Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
Beacon Hill Park is Victoria’s largest and oldest urban park, covering 185 acres of relatively wild Garry Oak Meadows and neatly manicured flower beds. This park is very relaxing with lovely gardens, many ponds with ducks and birds, an aviary, safe paths and many benches to sit and relax.
For the sports enthusiasts there are cricket fields and tennis courts. Guests with us are fortunate this park is only two blocks away. Children especially enjoy the park, as Beacon Hill has an animal farm and petting zoo as well as several playgrounds. The south side of the park borders on the Pacific Ocean.
The park also marks Mile 0, which is one end of the 4,849 mile Trans-Canada Highway, the longest national highway in the world. The highway ends (or begins) in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
These lakes are actually joined at the north end of Beaver Lake, the smaller of the two lakes. Beaver lake is a popular family swimming lake during the summer. There is a playground and concession stand.
A level 9 km trail circles both lakes. Elk Lake is the training area for Canada’s Olympic Rowing team as well as host to several competitions each year for the local schools. Elk Lake has a boat rental and is stocked with fish each year.
This 59 hectare park is a great spot for walking along the beach and possibly seeing some whales from shore. Other wildlife you may see will be otters, seals and Bald Eagles. For directions to the park see Guest Services or follow road signs to Sooke, continue on West Coast Road for about 15 km, the park is on the left.
During the gold rush, there were rumors that there was gold in the river on the north side of town. These rumors proved false, but the river got the name Goldstream anyway. Now known as Goldstream Provincial Park, this 388 hectare park boasts an excellent trail system, as well as the Freeman King Interpretive centre. This centre is used to educate visitors about the life cycle of the salmon, which cumulates with the spawning each year from mid-September until late November. Pay Parking & Picnic facilities are available. The park has free maps available to guide you through the trails. There is a 13 km strenuous round trip hike, or several short hikes. For those that want a real challenge, try the hike up to the peak of Mt. Finlayson.
This beach is located in Cadboro Bay. The park has a replica of the legendary Cadborosaurus. This creature is said to be a relative of the Loch Ness Monster and lives in the waters of Cadboro Bay. Caddy, as it is known, usually allows itself to be seen once or twice a year.
This is one of the best local bird watching areas. It is an easy hike for all ages (no hills). It takes about 2 hr. around lake on well-developed trails. Several ponds and marshes along the way make for great vantage points to see some of the urban wildlife.
Another of the many Capital Region Parks, this is a very popular spot for families as it features a beautiful sandy beach. The park is actually comprised of two Lakes - Upper & Lower Thetis. There is a 4.9 km. trail around lake. The trails are clearly marked with picnic areas along the way.
This small but interesting park, adjacent to the Royal BC Museum, is home to some prime examples of Native Heritage. Proud totems surround a ceremonial long house which is the focal point of the park. In the summer months, the park is used by First Nations carvers to display their carving skills to create new totems. It is also used for special occasions, such as the First Peoples’ Festival. A must see for the camera buff.
Located off Beach drive in Oak Bay, this popular beach is a great place to see and be seen. Although the water is cold, the beach is sandy, and a large grassy area is great for a game of football or volleyball. Concession stands are open during summer months. This is also the site of the popular Oak Bay Tea Party, which is held on the first weekend in June. Parking is scarce, but busses are easily accessed.
Witty’s Lagoon provides a sandy beach and an easy hike. Located in the Bilston Creek Watershed, the lagoon is formed where the fresh water meets the salt water. Here you will find a wheelchair accessible trail, washroom facilities and picnic areas. The tidal lagoon is of particular interest to children or anyone who is interested in sea life. As well as being home to wildlife, the park also has five known archeological sites. The parking lot is located off of Metchosin Rd.