Coquitlam is one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in British Columbia, filled with expansive parks and inviting family communities, with a bustling city centre. Among its many appealing neighbourhoods, Burke Mountain stands tall as a vibrant community – and an exciting destination for visitors and residents alike.
From the expansive soccer fields and large playground of Victoria Park, to the off-leash dog area in Leigh Park, there are plenty of places for picnics and fun. But venture just a little further into Burke Mountain, and you just might stumble upon some of the neighbourhood’s best-kept secrets. Here are a few of our favourite “locals only” gems of Burke Mountain.
Never mind the North Shore! There’s plenty of great all-mountain and downhill mountain biking to be had right here on Burke Mountain, for riders of all levels. Whether you’re on a cruiser or a fat-tire downhill bike, the variety of trails and difficulty levels will be sure to test your skills.
Hiking and walking trails meander through the residential community of Burke Mountain and up along the Coquitlam River for what seems like an endless network of trails. A number of amazing local hikes begin right from Burke Mountain, while other spectacular hikes start just around the corner (like the Munro and Dennett Lakes hike).
Here are a few of our local favourites.
Crystal Falls Trailhead
7 km | APPROX. 2 hrs | Easy
A well-maintained, easy hike along the beautiful Upper Coquitlam River leading up to a scenic waterfall. Great for dogs, kids, and families. Watch for spawning salmon, and keep your eyes peeled for bears! There are lots of small streams along the way, so be sure to wear shoes you don’t mind getting mucky!
The trailhead is a bit of a neighbourhood secret. It’s unmarked – but easy to find. Just head to the top of Shaughnessy Street to Karley Crescent, and you can’t miss it. It’s about an hour’s easy hike along the river and through mossy forest to reach the waterfall, where you could stop for a snack or a picnic before returning along the same route.
Woodland Walk Trailhead
8 km | APPROX. 3 hrs | Easy
Where Harper Road meets Conifer Drive, you’ll find the unmarked entrance to the Woodland Walk hike, leading to Woodland Falls. Look for the metal gate across the access road – and you’re in the right place!
This scenic trail winds up through Pinecone Burke Provincial Park to Woodland Falls, or further to the even more scenic Sawblade Falls. However, there are a few detours along the way, and not all the trails are well marked.
Get ready for an adventure! Here’s the route you need to follow:
From the metal gate on Harper Road, go LEFT onto the trail (do not go up the gravel road).
After 10 minutes, the trail hits a gravel forestry road. Go LEFT onto the trail that leads back into the forest, away from the road.
After 10 minutes, the trail opens onto a clearing beneath the power lines.
Go LEFT, following the gravel road under the power lines.
Cross the bridge over Prichard Creek.
Turn RIGHT onto the Woodland Walk Upper Loop – you will see a trail marker.
Follow the trail through the forest.
At the first junction, go STRAIGHT to stay on Woodland Walk Upper Loop.
At the second junction, go LEFT onto a short connector trail that takes you to Lower Loop.
When you reach the creek, walk down the narrow trail toward the water. This will bring you to Woodland Falls.
To continue on to Sawblade Falls:
Walk back to the main trail and look for a trail parallel to the creek that goes sharply uphill.
Follow the switchbacks, go through the rocky clearing, and back into the forest.
At the junction, veer left to stay close to the creek. This trail will take you to Sawblade Falls.
Also be aware that if you hear the sounds of hunting, you don’t have to duck! The Port Coquitlam Hunting and Fishing Club is nearby, and the sounds are from the range. No need to wear your orange vest!
Minnekhada Regional Park
6.5 km | APPROX. 2.5 hrs | Easy
This stunning hike doesn’t originate directly from Burke Mountain, but it is right next door. Starting from the Quarry Road parking lot, you could easily extend it to a 10 km journey out to historic Minnekhada Lodge. Here’s the route for the shorter High Knoll hike:
Walk about 100 metres down the trail from the Quarry Road parking lot.
Go LEFT toward High Knoll/Low Knoll
Go RIGHT along the Meadow Trail (you may also go left here, as both trails will take you to the marsh).
After about 10 minutes, go LEFT toward High Knoll.
Follow the trail down to the scenic marsh and look for birds, beavers, ducks and frogs. You can also walk across the dyke dividing the marsh-land. You might even spot a bear!
Follow the same route back to the parking lot.