Raven View Park is in the Goldstream neighborhood of Langford, B.C. About a hectare in size, Raven View Park is roughly an L-shaped parkland with a small ephemeral creek. This park borders on private acreages and Mount Well Regional Park. This nature park has several large cedar, Douglas fir and big leaf maple trees and lies on the eastern side of Mt Wells Park. From Raven View Drive, a rough dirt and rock pathway leads down a gravel slope to set of five stairs and on ward to lead across a small wooden bridge. The trail branches and leads along both sides of the into the Douglas fir and arbutus forest. The trails are unsigned although various colors of flagging tape can be seen. Perhaps you spot a raven on your visit in this peaceful park in your backyard. The trail in this parkland does connect with trails in Mt Wells Park as well as pathways in green spaces from Glenshire Drive and Awsworth Road. Irwin Park lies to the northeast.
Geographic location N48° 26’25” W123°32”56”
Raven View Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at West Shore Parkway and turn right onto Amy Road which merges to become Sooke Lake Road. Continue along SLR to turn left onto Humpback Road. Follow Humpback Road up over the railway track turn onto Irwin Road. Continue along Irwin Road and onto Creekside Trail. This road curves up the hill to Raven View Drive. The trail access to the park is marked with a discrete sign. There is limited roadside parking this area.
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.
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.