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.

Beacon Hill Park

This post is updated here.

Institute of Ocean Science Green Space, North Saanich

ios pond 4The gardens bordering the entrance of the Institute of Ocean Science (IOS) are designed with relaxing and contemplation in mind.  The property was formerly one of the Spencer homes and had been landscaped with eastern white, incense and Atlas cedar trees. Norway spruce, Irish yew and a Spanish fir complete the collection of cedars. The large atrium entrance way has a welcoming pond and garden beds. The parking lot is also surrounded by grassy areas and flower shrubs. A series of Russian olive trees, Elaeaganus angustifolia, were planted here. There are few picnic tables and benches as this place is favored for watching the vessels used by the Canadian Coast Guard and used for oceanographic research as they navigate the waters of Patricia Bay and Saanich Inlet. This green space is close to the Lomond Ferry Green Space, Flight Path, Patricia Bay Beach Park and Scoter Trail.

Geographic coordinates  N48° 38′ 59″ W123° 26′ 52″

You can get to the IOS Green Space from Pat Bay Highway.  Exit 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 first exit onto Canora Road. Continue onto Willingdon Road and at the next roundabout, take the second exit to stay on Willingdon Road. Pass the airport entrance and continue to West Saanich Road. Turn left at the intersection and then right to access the parking lot of IOS. This parking lot has some visitor spaces.

Green Park, North Saanich

This is a beautiful park with several multi-use trails that connect to the surrounding neighborhood. Two small ponds accent the second growth forest of Douglas-fir, cedar, maple, arbutus and alder trees. Eagles, flickers and hawks may be seen in this parkland. There are small grassy areas and throughout the park are benches to enjoy the view. The natural trails circling the shallow ponds are enjoyed by people out running and walking with and without their dogs.

Geographic coordinates N48° 40’ 0” W123° 25’ 10”

You can get to Green Park from Pat Bay Highway.  Before you reach ferry terminal follow the signs that lead to Lands End Road.  Cross over the overpass and continue on Lands End Road looking for Green Park Drive on the left.  Green Park is part way along the road on the left. Look to the left next to house #10945 or continue to the junction with Salal Place and look for trails along both sides of this road. There is limited roadside parking.

North Saanich Parks, Playgrounds and Green Spaces


The rural community that forms the District of North Saanich lies on the northern tip of the Saanich Peninsula, excluding the Town of Sidney, on the southern area of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The parks, playgrounds and green spaces to explore are mostly multiuse trails that connect cul-de-sacs with other roads and provide access for pedestrians and, in a many places, horses and bicyclists.

North Saanich borders on the ocean to the north and west and has many beach access points. To the south is Central Saanich and to the east is Sidney-by-the-Sea. This rural yet urban community has an excellent variety of outdoor areas including playgrounds, trail through forest groves, hill top vistas and sandy beaches.

This blog describes the parks, playgrounds, and green spaces within North Saanich from north to south and east to west, mostly.  Its goal is to encourage you to explore your neighborhood by foot. There are stimulating walks and breathtaking sights in your backyard. Walking in established residential areas has the added bonus of frequent rest stops for young and old.  Each place can take less than an hour to explore.  A brief description of the nature of each park is provided with directions.

As all else, trails are altered and the conditions of the parks, playgrounds and green spaces that I describe in this blog change.  As I cannot be held responsible for errors or discrepancies in the text, I ask that you help to keep this blog current and useful. For the enjoyment of all parks, playgrounds and green spaces, please carry out any litter, respect adjacent property, keep dogs on a leash, and do not pick the wildflowers, mushrooms or other vegetation. And, of course, the geographical locations that are provided are dependent on the stability of network that forms the global positioning system.

 Exploration is footsteps away in your backyard.