Trout Lake & John Hendry Park: All You Need to Know

Beach at Trout Lake Vancouver
••• Sunbathing on the beach at Trout Lake. Photo by Dana Lynch

Trout Lake & John Hendry Park 

Discover East Vancouver's favorite family-friendly spot for swimming, strolling and enjoying the sunshine. A neighborhood park with a kid-friendly vibe, 27-hectare John Hendry Park is one of the most popular outdoor spots in East Van.

Situated just south of the bustling shops and restaurants of Commercial Drive, the park boasts gorgeous mountain views, the tranquil Trout Lake near Burnaby — with its miniature beach — jogging trails, a well-used off-leash dog area, and practically every kind of sports amenity imaginable, from tennis and soccer to baseball and basketball.

On sunny days — or any day that isn't raining — you'll find loads of young families at the park, taking advantage of the smooth dirt trails that circle Trout Lake (perfect for jogging and pushing strollers) and the two playgrounds (complete with baby-swings), as well as a large number of dog-lovers out to treat their pets to a good run and swim.  

Hot days bring families to the lake, looking for somewhere for little ones to cool down. Pooches also enjoy a dip on a warm day and there is a separate swimming area for four-legged friends. Picnic areas provide shady spots for an al fresco lunch and barbecues are permitted. 

The park is famous in Vancouver for playing host to the annual Illuminares Lantern Procession, when hundreds of glowing paper lanterns are set free at Trout Lake. It's also often the location for the climax of the Halloween-season Parade of Lost Souls, which brings an arty atmosphere to the park when it's transformed into a theatrical space of performance art for the evening. 

Getting to Trout Lake & John Hendry Park

Despite its natural surroundings, the park is easy to get to from urban Vancouver. The main entrance to the park is located at 3300 Victoria Drive and E 15th Avenue. There's a large, free parking lot at that entrance, making it easy for drivers to find a space to park.

You don't have to have access to a car to get here though. You can avoid driving by taking the bus or using SkyTrain; the park is just a short walk from the Broadway Station SkyTrain at E Broadway and Commercial Drive.

Cyclists can reach the park easily via the Central Valley Greenway; a 15 mile (24 kilometer) route that winds from Science World in False Creek all the way to Burnaby and New Westminster, via Trout Lake. 

John Hendry Park History

Where does the name come from? This park was once the site of Vancouver's first lumber mill, co-owned by lumber industrialist John Hendry. In 1926, Hendry's daughter donated the land to the Vancouver Park Board on the condition that the new park would be named after her father. Despite the stipulation that it not be called Trout Lake Park — and it definitely isn't called that by the Park Board — locals still largely refer to the area as, simply, Trout Lake.  

Trout Lake & John Hendry Park Features

  • Trout Lake Beach
  • Trout Lake Community Centre
  • Off-leash dog areas
  • Jogging trails
  • Field house
  • Basketball court
  • Tennis courts
  • Baseball diamonds
  • Playgrounds
  • Ice rink
  • Picnic sites
  • Rugby & soccer fields

 

Making the Most of Your Visit

A true neighbourhood park, most of the visitors to John Hendry and Trout Lake are regulars and are locals who live nearby and routinely enjoy the park's many amenities.

For those coming from farther away, you'll get the most out of your visit in the warm summer months. During the sunnier season, you can spend a Saturday shopping the small-but-friendly Trout Lake Farmers' Market (Saturdays only, May - October), enjoying crystal-clear mountain views, and letting the kids and dogs run free. 

Fall is another beautiful time of year to visit when the leaves are changing color and the weather is still crisp and sunny. It might be a little chilly for swimming but with walking trails, a scenic lake and a stunning mountain backdrop, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the cooler months too. 

Winter is the ideal time to see the snow-sprinkled mountains of the North Shore and check out the amenities of the Trout Lake Community Centre, which includes an ice rink. Wrap up warm and make the most of John Hendry Park like the locals do.