Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park is composed of a diverse number of habitats over the 560 square kilometer (56 ha/138 acre) park. With five kilometers of woodland trails, a salt marsh, meadows, and a tidal lagoon this is a comprehensive nature appreciation park. Witty’s Lagoon Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Witty’s Lagoon is wheelchair-accessible and was created in 1969 then became a CRD park in 1986. Along with its diverse habitats is the flora and fauna that accompanies the various habitats. In spring, the open meadows above the lagoon contain a brilliant array of wildflowers including camas lilies, saxifrage, and nodding onions. Witty’s Lagoon is a stopover for migrating birds such as osprey before they attempt the 13-mile (21-km) crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Peninsula. Other birds, such as the belted kingfisher, orange-crowned warbler, and dark-eyed junco overwinter in the shelter of the lagoon. Migratory birds that stop in the lagoon include sandpipers, turnstones, and surfbirds. The Bilston Creek watershed forms the small valley and contains a soothing waterfall called Sitting Lady Falls. If you approach the beach at Witty’s Lagoon from the Sitting Lady Falls or main entrance, the waterfalls can be observed from several vantage points. The water from Bilston Creek spills through a cleft in the granite. The park has plenty of berry bushes in summer and apple trees in the autumn. The marshland is lined with Garry oak and arbutus trees. Stop at the information display to learn more about the natural history. There are several bridal trails in the park that are frequented by equestrians year round.
Tower Point is also part of Witty’s Lagoon Park but is separate by a tidal sandy beach area. A short trail leads to a small beach at Tower Point where the ocean has hollowed tide pools in the granite outcropping. A rich variety of marine life shelter in the pools and stand revealed at low tide. Bring your rubber boots. You’ll also be rewarded with good views from here of aptly named Haystack Islands, where long, thick strands of grass grow in the shape of old stacks. Harbor seals can be seen sunbathing just off shore from Rocky Bluff Trail on Tower point. Farther out in the strait are the Race Rocks, Canada’s most southerly point on the west coast. Hurricane Ridge in Washington States Olympic Mountains forms the plateau on the distant southern horizon.
Geographical Location N48º 23’ 21” W123º 33’ 33”
Witty’s Lagoon 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 each Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and look the parking area for Witty’s Lagoon across from the golf course. Park near the nature house and the other which provides wheel chair access into the park. This is well-marked trailhead at Sitting Woman Falls is located opposite the Metchosin Golf Course. Tower Point parking lot is near the junction of Olympic View Road and Bradene Road.Additional access points into the park have limited parking including along Metchosin Road, Duke Road, via the very long staircase at the end of Witty Beach Road, Bradene Green Space and the end of Cliff Drive.
Parson’s bridge is part of the Island Highway that crosses over the waters Mill Stream in View Royal, B.C. The bridge was built in the mid eighteen hundreds by the owner of the Six Mile Pub, which lies to the northwest. Bill Parson purchased the land which included a pub from John Fenton, a millwright, in eighteen-forty-eight. The Tudor- style pub and restaurant has photos of these early years and is a good place for a meal and drink. The parkland is a narrow strip along the north shore of Price Bay and has foot path with several wonderful view points over the estuary and Esquimalt Harbour. Price Bay provides habitat to numerous shorebirds as well as eagles, ospreys and swans. River otters and seals have also been seen. Parson’s Bridge Park is a unique place with a gazebo, several arbutus and fir trees along the rough gravel walkway. Benches are also found along the walkway. The Water’s Edge, A sixty-nine unit residential complex, borders the inland area of the park; it was built in the early nineteen eighties. The park can be reached by the concrete staircase along the northeast side of the bridge or from the staircase at the end of Dukrill Road. The trail is about eight hundred and fifty meters long and makes a pleasant outing in your backyard. Jalan Park, Dukrill Road Green Space, Burchill Park, Thetis Lake Regional Park and the Galloping Goose – Trans Canada Trail – View Royal are all nearby.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 27” W123° 27’ 22”
Parson’s Bridge Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway Hwy1. Exit onto the Island Highway and stay to the left to merge with traffic going under the freeway and railway overpasses. Turn to the left onto Dukrill Road using the turning lane; this will be the second left turn. The green space is at the end of the road where there is limited roadside parking. Short term parking may be available near the CRD offices. City buses travel along the Island Highway.
Alternatively, continue along the Island Highway to Six Mile Road. Turn into the parking area for the pub and Buddy Road. Parking is available in Six-Mile Pub. Cross at the lights. From the north end of Parson’s Bridge the walkway extends between the Waters Edge residential development and the upper reaches of Esquimalt Harbor.
