Reay Estuary Green Space, North Saanich

Reay Estuary Green Space, North SaanichReay Creek flows into Bazan Bay, a sheltered bay located  between James and Vancouver islands. The Reay Estuary Green Space is located near Reay Creek and is a wonderful secluded place to catch the sunrise over James and Sidney islands. The cobble rocky shore is often covered with harvested timbers and other woody debris which makes it fun for beach walks and beach combing. Many of the rocks provide refuge for the young Dungeness and red rock crab that many of us enjoy when they are large enough to harvest. Great blue heron and many other smaller shore birds can be seen along the shoreline too. There are several points along Lochside Drive that allow access to the bay and are easier to find this place that I call Estuary Green space yet this is about exploring your backyard. There is a large willow tree near the gravel trail that leads from the roadside pull off. The trail reaches the beach south of Reay Creek estuary.
Geographic coordinates N48° 38′ 2″ W123° 24′ 27″
You can get to Lochside Drive from Pat Bay Highway. Turn off at Exit 26, the McTavish Exchange, the unique and confusing set of traffic circles designed to deal with the traffic efficiently, and follow the signs at the roundabout to take the second exit onto Lochside Drive. Continue northward on Lochside Drive toward Sidney paralleling the roadside Lochside Trail cycling pathway. This green space located between 9265 Lochside and the estuary of Reay Creek Park. The pathway to the beach is close to the pumping facility. Look for the gravel roadside pull off along Lochside Drive. The unmarked trail leads toward the beach, where there is a rough six step wooden staircase, near this parking site.

McTavish Road Green Space

At the junction of McTavish Road with West Saanich Road there is a green space with a walking trail. The road right of way continues to the shallow waters of Cole Bay of Saanich Inlet. The green space contains a gravel pathway along the fence lines of the Pauquachin First Nation property and the homes of North Saanich’s Ardmore community. Douglas fir and arbutus trees shade the pathway while the understory is adorned with ferns and salal. Thickets of blackberries have filled in most other areas along the trail. The four hundred meter gravel trail leads to short paved section of McTavish Road that can be reached from the end of Inverness Road. A fifty meter gravel trail connects to McTavish Road Green Space from the end of Jura Road. Enjoy extending your stroll along the short paved section of McTavish Road to reach a ten meter gravel pathway that leads to Cole Bay. This is a good spot to launch a paddle board, canoe or kayak during medium to high tides. Cole Bay is a sheltered shallow bay with a mostly rocky bottom. Dyer Rocks lie close the southwest of Yarrow Point. A navigational marker indicates a reef further off of Dyer Rocks. McTavish Road Green Space is a wonderful way to explore your backyard.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 49″ W123° 27′ 49″ near Cole Bay Park
You can get to McTavish Road Green Space from Pat Bay Highway (BC 17). Turn 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 until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A North). The trail is directly across the road at this intersection and is marked by a small hiking post. There is a bus stop at this intersection too. There is limited road side parking along either West Saanich or McTavish roads so this trail is best access from the end of Inverness Road near Cole Bay Park. While you are here make time to visit Th-kaut, the 1100 year old Douglas-fir tree on the third green of Ardmore Golf Course and Cole Bay Regional Park.