Prior Lake is an oval shaped lake about one hectare in size. It is in the Thetis Lake Regional Park. A small creek connects Thetis Lake to Prior Lake which is home to cutthroat and rainbow trout, minnows, sunfish and many insects. While relatively shallow it is a good place for a swim after hiking the trails of Thetis Lake Park. The McKenzie Creek Trail passes along a ridge on the north shore of the lake and continues toward McKenzie Lake and Stewart Mountain or Seaborn Trail, which connects to Upper Thetis Lake Trail. There is a wharf and dock on Prior Lake that is designated for clothing optional swimming on the south side of the lake; dogs are not permitted during summer months. Since the nineteen nineties this area of the lake was taken over by nude bathers although mostly during the summer months. The lake is a short walk from Highland Road in View Royal, B.C. Thetis Lake Panhandle Trail and McKenzie Creek Trail, Highland Road Green Space, Westoby Road Green Space are nearby.
Geographic location N48° 27’47 W123°28’3”
Thetis Lake Park – Prior Lake can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway or Hwy1. Turn off Hwy1 using exit #10 to reach 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 in a small pull-out that is just before the bridge over McKenzie Creek. There is limited roadside parking along Highland Road.
For a map of the hiking trails in Thetis Lake Regional Park, see the CRD Parks brochure.