St Marys’ Green Space

The grounds of Saint Marys’ are two separate green spaces that host buildings of the third oldest Anglican congregation on Vancouver Island. Located in Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District, St Marys’ Church heritage site, at 4354, was created in the late eighteen seventies. It is used mainly for periodic events. The newer building and grounds border along Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park, about two kilometers to the east.

The heritage church green space, St Mary the virgin, has a welcoming garden among the final resting areas of the many of the earlier pioneering families of the Metchosin area. The grounds were donated for consecration by the first initiate Mr. John Witty. The garden has several unique trees and shrubs including a weeping Lawson cypress planted in about eighteen eighty eight. A coronation English oak was planted on the 25th of June in nineteen thirty-seven. In the springtime the burial grounds are covered with the flowers of the white lilies. The garden is maintained by volunteers. A second building hosts a preschool with a small playground shaded by the arbutus and Douglas fir grove.

The green space at 4125 Metchosin Road hosts the parish, St Mary the Incarnation, with a large paved parking area. These are surrounded by a grass covered area with a border of large Douglas fir trees to the south. Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park is beside this green space.

Geographical location N48º 23’ 18” W123º 31’ 34”

St Marys’ Green Space can be reached from Highway 1, the TransCanada Hwy. Exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway overpass and 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 and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. One church with its large parking area lies immediately beside the lagoon parking lot. The other church grounds is about two kilometers along Metchosin Road. There is limited roadside parking along Metchosin Road near the gated entrance. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Further information about the heritage sites can be found at websites for Old Cemeteries in BC, Heritage BC and the church.

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Glen Cove Park

boardwalk on Glen Lake east end

Glen Cove Park is in Langford, B.C. This park lies on the south side of Glen Lake. This nature park has the wetlands and outlet of Glen Lake which flows toward Colwood Creek and can only be accessed from trails that lead into the park. A feature in this parkland is the boardwalk that connects the Galloping Goose Trail with the Cy Jenkins Trail.  The Cy Jenkins Trail leads from Loch Glen Road and continues south to the Galloping Goose Trail-Langford. Alder, salmonberry, red-flowering currant, cedar and Douglas fir trees fill the deciduous forest area. Lily pads and marshlands provide habitat for butterflies and overwintering and breeding shore birds and waterfowl. Glen Lake is part of the Colwood Creek Watershed and collects water from Humpback Reservoir and Irwin Ponds which are connected by Parkdale Creek. This watershed has an area of 1194 hectares including storm drains in the surrounded communities. Eventually the waters from Glen Lake reach the Salish Sea as the lake drains into Colwood Creek on the eastern shore. The lake has a surface area of about seventeen hectares and lies at an altitude of sixty-seven meters. The beach area is good launching personal watercraft like canoe, paddle boards and kayaks. There is an aeration system in the lake which helps support a healthy water quality for the small mouth bass, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. The latter two species have been released into the lake since the nineteen eighties.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’7”  W123°31’4”

 

Glen Cove Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream exit and continue along south to reach the Veterans Memorial Parkway. Turn onto Kelly Road near the south end of the shopping area. Cross over Jacklin Road to reach Jenkins Road. Turn left onto Glen Lake Road and continue to the end. A pedestrian access in found between homes.  There is limited roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Jacklin Road.

Blue Grouse Plateau Park

Blue Grouse Plateau Park 11 Blue Grouse Plateau Park 9

Blue Grouse Plateau Park is in the Bear Mountain neighborhood of Langford, BC. The park is about one and half hectares in size with steep terrain. The trail into the park is accessed along the gravel trail near the storm water collection ponds. The trail continues into the park which is formed and protects part of the gully of Gardner Creek. The collection ponds drain through a series of gravel filtration beds and wetlands before reaching Gardner Creek, a tributary of Mill Stream. Mill Stream, or Millstream Creek as it is often called, is the main waterway in a watershed that starts in the Gowlland Tod range of the Highlands and includes seven lakes and numerous ponds. Mill Stream supports many organisms in its riparian and wetland areas as well as in the creek water such as salmon, trout, frogs and turtles. Blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) and sooty grouse (D. fuliginosus) may dwell in the second growth forests that line the gully of Gardner Creek; it also appears that the names are synonymous. Blue Grouse Plateau has a rough trail that slopes down through the second growth forest. Douglas fir and cedar trees are found along the slopes with several large weathered tree stumps. The footpath exits the parkland and continues to Bear Mountain Parkway to reach the road near the BMP Green Space. Players Drive Park is across the road. This is a great play to walk in your backyard.

