Uplands Park

Uplands Park is in the seaside community of Oak Bay part of the Capital Regional District in British Columbia. At thirty and half hectares this is one of larger parks in Oak Bay. In 1912 the Uplands Park was laid out as part of the Garden Uplands Estates development plans.  In 1946, the land was given to the municipality of Oak Bay for the purpose of a public park in perpetuity.  The 75 acres include some fantastic views of the ocean and soothing strolls through rocky Garry Oak meadows and West Coast bramble. Plants that you might see are camas lilies, plantain buttercups, western buttercup, yellow montane violet, fawn lilies, lupine, red-oiser dogwood, shoot stars, nootka rose and numerous lichen and mosses. Numerous birds, butterflies and other insects are also found here. Be sure to wear your boots when you venture out during late autumn and winter months.  A cenotaph is found along the granite rocks on the eastern side of the park. This landscaped area is along Beach Drive.  The cenotaph features a woman gazing down on the names of residents of Oak Bay whom gave their lives during World War Two and recognizes Canadians who fell during World War One, Korea, United Nations Peace Keepers and Canadian Merchant Navy.  The monument was commissioned in nineteen forty seven by designer James Saull whose wife was the model for the nine-foot tall monument. The Victorienteers have produced a detailed map of the trails and parkland (scale 1:3,000). Beach Drive divides the park into the Uplands area and the Cattle Point area.

Cattle Point overlooks the waters of Oak Bay and the Salish Sea.  Discovery and Chatham islands dominate the view to the east lie in Haro Strait, while the Chain Islands and Mary Tod Island lie to the south which forms the area called Juan de Fuca Strait.  At low tides the rocks are exposed to display the barnacles and seaweeds.  Boats moored at the Oak Bay Marina fill the bay to southwest.  As part of the Scenic Drive through the Victoria area, a geographic marker provides eleven direction and distance indicators.  The Kiwanis International Club established the marker.

Geographical location N48º 26’ 21” W123º 17’ 54”

The best way to get to Uplands Park is from Beach Drive on the east shore of Oak Bay.  Parking is available at the Cattle Point viewing area.  Some street parking is available on Midland or Dorest roads that border the park. There is limited parking along Beach Drive.

Kendal Green Space

Kendal Green Space is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of the thirteen regions in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. The hundred meter long asphalt pathway leads between homes 2024 and 2016. The pathway is bordered by the fences of the neighboring homes and shaded by fir and pine trees. It curves up a slight slope to reach the top of the covered water reservoir. This water reservoir was built by the CRD in the nineteen sixties it holds about 22 million liters of water. A stroll around the perimeter of the reservoir covers about four hundred meters. This green space can be access from the end of Cromwell Road in Saanich, B.C.

Geographic Location N48º 27’ 12”   W123º 19’ 14″

Kendal Green Space 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 to reach Henderson Road and turn north along Henderson to pass Camosun College on the left. Follow Henderson to reach Kendall Road Avenue. Turn left onto Kendall Avenue and continue to the end. The pathway is on the right. There is limited street parking. City buses travel along Henderson Road between Camosun College and the University of Victoria and lead downtown.

Pearson College Green Space

 

Pearson College Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This green space is on the property of the Lester Bowles Pearson College of the Pacific. It is named after a fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada (1963 to 1968).  L.B. Pearson was recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in organizing the United Nations Emergency Force.  The college, established in nineteen seventy four from property of the Department of Defense, is a United World College and admits an International Baccalaureate degree.  The facilities are off-limits to the public yet the trails are shared. Student use the trails for cross country running as well as research purposes.

 

This area was selectively logged in the early nineteen hundreds and has some unique flora. Cedar tree stumps, mostly with an approximate 1 meter diameter, are seen along the trails. Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and western red cedar (Thuja plicata) trees are found in this forest grove that has many rocky outcrops. Salal and ferns are the primary forest floor plants while mosses cover nearly every possible surface. Several ephemeral streams flow through the parkland while Cripple Creek forms the western perimeter.

There are two main access points to the green space. The primary pathways can be accessed from Pearson College Drive. Additional pathways are found between kilometers twenty eight and thirty of the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin. There are a maze of footpaths in this green space. The primary footpath that starts near the second sign that along the road into Pearson College.  This path can form a circular route that follows the perimeter of the College’s property. The route parallels the Galloping Goose Trail and provides an option to continue to the outdoor exercise and rope practice area.  Cripple Creek forms the western perimeter of the property with the locally named Pipeline Trail. This rough path skirts creek and Pedder Bay back to the College parking area.

