Hayward Lake Paddle

  • Parking and launching: Hayward Lake Recreation Area
  • Launching type: sandy beach and concrete boat launch
  • Difficulty – easy, beginner friendly
  • Boat traffic – no motorized boats allowed
  • View – medium sized lake with tree stumps from flooded forest, views of mid-distance mountains, short canal exploration to Powerhouse
  • Facilities – free parking, drinking water fountain, washroom, picnic area, sandy beach, designated swimming area
  • Overall score – 7/10

Hayward Lake in Mission is not quite as busy as Buntzen Lake, but it’s similar in several regards. They are both managed by BC Hydro as reservoirs, both prohibit motorized boats, and both have a wealth of facilities and walking trails for people who don’t want to paddle. They are both medium sized lakes, with Hayward Lake being slightly larger.

Hayward Lake, looking north at the Recreation Area

One major difference is that the parking and launching beach at Hayward Lake is on the north side of the lake, so when the southerly afternoon thermal winds pick up, they help push paddlers back to their cars.

Although it’s not quite as busy as Bunzten Lake where a day pass reservation is required during the summer, Hayward Lake parking lot also often gets full on the weekends. We arrived at 11am on a warm October Sunday and found the parking lot 50% full.

The warm weather drew large hordes of beach goers and paddlers. There’s a marked off swimming area, but there’s a small sandy beach where paddlers can launch. Alternatively, there’s a concrete ramp if you want to keep your feet and board clean.

The sandy beaches (one of which is a designated dog beach) and grassy picnic areas provided plenty of space for families to spread out.

Dog beach

We came with our friends Tom and Alison, and their boys. We took turns paddling near the main beach for a while, ferrying the kids. I think I may have converted Alison to the magnificent sport of paddleboarding.

After a picnic lunch, we said bye to our friends and Big Bro and I went on an afternoon exploration. First we headed north into the small blind channel and ducked under a pedestrian bridge. Soon after, we reached the Powerhouse.

The sign read: Danger. Do not go under the building, so we turned around. Since the channel is a blind end, the water got pretty stagnant and nasty. As long as you don’t fall in though, it should be fine.

Big Bro announced that it was time for his nap, and proceeded to sleep through the remaining hour and a half of paddling.

I paddled south with a few kayakers and paddleboarders, and left the noise of the main beach behind. There’s a narrowing near the middle of the lake which created some visual intrigue. Otherwise, it was a fairly bland paddle. I got to the narrows and looked at a cluster of tree stumps from a flooded forest, and turned back for the day.

To circumnavigate Hayward Lake, it would be approximately 10km. Should be doable in 2.5 hours.

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One response to “Hayward Lake Paddle”

  1. […] Hayward Lake is a medium sized lake with great onshore amenities. Similar in size to Buntzen Lake but relatively less busy, the parking lot is still first-come-first-served even in the peak season. It’s also very close to Rolley Lake mentioned above, so chances are you won’t leave disappointed. Launching is from a concrete boat ramp. Only electric motors are allowed here. […]

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