Tumbo Place Green Space

Tumbo Place Green SpaceTumbo Place Green Space is a workout! Seventy-seven steps up the concrete staircase to a terrific view of North Saanich from Park Pacific Terrace. The views are to the north at the Victoria International Airport and Salt Spring Island. If the day is clear it is possible to see the mountains in West and North Vancouver too. Good distractions as you climb the stairs. The neighborhood is also beautiful as the pathway connects to John Dean Park, Texada Terrace and Dunsmuir Lodge green spaces. The pathway is shaded by Douglas-fir trees and bordered by a cedar hedge.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 39″ W123° 27′ 37″
We can get to Tumbo Place Green Space from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, a unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road to the East Saanich Road intersection. Turn left onto East Saanich Road then right onto Forest Park Drive. Panorama Leisure Center is on the right and the elementary school yard is the left. Continue up Forest Park Drive and turn right onto Cresswell Road. As we near the end of Cresswell Road turn left onto Tumbo Place. The steep staircase is on the right of the cul-du-sac. Alternatively, catch a city bus to this green space from along East Saanich Road and walk up the roads.

Kelset Elementary School Green Space, North Saanich

Kelset Elementary School Green SpaceThis green space was developed when the school was built, in the Saanich School District # 62, following the design elements for the year 2009. The school building is a lot less institutional looking than the older schools in this area. The Gulam roof beams are oriented skyward to improve natural lighting and ventilation. The green space includes the large grass covered fields and smaller paved areas with markings for organized sports. There are few natural play elements and pathways leading to the play areas. The playground has a couple of sections which include a cable structure for climbing, swings and an elaborate playset. The children who use these play areas are protected by wood chip material. The replanted area is protected by a cedar fence system and there are a few raised garden beds. Kelset Elementary is part of the school-based weather network for Vancouver Island. Additionally, the property has improved water disposal with a swale system. It is worth exploring this green space in your backyard. This green space is best used outside of school times.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 29″ W123° 25′ 12″
The elementary school green space can be reached from Pat Bay highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, a unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road to the East Saanich Road intersection. Turn left onto East Saanich Road then right onto Forest Park Drive. Panorama Leisure Center is on the right and the school yard is the left. Alternatively, catch a city bus to this green space from along East Saanich Road.

Panorama Recreation Center Park

Eric Sherman Trail, Panorama Rec Center, North SaanichThese wonderful set of outdoor areas: park, playground and forest trail, are set outside the extensive rooms of the Panorama Recreation Center, a facility designed for all kinds of sports. The grassy parkland is located outside parking area near the main entrance of the center. A pedestrian pathway leads across the parking lot to the manicured lawn and the play equipment. The play equipment is surrounded by large sand-filled area and includes timbers laid and interconnected for balancing acts as well as a playset with a slide and platforms. The basketball court is good especially you bring some chalk to mark out the lines. There are tennis courts around the back of facility which can be reached by using the old Panaroma trail, now called the Eric Sherwood Trail. This trail follows beside East Saanich Road along the southern side of the parking area, up along the back areas of the parking lot then through the forest area before reaching Forest Park Road across from Kelset Elementary School. The ice rink, swimming pool and other exercise rooms are in the Recreation Center. The Eric Sherwood Trail is about one kilometer.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 30″ W123° 25′ 14″
You can get to Panorama Recreation Center Park from Pat Bay highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, a unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road to the East Saanich Road intersection. Turn left onto East Saanich Road and look for the Center on the right. Turn right onto Forest Park Drive and then left into the parking area. Alternatively, catch bus 70 to this park from along East Saanich Road.

