Langford Lake Park

Langford Lake Park is in Langford, B.C. It is also known as Leigh Beach Park as it can be accessed near the end of Leigh Road. This large waterfront park has a walking trail, washrooms, playground, picnic tables, benches, fishing wharves and several sections with boardwalks. The park is hosts most of the four and half kilometer long Ed Nixon Trail which circles the lake. Black cottonwood, Douglas fir, arbutus and red alder trees are seen in this park.

Langford Lake, along with Glen Lake and Florence Lake, is a natural glacial kettle formed by glacial drift during the last ice age. Inflow to Langford Lake is primarily through storm water ponds and weir located at along the southeast shoreline. The original drainage of the lake was altered when the railway berm was constructed in the nineteen thirties. Langford Lake’s outflow is through a drainage ditch with a large culvert into Langford Creek and onto Goldstream River. These waters eventually reach Saanich Inlet and the Salish Sea. Monitoring of the sixty one hectares that form Langford Lake is a combined effort of the Langford Lake Area Protection Society and British Columbia’s Lake Stewardship and Monitoring Program. Since the installation of an aerator system, Langford Lake has become a user-friendly lake for water enthusiasts. Overseen by the City of Langford under guidelines from British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment, the drainage system is set to maintain a constant water level during the summer. With an average depth of nine meters and maximum depth of sixteen meters, Langford Lake reaches its highest water level during rainy winter months. Langford Lake was once a source of domestic water supply but today its six kilometer shoreline is a source of recreation for lakeside property owners with six public access areas. Several public swimming areas may be found around Langford Lake as well as two other public beaches. Boaters, canoers and kayakers can use the boat launch found at the lake’s southeast end. To help maintain Langford Lake’s quiet and peaceful setting, outboard motors and personal water craft are not permitted. Three wheelchair accessible fishing floats are provided by the City of Langford. The lake is annually stocked with seven hundred and fifty rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) although the waters might contain native fish called peamouth minnows (Mylocheilus caurinus). Trout and other introduced fish such as small mouth bass, pumpkin seed sunfish and yellow perch are caught by local fishers.  Native fish, like M. caurinus, are rare since like many freshwater fish, these minnows are not capable of surviving in salt water to have swum to the island.  Leigh Beach Park, Le Quesne Park, Flute Lane Park, City Center Park, Westhills Park, Goudy Park, Belmont Secondary School Green Space, Glen Lake Park and Irwin Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’39”  W123° 31’ 34”

 

Langford Lake Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Leigh Road exit and continue along to turn right onto Goldstream Avenue. Continue on Leigh Road as it curves past the lakefront homes to the west. The park is on the right near the rail way track.  There is a large gravel parking area and limited roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Goldstream Avenue and Langford Parkway.

 

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Irwin Park

Irwin Park Irwin Park 3

Irwin Park is in the Goldstream neighborhood of Langford, B.C. As part of a former campground, this park has wide trails and recovering clearings as well as a couple of ponds, formed with a couple of dams along Parkdale Creek. A gate house, originally from the campground, lies near the western entrance to the park. The building was restored, notably with fish motifs in the cedar shingles, by students and teachers from the Westshore Center for Learning and Training. Parkdale Creek is part of the Colwood Creek watershed which flows into Esquimalt Lagoon via Glen Lake and Colwood Lake. Humpback Reservoir with a thirty one meter high concrete dam, built and filled in nineteen fifteen, are also part of the original waterway. (This reservoir was filled using the pipeline from Sooke Lake until nineteen seventy and is protected from public usage by the CRD water supply area storage lake.) The creek formed a gully which now has an ephemeral water flow due to the small ponds. These ponds are not for swimming as they are part of a reservoir system with has pump stations and were built, in nineteen seventy one, for the obsolete Humpback Valley Campground. Of the original forty six hectare campground with one hundred and twenty two sites, Irwin Park is about five and half hectares in size. The trail in Irwin Park connects to the West Shore Parkway, near the rugby, football and high school sport fields, over a distance of about a kilometer. The trail varies from concrete slabs to dirt to gravel to asphalt with various degrees of moss growth on the terrain. There is pedestrian bridge across the lower dam while the bridge over the upper dam is closed. Several benches were once strategically placed along the walk way and now provide views of the cedar and Douglas fir trees as well as the ponds. A couple of picnic tables are found near the eastern bridge in a small clearing. This park is frequented by dog walkers, hikers and walkers. It is along the proposed route, for cyclists, as part of the connector trail from the Galloping Goose Trail to the Humpback Connector of the Trans Canada Trail. Mount Wells Park, Goldstream Regional, Harlequin, Cressida and Langford Lake parks are nearby. This is a beautiful place to explore in your backyard.

Geographic location N48° 26’38” W123°32’41”

Irwin Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at the West Shore Parkway and make a right onto Amy Road to pass the gas station. Continue along Amy Road which merges with Sooke Lake Road. Turn left onto Humpback Road and continue along to turn left onto Irwin Road. The trailhead is just past the junction with Creekside Terrace which leads to the Raven Estate neighborhood and Lakewood Place. Another access point into the park is from the end of Lakewood Place between homes 2986 and 2987. There is limited roadside parking both areas. The third access point is Parkland Park and across the Parkdale Creek Bridge to reach the trail that parallels the creek into the park. This forested area has been significantly altered due to clear cutting and land clear for roadways and houses.