Geographic location N48° 28’15” W123°31’4”

Blue Grouse Plateau Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream Road and turn left onto Bear Mountain Parkway. Continue along BMP to reach Players Drive. Turn left onto Players Drive then left onto Blue Grouse Drive. The park is near the split cedar fencing that forms a partial border for the gravel collection ponds. There is limited parking along Blue Grouse Drive.

Trans Canada Trail – View Royal

TCT GGT tunnel under Helmcken Road from ped crossing over trailThe Galloping Goose Trail forms this section three kilometer section of the Trans Canada Trail.

The following is a repeat of the information seen on the blog for the Galloping Goose Trail – View Royal.

 

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail is a multi-use trail that connects Victoria to Sooke and is approximately fifty five kilometers long.  The three kilometer section that passes westward through the Town of View Royal parallels the Trans Canada Highway then diverges south toward the Old Island Highway. Despite the noise from vehicle traffic, this well traveled trail is frequented by hikers, walker and bicyclists. Himalayan blackberry bushes, Nootka rose shrubs, hawthorn and maple trees are seen in clusters along this rolling and curving section.

Access to the trail is from many sites in View Royal including through Welland Legacy Park, from the end of Eaton Avenue and along Camden Avenue. The TCT can also be accessed from Chancellor Avenue, near Victoria General Hospital, along Erskine Lane, Talcott Road and Atkins Avenue. A trail head for the GAlloping Goose Trail,  in View Royal, that has parking is near Atkins Avenue.

Welland Legacy Park, which is along the eastern border of the Town of View Royal, has a chain-link fence with a discrete gate that allows access to the trail. There is a composting toilet at this parkland. The views of Portage Inlet, to the south, are terrific from between Eaton Avenue and Camden Avenue. Chancellor Park, with water fountain, playground and small parking area, can be a good short term site for parking a vehicle and accessing the trail. After Chancellor Park, the GGT passes through a tunnel under Helmcken Road, from which a wide paved pathway branches up the slope toward the Victoria General Hospital. Once past Helmcken Road, the trail slopes downhill for a short stretch and is well shaded by alder, oak and maple trees. Craigflower Creek is at the bottom of the ravine on the south side of the trail. The vegetation along this section, which helps to muffle the traffic noise, is composed of black cotton, Douglas fir, red alder and trees. The trail then slopes upward slightly and continues across Talcott Road and then curves up to the junction of Watkiss Way and Burnside Road. There is a four way stop at Burnside Road and Watkiss Way. The trail continues on westward and has more blackberry bushes as well as Scotch broom and tall grasses. There are firs, oaks and willows as the creek is nearby. The trail continues down hill and lies just south of Watkiss Way before passing under the freeway overpass bridge and railway bridge to reach Atkins Avenue near Brydon Road. There are washrooms, a water fountain and information sign at Atkins Avenue.

Geographic location N48° 27’ 35.7” W123° 27’ 21” near Atkins Avenue

The Trans Canada Trail can be reached from Hwy1. Turn off on Exit 10 for the Old Island Highway which heads toward Colwood. Continue under the freeway overpass and turn right onto Six Mile Road. Take the second right onto Atkins Avenue and continue to the end of the road. There is a parking area. City buses travel along the Old Island Highway. The trail passes several other roads in View Royal including Eaton Avenue, Camden Avenue, Chancellor Avenue, Erskine Lane,Talcott Road and Watkiss Way.

