Nursery Hill Park is on fifty-five meter high hill in View Royal, B.C. At about four and half hectares, this park has many Douglas fir trees with a few Garry oak, big leaf maple and arbutus trees on its slopes. The canopy keeps the Oregon grape and snow berry bushes fairly small. In a few areas broom plants grow well. A fine gravel trail meanders through the park around the small rocky outcrops that are covered with lichen, ferns and mosses. Spring time flowers, like the white fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum) are seen along the two hundred meters long trail. The park borders on the Via Rail track to the south and residential homes to the east and west. Despite the noise from the traffic on the Trans Canada Highway that borders the north side of the parkland and the signs that state the access route is a private roadway, this park is a wonderful place to explore in your backyard. Parson’s Bridge Park, Burchill Park, Mellor Park, Garry Oak Meadows Park, Jalan Park, Atkin Road Green Space, the Galloping Goose Trail and Trans Canada Trail as well as Thetis Lake Park are nearby. The park is part of Nursery Hill Trail Loop described by the Town of View Royal.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 35” W123° 27’ 36”
Nursery Hill Park can be accessed from the Trans Canada Highway, Hwy1. Exit onto the Old Island Highway and stay to the left to merge with traffic going under the freeway and railway overpasses. Turn onto Six Mile Road and look for the Atkins Road Green Space to park as there is limited parking along Nursery Hill Road or Six Mile Road. Nursery Hill Park is access along a rough trial from the corner where Nursery Hill Road curves to the left and from the cul-de-sac between homes 445 and 444. City buses travel along the Six Mile Road and Atkins Road.
The park like neighborhood of Ardmore in North Saanich has a maze of green spaces along the right-of-ways for several different roads. Ardmore is a Gaelic term meaning to “large headland” which relates to “homes beside the sea.” The terrain in this neighborhood is rocky and sometimes steep. The Hartfell Avenue Green Spaces add a series of trails that run north to south from Bradley Dyne Road to the southern side of Ardmore Drive.
The gravel pathway from the northern end of Hartfell Avenue is across from the postal boxes between 731and 735 Bradley Dyne Road. The cedar and Douglas-fir shaded gravel trail is about five hundred and sixty meters long and crosses over Dalkeith Avenue. This pathway branches to connect to Cromarty Avenue and Tumberry Place before continuing to Braemar Avenue and the paved section of Hartfell Avenue. There is a short hundred meter green space that connects with Aboyne Avenue near Ardmore Drive. This section is bordered by blackberries and is shaded by tall Douglas-fir and cedar trees. Continue across Ardmore Drive along Hartfell Avenue to reach the fifty meter gravel trail to the stairs that lead to the beach at Cole Bay. The concrete staircase leads to the shale yet muddy shallow waters of the bay. Extend your walk in your backyard from the Hartfell Avenue pathways with those along Glengelg Avenue to create a circle loop. Or explore Cole Bay Regional Park and McTavish Road Green Space.
You can get to Hartfell Avenue Green Space from Pat Bay Highway. 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 N) turn right onto West Saanich Road. Follow along this road until you reach Ardmore Drive and the Ardmore Golf Course. Turn left onto Ardmore Drive and follow the road as it curves past the golf course, past the road to Coles Bay Regional Park and look for the hiking trail marker on the right at the intersection with Aboyne Avenue. There is restricted roadside parking near this area but it is a short walk to Cole Bay Park where there is a parking area.
A wonderful place to stroll in your backyard, Danton Road Trail is lined with lovely cedar, Douglas-fir and cottonwood trees. The vegetation in this green space also includes blackberries, ferns and rosehips. As a connector pathway it is frequently used by equestrians as well as hikers, dog walkers and cyclists. The main section is a four hundred and sixty meter trail that connects Chalet Road with Trillium Place, Baxendale Road and Rosborough Road. The last three access points are easily reached from Clayton Road and its trail system. This green space borders on some impressive estates. The minor section leads to the waters of Deep Cove with a view toward Cherry Point, Vancouver Island. Stride across Chalet Road to look for the track to the shoreline. Danton Road Trail is a short stroll to the Deep Cove Chalet and Muse Winery as well as the marina.
You can get to Danton Road Trail from Pat Bay Highway. Before you reach BC Ferry Terminal in Swartz Bay look for the signs that lead to McDonald Park – Wain roads. As you curve to the right continue up the hill and cross over the overpass to reach the intersection with Wain Road. Turn left on to Wain Road then make a right turn once you reach Tatlow Road. Follow this rolling curving road past the intersection with West Saanich Road until you reach Chalet Road. Turn left onto Chalet Road and look for the hiking trail marker and trail on the left of Chalet Road. The trail marker is next to 11127 Chalet Road. There is limited roadside parking on Chalet Road.