University of Victoria Trails, Oak Bay

 

Located outside Ring Road, the wood chip trails of the University of Victoria are frequented by joggers and pet owners.  These jogging trails meander through forested areas and grassy meadows.  Slightly off the beaten jogging trails, the University’s Finnerty Gardens are great place to admire the flowers and shrubs.  You can also brush up on your Latin names for the plants, as the gardeners have name cards near the plants. The campus also is a great place to stroll.

Geographical Location N49º 27’ 39” W123º 18’ 58”

You can get to the University of Victoria from Mackenzie Avenue, Gordon Head Road, or Cedar Hill Cross Road.  Turn on to Finnerty Road, University Drive, Gordon Head Road, or Henderson Road to access Ring Road.  The jogging trails can be found by walking along the Ring Road toward a trail post.  Several trail posts are also visible along Gordon Head or Cedar Hill Cross roads.  Parking is available for a fee around the campus.  Some street parking is available on Cedar Hill Cross Road and Gordon Head Road.  Walks around the University of Victoria campus can easily be extend by strolling into Henderson Park.  Finnerty Gardens are located near the chapel, which is across the parking. lot from the Fine Arts Buildings. Many buses provide service to the university area.

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Eleanor Mann Park

Eleanor Mann Park sign

Eleanor Mann Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.   This forested area was selectively logged in the mid nineteen hundreds and continues to support cedar, Douglas fir and arbutus trees. Salal, ferns, mosses and lichen form part of the understory. The Mann family business, Don Mann Excavating Ltd, donated the parkland in the memory of Eleanor, wife of Don and mother to Steve, current proprietor of the family business. The main trails are bridle trails that are interconnected to the pathways from the end of Sweet Chestnut Place, along Liberty Drive and near the end of Arden Road.   Metchosin Wilderness Park, Bob Mountain Park and Buckbrush Swamp Park are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 22’23” W123º 34’ 48”

Eleanor Mann Park can be reached from the TransCanada Highway (Hwy 1) when you exit at the Millstream /Veteran Memorial Parkway exit. Head south along the Veteran Memorial Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn right onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road then right onto Rocky Point Road. Continue along Rocky Point Road to reach Liberty Drive. Follow along Liberty Drive to reach Deer Park Trail and look for the park access at the end of the road.

Buckbrush Swamp Park

 

Buckbrush Swamp Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. The rough well-trodden footpath circles around a small wetlands area and is about five hundred meters long. Sections of the pathway double as a bridle trail while no deer were spotted during my reconnaissance there is plenty of evidence that deer visit this parkland. The forest and wetlands are composed of deer fern, bracken, grasses, lichens, willows, hemlock, Douglas fir, western red cedar, alder and bigleaf maple trees. The park is across the road from Metchosin Wilderness Park and close to Bob Mountain Park.

Geographical location N48º 22’ 16” W123º 35’ 0”

Buckbrush Swamp Park 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 right onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road and then right onto Rocky Point Road. Continue on Rocky Point Road to reach Liberty Road. Turn right onto Liberty Road and look for the park on left near Eagle Point Road. Buses travel along Happy Valley Road.

Ron Weir Green Space

Ron Weir Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.  Mr. Wier grew up in the Metchosin area since his great grandparents arrived in the mid eight-teen hundreds on the third voyage from Britain of the barque rigged Norman Morison. This trail celebrates his passion for the historical and ecological values of this area and long heritage of care for livestock. This narrow green space has a four hundred meter long single track footpath that connects from William Head Road to Pearson College Drive. The gravel and woodchip pathway is marked by trail posts at both ends and borders along the fence line of homesteads in this waterfront community. Sandgate Green Space, Pearson College Green Space and the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 17” W123º 32’ 53”

Ron Weir 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 and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road past the junction with Happy Valley Road. The name changes to William Head Road. Continue along toward Pearson College to reach Sandgate Road. Turn left onto the road. Park near the junction with WHR. The trail is across the road and up the hill about 100 meters. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Devonian Regional Park

