Westoby Road Green Space

Thetis Lake Park - Westoby Road

The connection of the Westoby Road with Thetis Lake Regional Park forms Westoby Road Green Space in View Royal, B.C. This small natural space is along northeastern side of Thetis Lake Regional Park. The fire access road which starts near the end of Westoby Road connects to several trails in the parkland and to private property. Bellamy Trail and Stewart Mountain Trail can be accessed from this green space. McKenzie Creek is seen to the left along the trail into the park. Douglas fir, arbutus and big leaf maple trees are seen throughout the forest area with the sparse undergrowth mostly composed of ferns and mosses. Some additional information about Thetis Lake – Stewart Mountain and Scafe Hill is found in the Parks, Playgrounds and Green Spaces for the District of the Highlands, B.C., by this author. This is another terrific area to explore in your backyard.

 

Geographic location N48° 29’ 19” W123° 28’ 59”

 

Westoby Road Green Space 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 as the road curves to become Barker Road. Turn right onto the narrow and gravel Westoby Road to reach the trailhead. Westoby Road is gated about four hundred meters from the trailhead. 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.

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Highlands Municipal Building Green Space

This post was updated here.

Highlands Municipal Green Space

Gowlland – Tod Provincial Park

The 1219-hectare parkland in the Highlands was created from the 1994 Commonwealth Nature Legacy to protect these natural areas of the CRD. The Gowlland – Tod Provincial Park shelters a significant part of the Gowlland Range with the rare, dry, coastal Douglas Fir habitat and areas of old-growth forest, wildflowers, and stands of arbutus and manzanita are abundant. It includes the shoreline and uplands in Tod Inlet, which adjoins the Saanich Inlet south of Brentwood Bay.  Forty km of hiking trails network over the old mining and logging roads in the park. The trails lead to some spectacular areas like McKenzie Bight, Jocelyn Hill, and Holmes Peak. These areas and access points into the park are described from north to south.  Many of the access points have signposts with maps of the park trails.  Through out the park are pit toilets, benches, and picnic tables.  Plan a short excursion or extent your walk to several hours.

When you enter the park from the north, you can visit Tod Inlet, Partridge Hills, and McKenzie Bight.  The wide trail to Tod Inlet follows along the creek bank part of the way. The wheelchair accessible 2km trail takes about 30 minutes to return.  Tod Inlet is a quiet and protected saltwater inlet frequented by yachts and kayakers.  At the inlet shore, there is large grassy area with steep shore access, as well as, picnic tables and toilets. The water fountain in Butchart Gardens provides a soothing background noise. This trail is accessed off Wallace Drive near the fenced Quarry Lake.

The trail to the viewpoint in the Partridge Hills is steep and rough, and not maintained.  The view at the summit is worth the effort as you can see over the Saanich Peninsula and distant ocean waters. The trail to Partridge Hills is off Wallace Road near the fenced Quarry Lake.

Several trails lead down to the seaside of McKenzie Bight, on Saanich Inlet. The main trail from Ross-Durance Road is wide and moderately sloped. The stroll down takes about 20 minutes from parking lot. There is large sign posted near the road. This trail follows the ridge of Pease Creek.  If you want to see the cascading waterfall of Pease Creek, you will need to take Timberman Trail to Cascade Trail. Timberman Trail head is about 100m further down Ross-Durance Road. An alternatively access to McKenzie Bight is along the shoreline of Saanich Inlet from Mark Lane.  This relatively flat trail also takes about 20 minutes to reach the Bight.

The southern entrance to the park is reached by following Millstream Road north from Hwy 1 to Caleb Pike Road, then a short distance west to the trailhead. Trails lead to Holmes Peak and Jocelyn Hill. Jocelyn Hill connects to McKenzie Bight along Timberman Trail. Another trail access connects to Jocelyn Hill. This trail labeled the Emma Dixon Trail is entered near the junction of Emma Dixon Road with Millstream Road.

You can get to Gowlland Tod Park from Wallace Drive from either of its two intersections with Hwy 17A. The trailhead at the north end of the park is located on the west side of Wallis Road opposite Quarry Lake. This trail head provides access to Tod Inlet and Partridge Hills. Alternatively take a second trailhead that is located on Willis Point Road west of Wallace Drive. This trailhead and gravel parking area is shared with Mount Work Regional Park and provides access to McKenzie Bight. You can also access McKenzie Bight from Willis Point Road to the western end of Mark Lane.The main areas of Gowlland-Tod Park are best accessed from the Millstream Road exit off the Trans Canada Highway. Follow Millstream Road to turn left onto Caleb Pike Road. There is parking in a gravel area at the end of the road.

For a map of the hiking trails in Gowlland – Tod Park, see the BC Parks website.

Highlands

From watching soaring eagles, ravens, hawks, and turkey vultures to stumbling across a homestead amongst the wildflowers blooming in Garry Oak meadows walking in the Highlands is fascinating.  The District of Highlands is a beautiful rural district of lakes and parkland in the Capital Regional District on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Bordering on the east shore of Saanich Inlet, the Highlands are part of the Victoria area West Shore municipalities. Walking in the Highlands just is like going to a park as the area has managed to maintain rural parkland with the growing residential areas. A stroll up to Stewart Mountain or Lone Tree Hill provides soothing sights of forest groves and the ocean waters. The Highlands have an immense wealth of parks, gardens, and green spaces.

This book describes the parks, gardens, and green spaces within the Highlands.  Its goal is to encourage you to explore your neighborhood by foot.  Each place takes less than an hour to explore or much longer, if you are inclined.

Bordered by Mount Work and Gowlland -Tod Provincial Park, the Highlands extend southwest to Thetis Lake Park.  East of this border is the District of Saanich and west is the Municipality of Langford. There are thousands of hectares committed to parks, gardens, and green spaces in Highlands.  A brief description of each park is provided with directions.

There are roadside hiking and horse trails throughout the Highlands. In the Hazlitt Creek and Old Mossy Road area the roadside trails along Dixon Road connect to Hazlitt Creek Park.  Trails along Highland Park Terrace, off Caleb Pike Road, connect to Lorimer Road and Rowntree Road.  These trails can extend your hike into the Gowlland – Tod Provincial Park.  Access into the upper end of Thetis Lake Park is from the end of Davis Road, off Munn Road.  The trail of Hannington Road provides a lovely stroll along Mill Stream Road.

The maze of mountain bike trails under the hydro towers may entice walkers as well as cyclists. These trails lead to the hills of Stewart Mountain to the east and toward Blacktail Road to the west. Please exercise caution in this area.