Dukrill Road Green Space provides access to the waters of Esquimalt Harbour in View Royal, B.C. Enjoy the lovely view across Price Bay to the heritage site on Cole Island. This green space has a series of concrete staircases that lead to the sheltered Price Bay. The gravel access, at the corner of Dukrill Road and Buddy Road, has a tall arbutus tree to mark the route. From the ten meter ridge, the thirty-eight step set of staircases, with paired wood handrails, lead down to the shoreline. The main pathway leads southward along the shore and is bordered by a green chain and post fence. The trail follows the shoreline about twenty-five meters to connect with the pathway in Parson’s Bridge Park. There are a few rocky beach areas, suitable to bird watch yet most of the shoreline is very muddy as it is part of the tidal estuary of Mill Stream. A four step granite and concrete staircase leads to a small gravel beach, accessible at low tides. Price Bay provides habitat to numerous shorebirds as well as eagles, ospreys and swans. River otters and seals have also been seen. Price Road Green Space is nearby.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 27” W123° 27’ 22″
Dukrill Road Green Space can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit onto the Island Highway and stay to the left to merge with traffic going under the freeway and railway overpasses. Turn to the left onto Dukrill Road using the turning lane; this will be the second left turn. The green space is at the end of the road where there is limited roadside parking. Short term parking may be available near the CRD offices. City buses travel along the Island Highway.
The Town of View Royal, BC, has some unique waterfront beach accesses with views of forested areas, watery reefs and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State in the distance. This is one of those amazing places although the view changes considerable depending on the tide. Price Bay is a shallow bay that forms a shallow estuary for Millstream Creek. The bay is part of Esquimalt Harbour. The pathway includes two sets of ten concrete staircases that lead from the roadside leads to the muddy beach. The route passes a pump station. It would be possible to launch a kayak, paddle board or personal water craft when the tide is high. A stroll along the beach about fifty meters to the left leads to Price Bay Park. Duckrill Road Green Space and Waters Edge Walkway are nearby.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 30” W123° 27’ 19”
Price Road Green Space can be accessed from the Trans Canada Highway, Hwy1. Exit onto the Island Highway and stay to the left to merge with traffic going under the freeway and railway overpasses. Turn to the left onto Price Road, the very first left turn. If you miss that one take the next left onto Duckrill Road and double back. The green space is at the end of the road. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along the Island Highway.
View Royal Park is beautiful landscaped park that is about six and half hectares in size. There are about a kilometer of pathways into and around the park that makes this an excellent place to head for a stroll. A large open and dog friendly area connects to MacLennan Trail with a gravel pathway that circles this area. A small bridge over an ephemeral creek connects to the concrete walkway which leads to the small parking area and the playground. Craigflower Creek skirts the east side of the park and makes a terrific area to visit year round. There are several view points along the creek. Sea run cutthroat and chum salmon reside in this creek as well as several trout. Both creeks are bordered by snow berry, Oregon grape, red alder bushes. Cedar, Douglas fir and arbutus trees area seen in this park. A giant sequoia is on private property near the Paddock Place Green Space pathway.A playground with several ways to climb to a platform with paired slides and monkey bars. It is set on a sand base. There are benches and picnic tables at several sites in the park. Four swings are also found at this park: two of them are toddler seats. Another slide is also near these swings. These two outdoor toys are set on a wood chip base. The thirty raised garden beds are used by community members and lay besides a small building. The gardens are bordered by a large grass covered field landscaped with trees and shrubs. Parkcrest Park, Paddock Place Green Space, Gull Road Green Space, Fort Victoria Green Space, Galloping Goose Trail, Trans Canada Trail, Victoria General Hospital Green Space, Chancellor Park and Helmcken Park are nearby.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 30” W123° 26’ 11”
View Royal Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1) onto Helmcken Road and turn south. Continue past the first traffic circle to the second one, and turn right onto Pleasant Lane. Turn right immediately to access the small parking area beside Craigflower Creek. The park is near the E & N Railway crossing bridge. It can also be accessed from Burnett Road using Pleasant Lane or Paddock Place. City buses travel along Helmcken Road.
Stillwater Road Green Space is natural area with water access and a viewing point along the estuary of Hospital Creek. This green space is along the shore of Portage Inlet in a quiet residential area in View Royal, B.C. Himalayan blackberries, Garry oak trees and other shrubs and trees are found in this green space. Helmcken Park is nearby.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 48” W123° 25’ 43”
Stillwater Road Green Space can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway Hwy1. Exit off Hwy1 onto the Helmcken Road and turn south. At the traffic circle, exit east toward Helmcken Park onto St Giles Street South but continue staight onto Kingham Place. Stay on Kingham Place to reach Lowland Road. Turn left onto Lowland Road and continue to the end of the road to reach Stillwater Road. Turn right onto Stillwater Road and look for the rough trail into green space and St. Giles Park. There is limited roadside parking along Stillwater Road. It is a short walk along Lowland Road from the Helmcken Park parking lot. Alternatively stroll along Stillwater Road from the Helmcken Park and Ride parking lot, that is serviced by several city buses, to reach this green space.