping season and Langley is perfect for just that. There are 38 unserviced camping sites available at Derby Reach Regional Park and it’s open right through until October. So simply pick the days you want to go, arrive early, pitch your tent, and get exploring on the Edge Trail. You’ll see some stunning Fraser River vistas before you return back to camp for an epic sunset.
Spend the weekend away on Bowen Island and visit this epic regional park while you’re there. You can even go freshwater angling in the Killarney Lake if you have your license. Additionally, there are more than five stunning hiking trails that you can explore if you ever grow tired of the water.
When you arrive at the edge of the Capilano River, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to the other side of the world. The lush coastal rainforest is filled with towering red cedar trees and Douglas Fir trees that you can smell as you walk the many trails. While you’re there you’ll want to get a snap of the gushing waterfall in the second canyon. Epic.
Immerse yourself in nature at this Burnaby regional park as you’re surrounded by ducks, fish, songbirds, and more. Green grassy lands and a calm ambiance fill the park where you’ll find some of the most placid lake waters. If you try canoeing or kayaking here this summer, you certainly won’t regret it.
If horseback riding is your thing, then you need to visit Abbotsford’s Matsqui Trail Regional Park this summer. You’ll feel some rugged country vibes as you ride, taking in epic mountain vistas and farmlands with every turn. No matter which season it is, you’ll see something totally Instagrammable here – from sturgeon, to wildflowers, and even swans.
You get to experience the best of both worlds at Boundary Bay Regional Park: a sandy beach and stunning trails. It’s easy to take Instagram photos at a place like this when
you feel the sand between your toes and the light sea breeze rustling your hair. If you’re lucky you may even see some birds within the Pacific Flyway.
Stay on the west side of Vancouver and visit this regional park on the lands of UBC for some one-on-one time with nature. The Imperial Trail will take you across 1.8 kilometres and up a gradient increase of 20%, so it’s a good workout. When you have your smartphone with you at this regional park, the Metro Vancouver passport will automatically invite you to download a stamp. It’s actually that easy to collect them and get prizes like limited edition stickers, stamps, or a 50-year commemorative pin.
Coquitlam’s Colony Farm Regional Park has a brilliant stretch of cycling paths covering 6.5 kilometres. During your ride, you’ll get to take in picturesque views of the flora, river, fields, and mountains so it’s definitely a worthwhile cycle for the soul this summer.
Located in Belcarra and surrounded by rocky beaches, mountains, and forested trails, this regional park is the ultimate summer destination. Gather your friends or go solo and spend the day kayaking here as the sun shimmers on the water.
Maple Ridge is home to this all-star regional park paradise. It boasts a ton of different beautiful features, like its coastal rainforest with stone cliffs and cascading waterfalls. Come here to watch salmon swim by in the water in this truly picturesue habitat for wildlife.
Planning on having a picnic this summer? You’ll want to lay your blanket down and set your basket up somewhere special. Deas Island Regional Park is a local favourite for outdoor dining. Here, you’ll catch views of the Fraser River, cottonwood trees, and wildlife including eagles, otters, and more.
This regional park located in Surrey has three kilometres of cycling paths that you can hit year-round. There are marshes and floodplain forests in the park so you might even see some critters as you peddle.
Spend a sunny weekend in Langley at this epic regional park and stay at the campground that’s open all year round. Yes, seriously. You can set up your camping essentials and bring your furry friend with you (it’s dog-friendly!). Hit the Tavistock Trail loop with Rover in the morning before coming back to relax on the site.
Visit Abbotsford for a walk along the sandy shores of Glen Valley Regional Park this summer. Here the Fraser River shows off trout, salmon, and many other fish. This is definitely the place to be if you’d like to salmon-watch (or people-watch) while taking in the scenery around you.
Now that you know about Metro Vancouver’s abundance of regional parks, all you need to do is plan your visits to one of the 18 that are participating in the passport program. It’s easy to earn rewards along the way since they’re offered for visiting five, 10, or 15 parks. Believe it or not, there are 14,500 hectares of forests, fields, rivers, and beaches to explore.
For more information about how a Metro Vancouver passport can make your summer even better, visit Metro Vancouver online. To get the latest updates check out Metro Vancouver regional parks on Facebook and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #MVRP50.