Port Moody, Vancouver
Buntzen Lake is a man made reservoir for the purpose of hydro-electricity. As it is near communities, a lot of efforts have been made to make it a recreationnal environment. You can canoe, hike, bike, have a pik nik, swim, or lay on the beach if you want... The choice is up to you.
This is a moderate 5-hour+ hike with beautiful views. On a hot summer day, you can also take a dip in the lake.
You should wear good hiking boots for this hike.
The hike is in Buntzen Lake (Port Moody), an hour's drive from downtown Vancouver. There is only one bus that goes there doing only 3 runs a day from New Westminster, so it is best to drive out there. Go to the end of the road, there are some parking there and more to your right in the lake's direction. Park near the end of the road because the start of the trail is right there. The trail is very well marked.
The photo here is the view from the first vista.
If you happen to be in Vancouver on a rare, sunny, warm day... you must visit White Pine Beach. It's a medium sized, very clean lake called Lake Sasamat, located in Port Moody (about 45 mins from downtown van) with some nice trails in the surrounding forest. This is my favourite place to be if I have to be stuck in Vancouver. The water is just so clean! There are a lot of kids there (eeeww, i know) but they won't bother you. There's also some pretty good people watching, but not that good because come on, this is vancouver. bring your own food, a big beach blanket and an air mattress and it's aaalll good, baby!
Once you are on the trail, enjoy the views of Indian Arm. You are going in a loop so you won't be re-tracing your steps. You can see Deep Cove and Jug Island from this picture, which was taken at the fourth or fifth view point.
Another view of Indian arm is shown in this picture.
On the last stretch you will reach a beach by the lake. This is quieter than the beach at the start of the trail because you can't get to this beach by car. Take a dip, but be forewarned that the water is very cold.
After your swim, you can either continue on the trail or take the road. You are now only be about half an hour away from your starting point.
Beyond Buntzen Lake there is a dam you can see and maybe a glimpse of Indian Arm. Lots of greens and perhaps a bald eagle or 2 looking for fish...