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Take a closer look at Hayward Lake

Safety reminders

COVID-19 updates

We've implemented safety measures at our recreation sites and ask all visitors to:

  • Follow physical distancing requirements outlined by the Public Health Officer.
  • Bring hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes to practice safe hygiene.
  • Stay home if you're sick.




Just a short drive from Vancouver, you'll find Hayward Lake in Mission. Locals and visitors from other parts of the Lower Mainland love this spot for its sunny beach, hiking, and other activities. Stop by this summer to explore 29 km of loop trails, or to relax on stretches of developed beaches. Bring your family, including the dog.

Hayward Lake is part of the Stave River hydroelectric project. Bound between the Stave Lake Dam and the Ruskin Dam, the reservoir is one of three located along the river.  

Plan your trip to Hayward before you go. Find important notices about parking considerations, closure and more here.

Illustrated map of Hayward Lake location                    



What Hayward Lake has to offer




Beaches and swimming

Take a trip out on the water

It doesn't just provide power as a hydroelectric reservoir; Hayward Lake offers an array of outdoor activities. Settle in with a book or play in the sand on one of two beaches.

Choose your beach

We have two separate picnic areas to choose from and one is pet-friendly. Let your furry friend off-leash to interact with other dogs and play in the water along the beach. The open grass areas are a great spot to set up a game like bocce, or to lay out your picnic blanket for a lunch break. Pincic tables also scatter throughout the ground with water fountains nearby to keep you hydrated.

Swim the lake 

Take a dip in the lake to cool down during the hot summer weather. Note: there's no lifeguard on duty, so take care while exploring the lake and make sure everyone is equipped with proper safety gear.

Add to your day trip

If you have time, head to Mission and visit the amazing Westminster Abbey monastery or grab a cold one at Abbotsford's Old Abbey Ales.

                                                                       GIF of dock at Hayawrd Lake


Boating and fishing

If boating is on your list of activities to do this summer, Hayward is the perfect spot to bring your canoe, kayak or electric motor boat. Make use of our boat launch to manoeuvre your vessel into the lake. If you're looking for additional waters to explore, our Stave Lake recreation area is a five-minute drive up the road and offers docks and a newly renovated boat launch.

Anglers are also invited to try their luck at catching one of several fish species residing in the lake. Cast off from your boat or check out our dock conveniently located near the beaches and picnic area.



Hiking and biking


Explore the lakeviews and forest trails

            Hiking trail at Hayward Lake

Two trails circle the lake, offering leisurely hiking and water views. Both trails are rated as easy and make their way over fairly flat terrain. You'll come across features including a dam, beaches, viewpoints and a floating bridge on your 16-km journey around Hayward Lake. 

Follow the path of a historic railway

Railway Trail runs down the west side of Hayward Lake. The pathway of the trail once served as the railway connecting nearby Stave Lake Reservoir to the district of Mission. The flat and wide area makes for a fairly easy hike with a brief section of inclines and declines. Hikers and bikers can make their way down the 6-km trail all the way to the Ruskin Dam located at the south end of the lake before crossing over the dam to Reservoir Trail.

See the dam and waterfalls

On the opposite side of the lake, Reservoir Trail will take you on a 10-km walk through the forest. Follow the north end detour for views of Steelhead Falls and don't miss the canoe landing towards the south end to take a short break and enjoy views of the lake.


Stave River and B.C. history

A powerful past

Hayward Lake is a reservoir bound by the Ruskin Dam in the south and the Stave Falls Dam in the north. The lake is the result of Ruskin's construction completed back in 1929. We also constructed a dam on nearby Alouette Lake in 1928. Water from here feeds into the Stave Falls Powerhouse. Hayward Lake's name was chosen to honor the first production superintendent at Stave Falls Dam.

These three hydroelectric developments were instrumental in shaping the history and landscape of the Stave Valley. This power helped drive growth in the Lower Mainland from as early as 1909 when the construction of the Stave Falls Dam began.


Arichived image of Stave Falls powerhouse Image of Stave Falls powerhouse


Since then, an additional generator was installed in the Ruskin Powerhouse in 1950 to meet increased electrical demands. Power produced at the Ruskin Generating Station is still used to meet short term peak electrical demand in the area. In January 2000, we completed upgrades at the Stave Falls Dam and Powerhouse to increase the dam's efficiency while ensuring reliable service.

The Alouette-Stave-Ruskin generation system continues to be a source of hydroelectricity for the Lower Mainland today. Together, the three Powerhouses have a production capacity of 203.6 megawatts of electricity.



Hayward Lake in photos

Photo gallery of Hayward Lake

See our other visual guides