Trafalgar Park

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Trafalgar Park is in the community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen communities that form the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Below King George Terrace Lookout Point, Trafalgar Park extends down toward the ocean.    The park is composed of large steep sloped rocky outcrops amongst broom, grasses and other plants.  Careful examination of the some rocks reveals the glacial striations. The edge of the park is mostly a rough drop to the Strait of Juan de Fuca as the park lies between Gonzales Bay and McNeill Bay. There is a small secluded pebble beach that is accessed from thirty two concrete steps. The park has a wonderful view of Trial Island, the Salish Sea and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.  The lookout contains a marker for 15 different locations including the Olympic Mountains to the south. There are rough walking trails throughout the park with benches in several locations. A water fountain is found near the parking area off of King George Terrace. The monument is also located near the parking area. This cairn, named Chikawich after an early village, has a plaque that shows a camas meadow with a deer. This one and half hectare parkland is below the summits of Walbran and Gonzales parks to the west and Anderson Hill Park to the northeast.

Geographic Location N48º 24’ 30”  W123º 19’ 11”

Trafalgar Park can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Foul Bay Road. Continue along Foul Bay Road to reach Fairfield Road. Turn left onto Fairfield Road and continue along to King George Terrace. Look for the small parking area near the summit of the road where there off street parking in this residential neighborhood.  City buses travel close to this park.

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Kitty Islet Park

Kitty Islet Park

Kitty Islet Park is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen areas of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Venture onto the glacial smooth granodiorite outcropping that projects into Enterprise Channel when you visit this promontory. Located on the eastern shore of McNeill Bay, the half a hectare parkland is a nature developed park with a staircase that leads to a rough footpath. A monument notes a dedication to this site that was once called Tliwaynung, a Songhees seasonal site. The fifteen step concrete staircase leads to cobble and sand beach. The pair of Adirondack chairs, placed on the outcropping, provides a seat for a priceless view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca of the Salish Sea. The backdrop is formed by the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.  Trial Islands with the lighthouse built in nineteen o six are about one hundred meters away. It is the deep water and tidal currents of Enterprise Channel that limit access to the ecological reserve. Andersen Hill Park, Walbran Park, Monterey Middle School Green Space and Lafayette Park are nearby.

Geographic Location N48º 24’ 38”  W123º 18’ 25”

Kitty Islet Park can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Foul Bay Road. Continue along Foul Bay Road to reach Fairfield Road. Turn left onto Fairfield Road and continue to Beach Drive. Turn left onto Beach Drive and look for the islet across the bay. Street parking is available.  A couple of city buses provide access near Lafayette Park.

Willows Beach Park

Willows Beach Park is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, part of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Formed by a sandy beach about 6 blocks long, Willows Beach Park is idyllic seashore as it is one of the rare sandy beaches in the CRD.  It a great place to observe the local flora and fauna. Stroll from Cattle Point in Uplands Park to the Oak Bay Kiwanis Tea House on the south end.

The park also has a grassy area is just inland of the Tea House, a seasonal concession, where volleyball games and other activities occur.  The slides, swings, benches, and toilet facilities provide an opportunity for the kids to play and to slow even the most ambitious walkers.  A Songhees Indian Village, the Sitchanalth Village, was unearthed during the construction of the toilet facilities in the 1970’s.  The Sitchanalth Village provided artifacts from 2,600 to 10, 000 years ago. This grassy area is bordered by Garry oak trees and a hedge along the parking lot. A granite rock fence forms a perimeter along Beach Drive.

Geographical location N48° 26′ 2″ W123° 18′ 18″

You can get to Willows Beach Park is from Bowker or Dalhousie Avenues along Beach Drive.  Some off street parking is available along Esplanade Street and Dalhousie Street.

You can extend your walk toward the rocky point of Cattle Point.  Alternatively stroll in the opposite direction past the Tea House and continue along Beach Drive toward Haynes Park and Turkey Head Walkway near the Oak Bay Marina.   Glenlyon School and surrounding residential areas display some of the beautiful manicured gardens of the area.  Numerous park benches and beach access points permit a leisurely stroll along the way to Haynes Park and Oak Bay Marina. This park is on the city bus route.

Loon Bay Park

Loon Bay Park is located in the seaside community of Oak Bay, part of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This small roadside park is located off Beach Drive and overlooks the marina of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.  The park has a couple of park benches and beach access points.  A short concrete pathway with a couple of sets of stairs leads to the sand and mud beach. The lawn is adorned with a outdoor piano as well as a small monument.  There are Garry oak and Douglas fir trees that provide shade over the beach and the undergrowth of ocean spray, blackberry and snowberry bushes.  The splendid residential area around the park can easily be included as part of your walk.