Devonian Regional Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This ocean front park was acquired from the Devonian Foundation Alberta, formed by the lawyer, oil man and philanthropic Eric Harvie, and the provincial government in 1980. It is one hundred and thirty five square kilometers of forest area with Sherwood Pond providing a wetland oasis amongst the Douglas fir and Garry oak woodlands. The kinglet, great horned owl and pileated woodpecker might be sighted in the park. This wildlife sanctuary is tucked into the gently rolling landscape between Metchosin farms. A bridle trail lies along the southern perimeter of the park. There are parking and picnic areas. Sherwood Creek flows into the pond and acts as guide for the well-trodden footpaths. The Douglas fir and arbutus trees in the park can be explored by strolling along the gravel trails. The main trail leads through the forest about twelve hundred meters to reach the cobble and pebble Taylor Beach that lies on Parry Bay. The beach overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Witty’s Lagoon can be reached by strolling along the water eastward along Taylor Beach. The distance is about six kilometer round trip. Taylor Green Space is about five hundred meters eastward along the waters edge. At the park entrance is a small parking area with toilets. Benches can be found in this park too.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 57” W123º 32’ 32”

Devonian Regional Park 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 and watch for the signs to Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Continue along Metchosin Road past the junction with Happy Valley Road. The name changes to William Head Road. Continue along until you see the signpost for the park on the left. There is small parking area. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Mitchell Park with Seabluff Trail

Mitchel Park with Seabluff Trail is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Long time Metchosin residents, Geoff and B.H. Mitchell donated the narrow strip of land to form Mitchell Park.  The park hosts a grass and dirt trail through an active grazing field and a grove of Douglas fir trees. There are three memorial plaques commemorating Mr. Mitchell, Ms. Sonja Young and Mr. Gord Reimer. Many of the bridle trails throughout Metchosin were established due to the efforts of the horsewoman Ms. Young. Metchosin Search and Rescue was founded by Mr. Reimer and his honoring bench is located a terrific view point among the Douglas fir trees in the parkland. The Seabluff Trail consists of a one hundred and one kilometer rectangular-shaped trail. The length of one perimeter lies along the ridge of the fifty meter high cliffs and provides fantastic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in the State of Washington.  The trail leads around an open field that is not part of the parkland so refrain from letting dogs roam freely. The southwestern section of the trail is through a Douglas fir grove with several roots exposed on the well-trodden rough path. The northwestern perimeter trail is through a lower lying terrain that can be sodden and marshy. Witty Lagoon Regional Park, Madrill Green Space and Metchosin Elementary Green Space are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 22’ 47” W123º 31’ 25”

Mitchell Park with Seabluff Trail 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. Continue along Metchosin Road to Wootton Road. Turn left onto Wootton Road where there is limited roadside parking near the end. There are two gates at this access point; one at the end of the road. The other gate is just to the right of the small turnabout. Alternative access is from the end of Parry Cross Road where there is limited roadside parking near the gated entrance. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.

Desmond North Park

Desmond North Park is in the Triangle Mountain and Braemar neighborhood of Langford, B.C. This half a hectare polygon shaped green space is on the western slope of Triangular Hill also called Triangle Mountain. Rocky outcrops with cedar and Douglas fir trees are seen in this area of Southern Vancouver Island. The nature park has a gravel foot path the parallels Desmond Drive before curving eastward to connect with Kelly Dawn Place.  The trail branches to reach Desmond Drive between homes 3562 and 3554. Havenwood Park, in Colwood, Sunhills Park, Sun Estates Park, Desmond South Park, Desmond North Park and Ernhill Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 24’50”  W123°30’48”

 

Desmond North 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. Continue along VMP to reach Latoria Road. Follow Latoria Road to the right to reach Desmond Road. The foot path can be seen on the right near the junction of Desmond Road and Latoria Road. There is limited roadside parking in this area. Alternatively turn onto Kelly Dawn Place and look for the gravel and grass trail between homes 3570 and 3566. City buses travel along Latoria Road.