Galloping Goose Trail – View Royal

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail is a multi-use trail that connects Victoria to Sooke and Leechtown and is approximately fifty five kilometers long. The trail passes through Victoria and continues onto Sannich, View Royal, Colwood, Langford and further. The three kilometer section that passes westward through the Town of View Royal parallels the Trans Canada Highway then diverges south toward the Old Island Highway. Despite the noise from vehicle traffic, this well traveled trail is frequented by hikers, walker and bicyclists. Access to the trail is from many sites in View Royal including through Welland Legacy Park, from the end of Eaton Avenue and along Camden Avenue. The GGT can also be accessed from Chancellor Avenue, near Victoria General Hospital, along Erskine Lane, Talcott Road and Atkins Avenue. The trail head in View Royal with parking is near Atkins Avenue. Himalayan blackberry bushes, Nootka rose shrubs, hawthorn and maple trees are seen in clusters along this rolling and curving section. Welland Legacy Park, which is along the eastern border of the Town of View Royal, has a chain-link fence with a discrete gate that allows access to the trail. There is a composting toilet at this parkland. The views of Portage Inlet, to the south, are terrific from between Eaton Avenue and Camden Avenue. Chancellor Park, with water fountain and small parking area, can be a good short term site for parking a vehicle and accessing the trail. After Chancellor Park, the GGT passes through a tunnel under Helmcken Road, from which a wide paved pathway branches up the slope toward the Victoria General Hospital. Once past Helmcken Road, the trail slopes downhill for a short stretch and is well shaded by alder, oak and maple trees. Craigflower Creek is at the bottom of the ravine on the south side of the trail. The vegetation along this section, which helps to muffle the traffic noise, is composed of black cotton, Douglas fir, red alder and trees. The trail then slopes upward slightly and continues beside Talcott Road. There is a four way stop at Burnside Road. The trail continue on westward and has more blackberry bushes as well as Scotch broom, and tall grasses. There are firs, oaks and willows as the creek is nearby.just south of Watkiss Way before passing under the freeway overpass bridge and railway bridge to reach Atkins Avenue near Brydon Road. There are washrooms, a water fountain and information sign at Atkins Avenue

 

Geographic location N48° 27’ 35.7” W123° 27’ 21” near Atkins Avenue

 

The Galloping Goose Trail can be reached from Hwy1. Turn off on Exit 10 for the Old Island Highway which heads toward Colwood. Continue under the freeway overpass and turn right onto Six Mile Road. Take the second right onto Atkins Avenue and continue to the end of the road. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along the Old Island Highway. The trail passes several other roads in View Royal including Eaton Avenue Camden Avenue, Chancellor Avenue, Talcott Road and Watkiss Way.

 

Trails BC and GGT websites as well as the 2004 Birder’s Guide: Lochside Regional and Galloping Goose Trail written by K. Taylor and published by Alabaster Publishing have further information about this section of the trail.

Gulf View Picnic Grounds, North Saanich

Gulf View Picnic GroundsThis one hectare park has several picnic tables and a grassy area to enjoy a break from walking. The view is eastward toward the Bazan Bay and the Salish Sea with James and Sidney Islands. On a clear day the San Juan Islands and the Washington State Coastal Mountains with Mount Baker’s snowy peak are visible. This park contains a National Gravity Net Station, a benchmark disc #9041-1979 is used a way-point for geo-cashing yet it is for accurately measuring the curvature of the Earth’s surface. This heritage park in North Saanich as it has been a public park since nineteen thirty-six. This means that there are several Douglas fir and cedar trees that could be older than eighty years. This is amazing, since the majority of this area has been cleared for residential use and big trees are not often considered the “view.” Quarry Park and Dominion Brook Park close by to the south and north, respectively, along East Saanich Road. Several green spaces with trails are close to Gulf View Picnic Grounds including Fentress Road Green Space and Lowe Road Green Space. A larger grassy area is at Sansbury Elementary School Green Space.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 3″ W123° 24′ 59″

Gulf View Picnic Grounds can be reached from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, a 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 to the East Saanich Road intersection. Turn left onto East Saanich Road past the Panorama Recreation Center on the right and continue past the Center for Plant Health. Look for the park sign across of Dean Park Road and look for the entrance to the small gravel parking area and a gated roadway. Alternatively, catch a city bus to this park from along East Saanich Road. There is bus stop right in front of the park.

 

Sansbury Elementary School Green Space

The large grassy field behind the old Sansbury Elementary School forms a terrific place to toss a Frisbee or enjoy the sun. This is a unique site in this North Saanich neighborhood where there are few large sports fields. This residential neighborhood apparently was formed around with the idea that this sport field would always persist. The school building is now home to a performing arts company while a day care is based in the outside building. The green space is bordered by some large Douglas fir and western red cedar trees and is crucial for the Sansbury neighborhood. The property was considered surplus by the Saanich School District since the school closed yet the grass fields are a peaceful outdoor space for community use.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 4″ W123° 24′ 38″ along Aldous Terrace

Sansbury School Green Space can be reached from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Exit 26, the McTavish Interchange, a 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 to the East Saanich Road intersection. Turn left onto East Saanich Road past the Panorama Recreation Center on the right and continue past the Center for Plant Health. Turn left down Lowe Road and look for the school building as the road curves to become Emard Terrace. There is a paved parking area in front of the building and parking for this green space can be found along Aldous Terrace which can be reached off Amity Drive. Alternatively, walk down Lowe Road from the city bus that travels along East Saanich Road.