Sandgate Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sandgate Green Space leads to a long sandy beach with various names such as Weir Beach, Taylor Beach or Parry Beach. The green space is border by residential and summer homes as well as a recreational vehicle resort and its seasonal lagoon. There are wonderful views of areas to the east: Metchosin, Colwood, Victoria and Oak Bay communities. The coastal and olympic mountain ranges provide a sharp contrast the ocean waters when viewed from Sandgate Green Space. This is a good place to launch personal water craft to explore the shorelines. The William Head Penitentiary is on the peninsula to the south. Devonian Regional Park, the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin, Pearson College Green Space and Ron Weir Green Space are nearby.
Geographical location N48º 21’ 18” W123º 32’ 40”
Sandgate 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. There is a small parking area near the end. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.
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.
Taylor Green Space is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the edge of Strait of Juan de Fuca, Taylor Beach is rock and cobble beach. It is between Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park and Devonian Regional Park. Mitchell Park with Seabluff Trail and Madrill Green Space are nearby.
Geographical location N48º 21’ 59” W123º 31’ 57”
Taylor 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. Continue along Metchosin Road to Taylor Road. Turn left onto Taylor Road and continue down to the small parking area. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.
Albert Head Beach is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the southern end of Vancouver Island, this cobble and sand beach lies along the west side of the Strait Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea. The view to the east includes the skylines of Victoria and Oak Bay as well views the distance Cascade Mountain ranges. The Olympic Mountains can also be seen to the south. This beach forms the southern shore of Royal Bay. Lined by Douglas fir and garry oak trees amongst the landscaped acreages, the one and half kilometer stroll along the shoreline leads toward Royal Bay Beach Park. Another three kilometers further is Esquimalt Lagoon Park and the sandy beach that forms Colberg Peninsula in Colwood. The upland area and lagoon is part of the Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park. This neighborhood in Metchosin was named for Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, as a result of the survey in the eighteen forties by the captain and crew of the HMS Herald. The point of land to the immediate south is called Albert Head and has limited access as a seasonal training area for the Department of National Defense. Migratory birds, river otters, seals and other small animals are often seen in this area.
Geographical Location N48º 23’ 44” W123º 29’ 19”
Albert Head Beach is accessed from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit Hwy 1 onto the Old Island Highway to drive through the City of Colwood. Follow the curves of the Old Island Highway as it becomes Sooke Road. Turn left onto Metchosin Road. Continue along Metchosin Road to reach Farhill Road, which is just past the junction with Latoria Road and the open gravel site that forms the Royal Bay Community. Turn left onto Farhill Road then right onto Lower Park Road. Follow Lower Park Road as it curves sharply to become Delgada Road. A small parking area is found at the bottom of the hill within Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park. City buses travel along Metchosin Road from which it is about a four hundred meter downhill walk to reach the waterfront.
Come to Ross Bay to enjoy a wonderful seaside walk along Dallas Road. This is also a spectacular place to see storm waves crash along the beach or, in May of each year, watch the sailing yachts start the Swiftsure Yacht Race. With the choice of strolling over cobble beach stones, beached logs or along a concrete sidewalk, this seawalk suits just about everyone’s mobility. Located between St Charles Street and Memorial Crescent, the six hundred and twenty meter seawalk is right along the shoreline of Ross Bay. The trail is part of the seawall that protects the shores of Fairfield and Ross Bay Cemetery. The wide concrete seawall, built by nineteen fifteen, was redesigned with the addition of the large cobble stones and three long granite boulder groyns to diminish the flow of water along the beach. These projections can be seen along the shoreline at low tides. About fifty years early, in the mid eighteen hundreds, both East Creek and South Fairfield Creek drained into the bay. These creeks would have added small sediment to the waters and replenished some of the beach area. Along the upper areas of the beach. look for beach lupine, a low sprawling pea plant, gum weed^, a yellow flowering aster, and beach grass; plants that help to stabilize the shoreline. The views across the Salish Sea and Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA, are wonderful. Named for Isabelle Mainville Ross, Ross Bay and part of the cemetery were once her farm land. Ross Bay Cemetery is an interesting place to extend your walk for both the gardenlike setting of the grounds as well as the unique grave stones and monuments. If the winds are light, this area can be used to launch a kayak or paddle board, although the tidal currents are worth paying attention too.
Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 32” W123° 20′ 39″
Ross Bay Seawalk can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Memorial Crescent. Turn right onto Memorial Crescent and then turn right at Dallas Road. There is limited roadside parking along Dallas Road near this intersection. The walkway is to the east and Clover Point Park is to the west. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.
