Sandgate Green Space

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.

Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin

ferncliff-park-trail-ggt

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail is a multi-use trail that connects Victoria to Sooke, approximately fifty five kilometers distance. This old rail bed was initially used during the nineteen twenties for a passenger train. Although it is never far from busy streets, walking, hiking and cycling, as well as sections that include use by equestrians, thus riding along the trail removes one from the bustling cars with glimpses of squirrels, flowers, trees and beautiful lookout points. The trail starts in the Victoria West neighborhood of Victoria, B.C., and continues onto Saanich, View Royal, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and Sooke.

Strolling or cycling along the ten and half kilometer section of the Galloping Goose Trail in Metchosin makes for a peaceful excursion. Even the roadway access points are relatively quiet compared to sections of this trail further to the east. The wide gravel Trail enters Metchosin from Langford, B.C., near the junction of Happy Valley Road and Winter Road. The Trail parallels Bilston Creek as it flows southwest toward to the ocean waters of Parry Bay. Parry Bay is along the northern shore along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The trees and shrubs along the riparian area of the creek are mostly cedar and Douglas fir with a few big leaf maple trees, ocean spray and hardhack. The Trail lies on the east side Happy Valley Road until the junction with Glen Forest Way. There is small road side parking area near this junction along Glen Forest Way.

The Galloping Goose Trail-Metchosin continues west on the east side of Happy Valley Road and crosses over three small creeks. Cole and Hewitt creeks drain from the slopes of Mount Blinkhorn, a two hundred and fifty-nine meter hill; while Pilgrim Creeks drains the small wetlands feed by Collidge Creek. All these waterways help maintain the waterway of Bilston Creek. The Trail then traverses Kangaroo Road near Rocky Point Road, and typically the busiest intersection. As the Galloping Goose Trail continues crossing over Taylor Road and Lombard Drive as it curves around the slopes of Montreal Hill. Another small waterway, Sherwood Creek, passes under the trail. Sherwood Creek drains directly into the Pacific Ocean. After passing close to the footpaths in the private  Pearson College the Galloping Goose connects with Rocky Point Road. About a kilometer later the trail enters Matheson Lake Park where there is some refreshing swimming sites, scenic views from the picnic tables and benches. There are lavatories maintained by the Capital Regional District found near the picnic and swimming area.  Cripple Creek is paralleled by the Trail in this section. This creek flows into Pedder Bay where it forms a small estuary.

Geographical location N48º 24’ 27” W123º 32’ 24” at the junction of Winter Road and Dallimore Road

Galloping Goose Trail-Metchosin can be reached from several locations in Metchosin, B.C. Exit the Trans Canada Highway, also called Hwy1, onto Millstream/Veterans Memorial Parkway. Continue south onto Veterans Memorial Parkway to reach Sooke Road. Turn right onto Sooke Road then make a left onto Happy Valley Road.  Follow Happy Valley Road to reach Winter Road. Turn left on to Winter Road. There is limited parking along Winter Road, in Metchosin, where the Trail can be accessed. Other options, in Metchosin, for accessing the Galloping Goose Trail are from the many access points where the trail traverses the following roads: Happy Valley Road, Glen Forest Way, Lindholm Road, Bennett Road, Moreland Road, Kangaroo Road, Rocky Point Road, Taylor Road, Lombard Drive, near Pearson College Drive and at Matheson Lake Park. There is limited roadside parking at all these junctions with the exception of Matheson Lake Park which has large gravel parking area near the lake shore.

Trails BC and GGT websites as well as the 2004 Birder’s Guide: Lochside Regional and Galloping Goose Trail written by K. Taylor and published by Alabaster Publishing have further information about the Trail.

Tower Point Regional Park

 

Tower Point Regional Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This park is part of the Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park that it is connected only at low tides from the sandy beach of Parry Bay. The estuary of Biltson Creek is a natural division between the two areas. There are views to the south and east ocean area called the Strait of Juan de Fuca and snow covered peaks of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, USA. Tower Point Park has a one kilometer walking trail along its perimeter with a variety of viewpoints. The gravel and grass covered trail from the parking lot is bordered by Himalayan blackberry bushes with the occasional garter snake. The pathway leads to an open meadow field with a selection of trails to explore the area. Head to the immediate left (eastward) to take tour of the rocky shoreline of Tower Point. The pathway leads to the Douglas fir and garry oak trees that border the shoreline. The rocky shore line is formed from pillow lava exposures. These pillow basalts are echoed on the nearby islets to the east and south. Arbutus trees and smaller shrub like snow berries, oceanspray and hardhack are seen along the shoreline as well.  This section of the park has picnic tables and benches in few places. The toilets are in the forest grove.  Bradene Green Space is nearby.

Geographical Location N48º 23’ 13” W123º 30’ 29”

Tower Point Regional Park can be reached from the TransCanada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit the highway onto the Old Island Highway into Colwood. Follow the Old Island Highway as it becomes Sooke Road. Turn left onto Metchosin Road and continue along Metchosin Road to reach Duke Road. Follow Duke Road to the junction with Olympic View Drive. Turn onto Olympic View Drive and look for the parking area on the left. The trail is across the grass area. City buses travel along Metchosin Road.