Geographical Location W48° 27′ W123° 17′ 44″

You can get to Loon Bay Park from Lansdowne Avenue or Cadboro Bay Road.  Turn onto Beach Avenue and look for the park near the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. There is limited street parking available. A city bus travels past this park  along Beach Drive.

Devonian Regional Park

Devonian Regional Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This ocean front park was acquired from the Devonian Foundation Alberta, formed by the lawyer, oil man and philanthropic Eric Harvie, and the provincial government in 1980. It is one hundred and thirty five square kilometers of forest area with Sherwood Pond providing a wetland oasis amongst the Douglas fir and Garry oak woodlands. The kinglet, great horned owl and pileated woodpecker might be sighted in the park. This wildlife sanctuary is tucked into the gently rolling landscape between Metchosin farms. A bridle trail lies along the southern perimeter of the park. There are parking and picnic areas. Sherwood Creek flows into the pond and acts as guide for the well-trodden footpaths. The Douglas fir and arbutus trees in the park can be explored by strolling along the gravel trails. The main trail leads through the forest about twelve hundred meters to reach the cobble and pebble Taylor Beach that lies on Parry Bay. The beach overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Witty’s Lagoon can be reached by strolling along the water eastward along Taylor Beach. The distance is about six kilometer round trip. Taylor Green Space is about five hundred meters eastward along the waters edge. At the park entrance is a small parking area with toilets. Benches can be found in this park too.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 57” W123º 32’ 32”

Devonian Regional Park can be reached from Highway 1 when you exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway exit. Head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road past the junction with Happy Valley Road. The name changes to William Head Road. Continue along until you see the signpost for the park on the left. There is small parking area. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Taylor Green Space

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Taylor Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the edge of Strait of Juan de Fuca, Taylor Beach is rock and cobble beach. It is between Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park and Devonian Regional Park. Mitchell Park with Seabluff Trail and Madrill Green Space are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 59” W123º 31’ 57”

Taylor Green Space can be reached from Highway 1, the TransCanada Hwy. Exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway overpass and head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn left onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road to Taylor Road. Turn left onto Taylor Road and continue down to the small parking area. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park

Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. The park is a chosen wildlife sanctuary with frequent sightings of swans, herons, and turkey vultures. Created from land donated by Genstar Limited in the later nineteen seventies, the park was named for the neighborhood in Metchosin. It is located on the southern end of Vancouver Island, the headland to the southwest of the park is called Albert Head; so named for Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, as a result of the survey in the eighteen forties by the captain and crew of the HMS Herald, a twenty six gun frigate.

The park is managed by the Capital Regional District. This seven hectare sanctuary provides a wonderful place for a respite from the traffic along Metchosin Road. A short thirty meter long trail along the berm of the lagoon connects with rough twenty meter long trail along the chain-link fence of the Department of National Defense property. The lagoon is good place to observe migratory and local birds as there is a trail along the slope of the hill. A panorama of the lagoon can be achieved from a short stroll along the fence line. This stroll takes you under some tall Douglas fir trees and garry oak trees with small shrubs such as salal and hardhack in the under growth. Several ferns are found along the lagoon and hill slope.  The views across the Juan de Fuca Strait and toward the Olympic Mountains are wonderful.  The lagoon is surrounded by aesthetic homes. North Latoria and Spruston Creek flow into the tidal lagoon from a small watershed area of three hundred and seventy-two hectares. River otters, seals and other small animals are seen this is area. This park is good place to launch a personal watercraft to explore the waterfront area. The Vancouver Island Steam Saw Mill operated near the lagoon for six years in the eighteen fifties. This company was founded by employees of the Hudson Bay Company. This is a good place to start a stroll along Albert Head Beach northward toward Royal Bay Beach Park and Esquimalt Lagoon Park in Colwood.

Geographical Location N48º 23’ 44” W123º 29’ 19”

Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park is access from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit the highway onto the Old Island Highway into Colwood. Follow the Old Island Highway as it becomes Sooke Road. Turn left onto Metchosin Road and continue along Metchosin Road to reach Farhill Road. Turn left onto Farhill Road then right onto Lower Park Road. Follow Park Road as it curves to become Delgada Road. A small parking area is found at the bottom of the hill within Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park. City buses travel along Metchosin Road from which it is a four hundred meter stroll along roadways to reach the park.