With a population of just 4.4 million residing on almost 1 million square kilometers of land, it's no surprise that much of British Columbia is comprised of wilderness - wilderness that sometimes comes in the form of parklands. From smaller city parks to massive nature reserves, BC's parks are a large part of what defines this province. Glaciers, coastline, high country, marshlands, rivers, forests… this province has a park for you. We've listed our favourites below. Let's go get some fresh air!
Even city-folk love the great outdoors, just in smaller, controllable doses. If you're in Victoria, downtown's 25 hectare Beacon Hill Park has been entertaining visitors and locals since 1882 with duck ponds, rose gardens rambling woodlands and a petting zoo as well as recreational facilities such as a wading pool, cricket pitch, baseball and soccer fields and a mini-golf course. Situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the Olympic Mountain views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca are nothing short of stunning.
Vancouver has three famous city parks. Stanley Park is 405 hectares of restaurants, pavilions, running trails and forests but by far is most famous for being home to the Stanley Park Zoo and the Vancouver Aquarium. In the summertime, this park is the centre for many activities including the Theatre Under the Stars, a live performance festival that showcases popular Broadway shows at the outdoor Malkin Bowl. Across town, Queen Elizabeth Park provides a more unique experience. This once stone quarry-turned sunken garden features an outdoor arboretum and an indoor floral conservatory and comes equipped with sports facilities for golf, tennis, lawn bowling and disc golf. The 90 hectare Pacific Spirit Regional Park on the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands provides 54 kilometers of forested trails ideal for those on foot, bike or horseback.
But some BC parks are entirely different, consisting of hundreds of uninhabited hectares with every kind of wildlife and vegetation imaginable. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the West Coast of Vancouver Island encompasses over 500 kilometers of land and adjoining ocean in what can only be described as the quintessential West Coast setting. Meanwhile inland, Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park provides over 100 square kilometers of undisturbed, remote interior wilderness.
You haven't been to BC until you've visited, camped in or hiked through one of the provinces amazing parks. Check out our great outdoors!