Quarry Park, North Saanich

owl at Quarry  Park in April 2014forest at Quarry ParkExplore nature in this second growth forest that has been left relatively undisturbed since it was used as a granite rock quarry several years ago. The dense grove of young Western red cedar forest has a thick canopy that limits the understory plant growth.  This beautiful and peaceful two hectare neighborhood park has a trail, rocky outcrops, wildflowers and several picnic tables.  The circular Quarry Trail is a three hundred and fifty meter trail around and about the old granite quarry. Peaceful place. This park is close to Gulf View Picnic Grounds, Dominion Brook Park, Lowe Road Green Space and Fentress Road Green Space. John Dean Park is up the slopes of Mt Newton.

Geographic coordinates N48° 36′ 48″ W123° 24′ 57″

Quarry Park 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 look for the park sign to the left just before you reach to border with Central Saanich. There is limited roadside parking along East Saanich Road in front of the park. Alternatively, catch a city bus to this park from along East Saanich Road.

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Cresswell Road Green Space

With a view over Dickson Forest and the Victoria International Airport, strolling up the three hundred meter sidewalk along Cresswell Road is worth the effort. Cresswell Road lies north to south on the Saanich Peninsula and has a couple of terrific green spaces to use as a means to explore your backyard. Its paved sections connect Wellington Road, through the gated fire road, to McTavish Road. This lower section is a quiet rural road along agricultural lands. After crossing McTavish Road there is a concrete sidewalk up the northern slope of Mt Newton to Texada Terrace. At the top there is another fire-gate at the top of Cresswell Road continue toward Tumbo Place and trails that lead into John Dean Park. This green space connects to Dickson Trail, near the airport, and to Texada Terrace Green Space near Texada Terrace. There are also trails that lead toward Dunsmuir Lodge Green Space.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 38″ W123° 25′ 50″
You can get to Cresswell Road from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway 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 second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Follow McTavish Road past the East Saanich Intersection and continue to Cresswell Road. Turn left onto Cresswell Road, just past the fire station, and go up the hill. There is roadside parking along this section of Cresswell Road.

Dunsmuir Lodge Green Space, North Saanich

The Dunsmuir Lodge and its surroundings lands form a unique coastal Douglas-fir forest on the north slope of Mount Newton border on John Dean Provincial Park. This forty hectare area was gifted, in 1985, to the University of Victoria, a public institution, by the late George Poole, a Canadian construction entrepreneur. The lodge, a former treatment center called Gillian Manor, was refit as a educational conference center fortunately only portions of the property have been selectively logged. Thus the second and old growth forests on the property are unique to explore.  A trail from the road up to the lodge leads into John Dean Park. This trail is called the Barret Montfont Trail West and it connects with the Slektain Trail in John Dean Park. An easy area to visit since it is very close to Sidney and the Victoria International Airport, the green space is frequented by hikers, dog walkers and running groups.  Apparently the lodge and lands are also available for purchase pending change of the deed on the property.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 37′ 48″ W123° 27′ 57″

You can get to Dunsmuir Lodge 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 second exit to stay on McTavish Road. Continue through intersection with East Saanich Road and look for the access road at 1515 McTavish, just past the fire hall and Cresswell Road, on the left. The access road is guarded by a gate and concrete pillars. There is parking along this access road and in the parking lot near the top of the road, to the left. The lodge is to the right.