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Hikes with Kids: Hayward Lake Reservoir Trail

 peek through the trees looking at Hayward Lake 

A couple weekends ago, we planned a hike. We've got to be really intentional about getting it on the calendar. The work doesn't end there. There's lunches and water for four people, researching where to go and get directions, find car items for kids if we have quite a drive, and get out the door at a decent hour before most recreational parks get too busy. 

Stefan found Hayward Lake and said that it would be a walk around a lake. That sounded alright, since we hadn't been hiking hiking in over a month, but thankfully we talked to a very nice and engaging Parks worker cleaning the bathroom who told us, 'oh no, this is for the dog-walkers, if you want a hike, go to the Reservoir trail'. 

 Ani near the water taking a quick break with a power ball in her mouth!

I'm really glad we took her advice, though it took us two tries to find it, and we happened upon the BC Hydro Stave Falls visitor center which was HUGE and looked like something out of 1920s Gatsby-era and which I hope to go back to at some point for a field trip with the kids. I especially think Lukka would love to see how all those machines work!

The Parks worker told us that the hike on the other side of the lake (Reservoir trail E) ended up at a bridge, but unfortunately we found out they were taking that bridge out, which cut Lukka's motivation to hike nearly to zilch. Good thing he noticed those signs when we were half-way finished with our hike and just had to turn around, hike back, quickly see the falls, and be at the car.

Stave Falls near Hayward Lake in Mission, BC

Stave Falls is not small by any means. Any level of hiker could get to this point, but you can't get any closer. It's perhaps 1/2 mile from the parking lot, but the rest of the hike was lovely. We did 6 miles (10KM) and stopped for 20 minutes for lunch. The 6 miles and lunch took us just over 2 hours. There were a lot of gentle hills throughout but nothing too strenuous. In fact, Stefan was walking so quickly I and the kids had to jog at least one-third of the way to keep up, and it felt great, hills and all. 

The kids were exhausted (probably from running miles) when we got back to the car, but it was an excellent workout for all of us, because we hiked so quickly. There were some great views, a good challenge, and minimal whining (ahem).  We only went half-way on this trail, so the entire thing from parking lot to end is 20 km (12 miles). Have you done this one? What's your favorite hike in Mission? 


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