^http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2009/01/grindelia_integrifolia.php (this plant looks like a dandelion)
The view of yachts and ships on the Salish Sea is excellent from Wildwood Avenue Green Space. On most days you can see across the Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the Olympic Mountains of Washington State, USA. This green space is formed from the road right of way of Wildwood Avenue. The concrete sidewalk and pathway leads to the rocky shore between Gonzales Bay and Ross Bay. Pass by the shore pine trees to the twenty step concrete staircase that leads to small concrete platform with a handrail. A few more steps brings you to the granite rocks on shore. Try to arrive at low tide to explore the intertidal zone. This is also a cool place to storm watch but not so great to launch a kayak or paddle board.
Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 42” W123° 19′ 49″
Wildwood Avenue Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Wildwood Avenue in Fairfield, about a block after St Charles Street. Turn right onto Wildwood Avenue and continue to Hollywood Crescent. The beach access is between 1659and 1661Hollywood Crescent where there is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown Victoria.
Aboyne Beach is a favorite beach located along the shores of Saanich Inlet in the forested rural neighborhood of Ardmore, a Gaelic term referring to “homes beside the sea.” Aboyne Avenue lies east to west and is connected by a footpath along its length. The eastern end of Aboyne Avenue connects Ardmore Drive and Hartfell Avenue; the southern end of Hartfell Avenue ends at the waters of Cole Bay, near Cole Bay Regional Park. There is a concrete staircase that leads to the shale yet muddy shallow water of Cole Bay. When you head north along this short section of Hartfell Avenue across Ardmore Drive you’ll connect with Aboyne Avenue which continues west to reach the rocky shoreline of Saanich Inlet. Aboyne Avenue is a quiet rural roadway in this residential area that is connected by a footpath. The gravel path is bordered by maple and fir trees. There are also a fair number of blackberry bushes along this pathway. Once you’ve reach the next section of Ardmore Drive continue its intersection with Ardmore Drive. Strolling across Ardmore Drive look for the hiking trail marker that shows the way to the shores of Saanich Inlet. The gravel trail is about one hundred meters long through a forest of cedar and Douglas fir trees. Near the end of the trail there is a large arbutus tree and a set of staircases to the granite rock beach. The steep bank does provide a terrific view across the waters of the Salish Sea to the hills near Mill Bay and Cherry Point on Vancouver Island. It is also a good spot to watch a sunset. The beach is a mostly granite rocks with a few tide pools to explore.
Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 55″ W123° 28′ 38″
You can get to Aboyne Avenue Beaches 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 until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A North). Turn right onto West Saanich Road and then the next left onto Ardmore Drive and its golf course. Stay on Ardmore Drive past the end of the golf course property and look for Aboyne Avenue and Hartfell Road on the right. There is roadside parking along Aboyne Avenue and Ardmore Road. The closest parking area is at Cole Bay Park which is down Inverness Road. 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.
A pleasant stroll through cedar and arbutus trees along an hundred meter gravel trail brings to you a spectacular view of Saanich Inlet. As a bonus, there is a bench at the top of the narrow wooden staircase to provide a site to sit and relax. Or step down the staircase to the sand and cobble beach that is perfect for enjoying the ocean and view. This spot is nestled between 9670 and 9684 Ardmore Drive, beautiful estates; one with tennis court as seen through the wire fencing the other has a tall wooden fence that runs the length of the green space.
Geographic coordinates N48° 38′ 39″ W123° 27′ 56″
You can get to Bayview Road Beach 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 until you reach West Saanich Road (BC 17A North) turn right onto West Saanich Road. Follow along this road until you reach northern end of Ardmore Drive. Turn left onto Ardmore Drive and follow until it starts to curve southward. Bayview Road Beach access is on the first left. There is limited roadside parking along Ardmore Drive.
Located next to a private community at the end Towner Park Road, the Warrior Point Trail meanders four hundred and thirty meters through the forest to a rocky promontory along the northern shoreline of Patricia Bay. The Douglas-fir forest with the ground vegetation of salal and ferns border the trail. This provides a lattice type barrier of the views of driveways on both sides of the pathway. A concrete landing at the end of the trail allows access to the fourteen step wooden staircase to the water’s edge. The rocky shoreline looks southward across the bay toward the seaplane docks and the Coast Guard wharf next to the Institute of Ocean Sciences. It is a terrific spot to watch planes landing and large ships navigating the waters of Saanich Inlet. There are plenty of different seabirds too.
Geographic coordinates N48° 40′ 4″ W123° 28′ 13″
You can get to Warrior Point Trail from Pat Bay Highway. Before you reach ferry terminal follow the signs that lead to Wain Road. Cross over the overpass and continue on Wain to West Saanich Road. Turn left onto West Saanich Road and look for Towner Park Road just before the road curves along the shoreline of Patricia Bay. The trail to warrior point is on the left at the end of the road. A trail that lead to Towner and Derrick roads is to the right. There is roadside parking along Towner Park Road.