The campus borders on Pedder Bay and glimpses of the marina can be seen as you stroll along Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin from the Rocky Point Road site. The rough pathway into Pearson College is accessed from the Galloping Goose Trail near the 30 kilometer marker. This route lead down the slope to Cripple Creek and the Pipeline Trail.  A second trail to the green space is access from closer to the 29 kilometer maker of the GGT. This trail connects down the ravine of a small ephemeral creek and up the steep slope to the Barde Knockie or the Deep Woods Trail. A Metchosin Heritage sign marks the junction. The Deep Woods Trail was part of the original overland route from Victoria to Sooke used by early settlers. From the sign a turn to the left leads toward the Pearson College Drive while a turn to the right leads down toward Pedder Bay. Sandgate Green Space, Ron Weir Green Space, Matheson Lake Regional Park and the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin are nearby.

Geographical location             N48º 20’ 52” W123º 33’ 47”

Pearson College Green Space 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 continue along as the road changes names to become William Head Road. Follow along the road to the junction with Pearson College Drive. Turn right onto Pearson College Drive and continue to the small parking area of Pearson College is at the end of Pearson College Drive. This is private property with a limited space for hikers to park their vehicles. All buildings are off limits and for continued usage of the trails in this area require respect from all users.

Thetis Lake Park – Panhandle Trail

Thetis Lake Panhandle trail view hill Thetis Lake Panhandle trail stumps (2)

At the junction of Barker Road and Highland Road is the Panhandle Trail of Thetis Lake Regional Park. This one and half kilometer long old fire road is gated with a yellow metal barrier. The trail heads east along the north border of the parkland to branch into two pathways that lead to the corridor under the hydro-electric towers and into Francis King Regional Park. The Panhandle Trail is frequented by cyclists and equestrians as well as some hikers and dog walkers. This is pleasant stroll through some tall Douglas fir, big leaf maple and arbutus trees. The snowberry bushes, oceanspray plants, Oregan grape shrubs, salal and ferns as well as the many moss covered rocks add to the peacefulness of the area. The initial five hundred meters of the pathway is along relatively level ground with several bends and curves around wetlands and tree stumps. At the junction with the trail with High Ridge Trail into Francis King Park, the Panhandle Trail becomes slightly steeper though the second growth forest of Douglas fir trees. There is a good view point to the north from hill along this section. The pathway then descends with a few curves to reach Munn Road. This is an excellent place to explore in your backyard.

 

Geographical position N48° 28’ 54” W123° 27’ 48”

 

Thetis Lake Regional Park – Panhandle Trail 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 where the roadway curves to become Barker Road. The trail head is near the junction of Barker Road with Highland Road. 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.

Moss Rock Park

Moss Rock Park view Moss Rock Park rocks

Also called Fairfield Hill Park, Moss Rock Park has a great view over Clover Point Park and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA. Take a turn at one of the two benches with views of the City of Victoria and the Salish Sea in this two hectare parkland. This is a splendid natural rocky area to have a picnic and to scrabble over rocks to the summit at about 41 meters. In the spring, the wildflowers like camas, nootka rose and honeysuckle are spectacular. Garry oak and arbutus trees manage to grow in a few of the few level areas in the park. There is a steep rock route from May Street to the lower bench near the hill top. The park borders along private property, Masters Road and May Street. From May Street, via a rough trail near 204 Memorial Crescent, the eastern side of the park can be accessed where the summit is about 39 meters. The view from this part of the parkland is over Ross Bay Cemetery. Bushby Park, Sir James Douglas Elementary School Green Space, Porter Park and Clover Point Park are nearby.

Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 45” W123° 20′ 465″

Moss Rock Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Masters Street. Turn right onto Masters Street and drive up the street to near the end where there is a trail to the park. There is very limited roadside parking on Masters Street but parking might be available along May Street. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.

 

Dickson Avenue Green Space, North Saanich

The quiet residential neighborhood of the North Saanich Bazan Bay community borders on Dickson Woods, a lovely forested area that is part of the Victoria International Airport property. Dickson Avenue forms the southern edge of the wood. Its road allowance extends along the forested area to Cresswell Road. The well trodden pathway provides a terrific three hundred meter walk toward the agricultural lands in this neighborhood. This green space is close to Balsam Park, the Flight Path and Cresswell Road Green Space.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 37′ 58″ W123° 25′ 24″

You can get to Dickson Avenue Green Space from Pat Bay Highway. Turn 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 first exit onto Canora Road. Continue onto Willingdon Road and at the roundabout take the third exit onto East Saanich Road. Turn right onto Dickson Avenue. Once on Dickson Avenue continue to the end of the road and look for the trial. There is roadside parking.