At the junction of Barker Road and Highland Road is the Panhandle Trail of Thetis Lake Regional Park. This one and half kilometer long old fire road is gated with a yellow metal barrier. The trail heads east along the north border of the parkland to branch into two pathways that lead to the corridor under the hydro-electric towers and into Francis King Regional Park. The Panhandle Trail is frequented by cyclists and equestrians as well as some hikers and dog walkers. This is pleasant stroll through some tall Douglas fir, big leaf maple and arbutus trees. The snowberry bushes, oceanspray plants, Oregan grape shrubs, salal and ferns as well as the many moss covered rocks add to the peacefulness of the area. The initial five hundred meters of the pathway is along relatively level ground with several bends and curves around wetlands and tree stumps. At the junction with the trail with High Ridge Trail into Francis King Park, the Panhandle Trail becomes slightly steeper though the second growth forest of Douglas fir trees. There is a good view point to the north from hill along this section. The pathway then descends with a few curves to reach Munn Road. This is an excellent place to explore in your backyard.
Geographical position N48° 28’ 54” W123° 27’ 48”
Thetis Lake Regional Park – Panhandle Trail can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway or Hwy 1. Turn off at Exit 10 to reach Burnside Road West. Stay right as the road branches toward the junction with Watkiss Way. Turn left onto Watkiss Way and then right onto Highland Road. Follow Highland Road as it narrows into Thetis Lake Regional Park and continue where the roadway curves to become Barker Road. The trail head is near the junction of Barker Road with Highland Road. There is limited parking along the roadways although there is a small parking area at the trailhead. City buses travel to the junction of Highland Road and Watkiss Way.
For a map of the hiking trails in Thetis Lake Regional Park, see the CRD Parks brochure.