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Thetis Lake Park – McKenzie Lake

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The tear dropped shaped McKenzie Lake is about two hectares in size. The southern shore of McKenzie Lake extends into Thetis Lake Regional Park and can be reached from hiking along the McKenzie Creek Trail. This lake has several private properties along its northeastern end which are accessible from the end of Herbate Road via Barker Road via Highland Road. The McKenzie Creek Trail has many hills as well as wetland crossings. There a several places where tree-rounds and narrow wooden bridges have been used to limit damage to the mosses and tree roots along the trail. There are also a few deer and desire trails that will lead an unaware hiker off track in this area of Thetis Lake Park. Fortunately the sounds of vehicles from the Trans Canada Highway, Highland Road or the speedway track along Millstream Road help to keep one oriented in this lush rainforest of Douglas fir, big leaf maple and Garry oak trees. Several small wooden bridges provide access over McKenzie Creek and the seasonal creeks along this trail such as the “crying” bridge which is just past the junction of Seaborn Trail. Seaborn Trail connects Mckenzie Creek Trail to Upper Thetis Lake Trail. Wildflowers are seen amongst the mosses on the forest floor. Oceanspray, hardhack and salal cover other areas. The meandering McKenzie Creek Trail, after about a kilometer and a half, climbs a low ridge that overlooks McKenzie Lake. There are more rolling hill and creek crossing after this view point, and withina about a kilometer the trail branches north and south. This side of park is designated as multi-use for equestrians, cyclist and hikers. The north branch leads to Bellamy Trail and onward to Stewart Mountain while the south branch divides again within about a hundred meters to lead to the west to reach Bellamy Trail or continues south toward Upper Thetis Lake Trail. Bellamy Trail is a fire road from Bellamy Road in Langford. Thetis Lake Panhandle Trail and Prior Lake pathway, Highland Road Green Space, Westoby Road Green Space are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 27’47 W123°28’3”

 

Thetis Lake Park-McKenzie Creek Trail can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway or Hwy1. To reach the main parking area for the park turn at Six-Mile Road (exit #11) and continue to the main pay parking area. To reach a parking area close to McKenzie Creek Trail, take the exit #10 onto Burnside Road West. At the four way stop turn left onto Watkiss Way. Continue along Watkiss Way as the road curves right to become Highland Road. Once past the residential area the road enters the parkland and becomes narrower. The trail is found near to the bridge over McKenzie Creek. There is limited roadside parking along Highland Road. City buses travel along Watkiss Road to the junction with Highland Road.

 

For a map of the hiking trails in Thetis Lake Regional Park, see the CRD Parks brochure.

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