Reay Estuary Green Space, North Saanich

Reay Estuary Green Space, North SaanichReay Creek flows into Bazan Bay, a sheltered bay located  between James and Vancouver islands. The Reay Estuary Green Space is located near Reay Creek and is a wonderful secluded place to catch the sunrise over James and Sidney islands. The cobble rocky shore is often covered with harvested timbers and other woody debris which makes it fun for beach walks and beach combing. Many of the rocks provide refuge for the young Dungeness and red rock crab that many of us enjoy when they are large enough to harvest. Great blue heron and many other smaller shore birds can be seen along the shoreline too. There are several points along Lochside Drive that allow access to the bay and are easier to find this place that I call Estuary Green space yet this is about exploring your backyard. There is a large willow tree near the gravel trail that leads from the roadside pull off. The trail reaches the beach south of Reay Creek estuary.
Geographic coordinates N48° 38′ 2″ W123° 24′ 27″
You can get to Lochside Drive from Pat Bay Highway. Turn off at Exit 26, the McTavish Exchange, the unique and confusing set of traffic circles designed to deal with the traffic efficiently, and follow the signs at the roundabout to take the second exit onto Lochside Drive. Continue northward on Lochside Drive toward Sidney paralleling the roadside Lochside Trail cycling pathway. This green space located between 9265 Lochside and the estuary of Reay Creek Park. The pathway to the beach is close to the pumping facility. Look for the gravel roadside pull off along Lochside Drive. The unmarked trail leads toward the beach, where there is a rough six step wooden staircase, near this parking site.

Texada Terrace Green Space

texada terrace path2Along the north side of Texada Terrace is a four hundred meter pathway along the backyards of the properties that form this subdivision. The gravel pathway is shaded by some spectacular cedar and Douglas-fir trees. There are also plenty of tree stumps as well as few ferns and salal. The view is toward the east with Sidney Channel in the Salish Sea far below.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 39″ W123° 25′ 47″

You can get to Texada Terrace Green Space from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, an unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road past the East Saanich Intersection and continue to Cresswell Road. Turn left onto Cresswell and go up the hill to Texada Terrace. There is roadside parking to the left as you turn into the terrace. The trail can also be access from the end of the terrace.

Cresswell Road Green Space

With a view over Dickson Forest and the Victoria International Airport, strolling up the three hundred meter sidewalk along Cresswell Road is worth the effort. Cresswell Road lies north to south on the Saanich Peninsula and has a couple of terrific green spaces to use as a means to explore your backyard. Its paved sections connect Wellington Road, through the gated fire road, to McTavish Road. This lower section is a quiet rural road along agricultural lands. After crossing McTavish Road there is a concrete sidewalk up the northern slope of Mt Newton to Texada Terrace. At the top there is another fire-gate at the top of Cresswell Road continue toward Tumbo Place and trails that lead into John Dean Park. This green space connects to Dickson Trail, near the airport, and to Texada Terrace Green Space near Texada Terrace. There are also trails that lead toward Dunsmuir Lodge Green Space.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 38″ W123° 25′ 50″
You can get to Cresswell Road from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, an unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road past the East Saanich Intersection and continue to Cresswell Road. Turn left onto Cresswell Road, just past the fire station, and go up the hill. There is roadside parking along this section of Cresswell Road.

Pauquachin First Nation Green Space

Surrounded by a forest of Western red cedar, Douglas-fir and big leaf maple trees, this green space is the pleasant burial site of the Pauquachin First Nation community. With views toward Saanich Inlet and sheltered from the east by three hundred and five meter tall Mount Newton, or Lau,Welnew, this is a apt place for a final refuge. The grave markers are mostly wooden crosses adorned with symbols and in a variety of styles. The trail along the McTavish Road Green Space is across West Saanich Road.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 48″ W123° 27′ 27″
You can get to this green space from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, an unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road past the East Saanich Intersection and continue until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A North). The cemetery is on the left at this intersection. There is limited road side parking along West Saanich or McTavish roads. While you are here make time to visit Th-kaut, the 1100 year old Douglas-fir tree of Ardmore Golf Course, and Cole Bay Regional Park.

