Friends of ours raved to me about Rice Lake before Anna invited us to join them on a hike out there for her daughter’s birthday. I’ve been surprised several times by how much “nature” there is in the big city of Vancouver and once again, Rice Lake was like that. Once we were off the highway, it was like we were in another world. The road was narrow with huge trees on either side and trails branching off in every direction.
We followed the road until we found a big, paved parking lot where we drove in circles until we recognized our friends. The trailhead has a large map beside it, along with two outhouses, making it easy to find and start the hike. There are several different options for where to hike around Rice Lake and the surrounding area; we had lots of kids with us, so we followed the loop around the lake.
It was a drizzly, rainy day, but we armed the kids with hats and umbrellas and decided to have fun anyway. Once we were in the trees, we didn’t even notice the rain. The trail was wide enough for the kids to walk hand-in-hand by twos and threes, but the rough gravel and roots made it difficult to push the strollers (I’d recommend a jogging stroller or baby carrier instead).
We caught various glimpses of Rice Lake through the trees as we hiked. By one bench with a viewpoint, we stopped to change a diaper and let all the kids have a snack. Then we continued around the trail to a little picnic shelter where we had lunch. There was also a bridge out across the lake that the kids had fun running along and another dad and his son were fishing from.
Overall, Rice Lake was a lovely hike that was easy enough to do as a whole family but still interesting enough to keep the kids running ahead. It was fun to hike with friends and chat together while the kids played along the trail. I’d love to go back when it’s not raining and explore some of the other trails—but the tree cover makes this a great trail to hike rain or shine.
For more information about the trail, check out the Vancouver Trails website.
If you’re interested in this trail, or you’ve enjoyed it, you may also like these family-friendly hikes around greater Vancouver.