Trail: Rolley Lake
Date completed: Early June
Distance: Approximately 5 km
Location: Mission, BC
Distance from Vancouver: Approximately 1 hour
Directions: Click here for Google maps
Ages of Children: 5
Stroller friendly: Yes
Dog friendly: Yes
Cell Service: Yes
Time to complete trail: 1 hour 15 minutes
Jellybean rating: 3
If you’re looking for a warm lake, camping, a beautiful trail, and even a waterfall Rolley Lake is the perfect place for you!
Sometimes we head there with the kids to just enjoy a day at the beach, but sometimes we try out luck and head out for a little hike around the lake (but we always bring bathing suits, just in case).
When you get to Rolley Lake Provincial Park you can park for free in one of the two parking lots. There is an obvious turn off to go to the campground- don’t go down there. Keep going straight until you see the parking lot on your right hand side.
The trail at Rolley lake
When you get out of the car start walking toward the lake. Go to the left on the trail. As you go you’ll find yourself passing a dog beach area on your right and then on your left will be BATHROOMS! Keep going down this path until you reach the boardwalk.
The boardwalk spans quite a distance and certainly keeps our kids going. They love the idea of a long bridge and are excited to see what’s at the end of it!
The trail opens up to a beautiful forest. There’s actually a really beautiful spot that would make a great hang out place on a hot day. There’s shallow water and fun exploration opportunity! You’ll know the spot when you hit a bunch of roots on the trail.
Keep going around the bend and you’ll continue on the trail.
There are a couple of little bridges along the way to keep your kiddo motivated. The roots on the trail also provided some great entertainment and discussion. Why are they like that? Are there shapes in the roots?
As you reach the far end of the lake you’ll notice some fun things on the trees. I usually give my kids a bit of time to do some wandering in the forest here. There are some neato things on the trees and they normally come up with some kind of story about what they find.
Once you encourage your kids to keep walking you’ll begin heading towards another bridge. Once you cross this bridge you’re going to take a right to get back to the parking lot, or a left to reach the waterfall. Now, we haven’t been to the waterfall yet, but we do know that’s the way. The trail will lead you to the campground where there are signs for the waterfall.
Full disclosure: the trail from here to the parking lot seems to take forever. It’s straight, the terrain smoothes out, and you’re walking right along the lake that the kids would rather be in than walking by.
Ways to motive your kiddo to keep going
-Come up with some stories about the things you’ve seen along the trail
-Talk about the food you’ll enjoy at the picnic you can have at the lake after you’ve completed the trail
-Perhaps give them a little snack at the opening by the water for a boost of energy
-Play “21 Questions” or “I-spy”
Nearing the end of the trail you’ll reach a fork. Both trails lead to the exact same place, but it’s a good opportunity to give your kiddos control. (P.S. On the upper trail there is an outhouse.)
There’s one more little bridge before you’re all done, and then YOU’RE AT THE LAKE! Congratulate your kids and yourself for a job well done and go get in that lake!
Jellybean Rating Summary for Rolley Lake
The trail at Rolley Lake offers a lot for kids to see and do, but just like most trails that go around a lake the kids tend to lose interest in hiking when they’re tempted to swim instead. If you can make a day of it with promises of a swim after the hike that’s definitely your best bet! The overall score for Rolley Lake was a 2.6, but because of the long stretch at the end (which you could do the trail opposite of how it’s described here to put that long stretch out of your way early on) I gave it a 3. It’s a beautiful trail and I highly recommend taking the time to check it out!!