McTavish Road Green Space

At the junction of McTavish Road with West Saanich Road there is a green space with a walking trail. The road right of way continues to the shallow waters of Cole Bay of Saanich Inlet. The green space contains a gravel pathway along the fence lines of the Pauquachin First Nation property and the homes of North Saanich’s Ardmore community. Douglas fir and arbutus trees shade the pathway while the understory is adorned with ferns and salal. Thickets of blackberries have filled in most other areas along the trail. The four hundred meter gravel trail leads to short paved section of McTavish Road that can be reached from the end of Inverness Road. A fifty meter gravel trail connects to McTavish Road Green Space from the end of Jura Road. Enjoy extending your stroll along the short paved section of McTavish Road to reach a ten meter gravel pathway that leads to Cole Bay. This is a good spot to launch a paddle board, canoe or kayak during medium to high tides. Cole Bay is a sheltered shallow bay with a mostly rocky bottom. Dyer Rocks lie close the southwest of Yarrow Point. A navigational marker indicates a reef further off of Dyer Rocks. McTavish Road Green Space is a wonderful way to explore your backyard.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 49″ W123° 27′ 49″ near Cole Bay Park
You can get to McTavish Road Green Space from Pat Bay Highway (BC 17). Turn Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, an unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road past the East Saanich Intersection and continue until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A North). The trail is directly across the road at this intersection and is marked by a small hiking post. There is a bus stop at this intersection too. There is limited road side parking along either West Saanich or McTavish roads so this trail is best access from the end of Inverness Road near Cole Bay Park. While you are here make time to visit Th-kaut, the 1100 year old Douglas-fir tree on the third green of Ardmore Golf Course and Cole Bay Regional Park.

Ardmore Golf Course Green Space

Th-kuat DF tree AGCArdmore Golf Course is a private club formed in the nineteen thirties by Mr. Sam Wise. Previously it was the North Saanich Golf Course and contains a unique tree that is worth a visit on this manicured and well maintained property and thus is included as a green space in your backyard. Located near the third tee of the greenway is Th-kuat, a 1100 year old Douglas-Fir tree. At about 35 meters tall Th-kaut towers over the other trees on the property and was spared during logging and development of the thorough-bred horse ranch in the early nineteen hundreds. Considering that this tree could have formed dozens of telephone poles and timber, it is fortunate that the golf course greenways protect this ancient giant today. This is a nine hole course priced reasonably for playing a round. Book ahead if you want to visit the tree.  For those with an interest in history of the golf course may enjoy W. G. du Temple and E.R. Ostachowicz’s 2012 book called Ardmore: Home, Community and Golf published by Freizen Press. Cole Bay Park is down the Ardmore Drive a short distance as is Aboyne and Hartfell Avenues Green Spaces.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 38′ 02″ W123° 27′ 39″

You can get to Ardmore Golf Course from Pat Bay Highway.  Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, an unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road past the East Saanich Intersection and continue until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A N) turn right onto West Saanich Road. Follow along this road until you reach Ardmore Drive and see the sign for the golf course. Turn onto Ardmore Drive and find parking in the gravel area at the golf course.

 

Coles Bay Regional Park, North Saanich

This four hectare neighborhood park is a great water front park with a south facing beach. It has a shallow tidal bay that warms up for swimming during the summer. You can see southwest down Squally Reach of Saanich Inlet toward the Bamberton area of Vancouver Island. The park was established in 1966 and named after John Coles, a midshipman aboard the HMS Thetis who visited this bay in 1851. There are two trails to the beach: a short 10 minute walk through the forest and grassy area brings you to a rock and cobble beach.  The second trail is longer allowing you to stroll under the Douglas-fir, big leaf maple and Western red cedar trees while crossing over Cole Creek on the wooden bridge. Both trails lead to the wooden staircases to the beach. Toilets and picnic areas along the first trail complete this park.  The beach area is rocky along the shoreline and when the tide is high there is a narrow beach area.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 37′ 53″ W123° 27′ 51″

You can get to Cole Bay Park from Pat Bay Highway.  Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, an unique and confusing series of roundabouts that make a multi-circle roadway overpass. Take the third exit onto McTavish Road then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road past the East Saanich Intersection and continue until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A N) turn right onto West Saanich Road. Follow along this road until you reach Ardmore Drive and the golf course. Stay on Ardmore Drive and look for Inverness Road and signs that indicate Cole Bay Park. There is gravel parking area off Inverness Road. While you are here make time to visit Th-kaut, the 1100 year old Douglas-fir tree on the third green of Ardmore Golf Course.

For maps of this park see the CRD Park brochure.