Bazan Bay Road Green Space, North Saanich

Bazan Bay Road Green Space is residential neighborhood beach on Bazan Bay. It is a good place to stretch your legs on a short twenty meter stroll to the concrete staircase that leads to rock and cobble beach on Bazan Bay. The road access is a service road for the District of North Saanich and Capital Regional District. There is a pleasant grassy area around the paved pathway to the shore. This green space is a wonderful place to catch the sunrise over James and Sidney islands and the waters of the Salish Sea. The cobble and rock beach 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 herons and smaller shore birds can be seen along the shoreline too. Apparently North Saanich is considering changing the three lots to the north of this small green space into a natural waterfront park. That will be great when it happens as an increase in outdoor space and beach access is good for everyone. At this time the property is protected with a chain fence and contains a pump facility. This green space is good for launching kayaks, paddle boards and other small water craft.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 28″ W123° 24′ 29″

Bazan Bay Road Green Space can be reached from Pat Bay Highway. Turn right at Amity Drive, where the pedestrian overpass crosses above Pat Bay Highway. Turn left onto Lochside Drive. Travel north past Cy Hampson Park on Lochside Drive and as Lochside Drive curves slightly toward the highway look for the road to the beach. This unmarked road is the eastern end of Bazan Bay Road on most maps of the area. There is limited roadside parking along Bazan Bay Road near 8925 Lochside Drive.

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Cy Hampson Park

Cy Hampson Park - Bazan Bay ParkThis six and a quarter hectare park is along Bazan Bay of Salish Sea. It is a favorite for picnics on the beach picnic table. This popular park is frequented in the morning, afternoon and evening hours by people walking with their dogs. There are two sections to the parkland as it is divided by Lochside Drive and Lochside Trail. The western side of the park allows dog to be off-leash and has a seven hundred meter gravel trail that circles the grassy knoll. There is a small cluster of trees and shrubs close to where the flag poles and welcome sign once resided. Cy Hampson Park - Bazan Bay Park beach picnic tableThe eastern side of the old Bazan Bay Park is on the water front. It is flat grass-covered area with a paved pathway that leads to the beach accesses, viewpoint platform, picnic tables and benches. Both sections are enclosed with a chain-linked fence that has several gated entrances. An enjoyable stroll is down the southern staircase to the beach and walk north toward the grassy area with the picnic table and back up the gentle incline to the upper area. This park land was originally part of the Dominion Experimental Farms property that had been cleared and farmed in 1886. It became Bazan Bay Park in 1976 and was renamed 1998 for Dr. Cyril G. Hampson, a wildlife scientist turned educational filmmaker who spent three decades in North Saanich.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 19″ W123° 24’24”

Cy Hampson Park can be reached from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway to the right at Amity Drive, a discrete exit with the pedestrian overpass. Turn left on to Lochside Drive and continue along until you see the small gavel parking area to the left or the larger paved area, on the right, slightly further along Lochside Drive. The Lochside Trail parallels Lochside Drive on both sides of the road so roadside parking is not encouraged in this area.

Fentress Road Green Space – West, North Saanich

Fentress Road Green Space Emard TerraceFentress Road is the southernmost road of North Saanich as it lies along the border of Central Saanich. It runs east to west. This green space is the road right-of-way for Fentress Road and contains a gravel footpath. The six hundred meter pathway passes between the old daffodil fields of Vantreight Farms and the residential area of Sansbury in North Saanich. Douglas fir and cedar trees form a shady canopy over the footpath. The understory is mixed shrubs and blackberry bushes. This pathway is frequented by dog walking and hikers. This green space is close to Quarry Park, Gulf View Picnic Grounds, Dominion Brook Park and John Dean Park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 36′ 43″ W123° 24′ 17″

Fentress Road trail 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 continue past the Center for Plant Health. Turn left down Leal Road, a small road across from Barrett Drive on East Saanich Road. Turn right onto Emard Terrace and look for the hiking marker at the end of Emard Terrace. There is limited roadside parking along Emard. The trail can be also picked up just off Central Saanich Road as its name changes to Bourne Terrace, from the end of Ebor Terrace, from along Aldous Terrace, and from the end of Moxon Terrace. Alternatively, walk down Leal Road from the city bus that travels along East Saanich Road.

John Dean Provincial Park

John Dean Park trail

The 174 hectare John Dean Park is managed by the Province of British Columbia with the assistance of the Friends of John Dean Park Society. The land was donated to the province in 1921 with additional donations by neighboring landowners. The parkland encompasses most of Mount Newton and lies in both North and Central Saanich. This place of refuge, or Lauwelnew, has an additional historical meaning as a safe haven from the flood for the local First Nations in the Saanich area. The trails through the forest and woodland meadows of John Dean Park are just beautiful for hiking and dog walking. There is even a bridle trail on the western slope. Give yourself at least an hour here or more. The six kilometers of interlinking trails have varied levels of difficulty. Following the service road as it winds through older second growth forest of Douglas-fir and cedar trees leads to a viewing platform at 333 meters, the summit of Mt Newton. The view is wonderful and takes in the pastoral Saanich Peninsula and across the Salish Sea to the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. A huge air traffic radar dome, built in 1989, is at the summit next to a historical survey point (WMHXM7) and a communications towers.An earth gravity place marker, a popular geocash site, and the water reservoir are also near the summit. Most of the trails are named after other land donors and include Barrett Montfort, Merrill Harrop, Woodward and Skipper’s trails. The trail that connects from the northern trail head is the Slektain Trail. Additional interlinking trails are the Surveyor’s and Thunderbird trails. Maps are available online as well as a several locations throughout the park. These trails allow exploration of second growth forests with season creeks, small ponds and wetland areas. Some of these areas were developed as the homestead of Mr. John Dean prior to donation of the land. There is a toilet at this park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 8″ W123° 26′ 9″

John Dean 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 at Dean Park Road. Dean Park Road winds through the Dean Park residential neighborhood to the park entrance. The gravel parking lot has room for several cars. This route is closed to cars during the winter months. Alternatively, the park can be reached from the west side using Alec Road off of West Saanich Road or from Thomson Place on the south side of the park. This trail leads through Haldon Park in Central Saanich. There is also a north entrance from Dunsmuir Lodge property with a pathway that leads to Slektain and Barrett Montfort trails.

See the provincial parks of British Columbia and Friends of John Dean Park websites for maps of the trails.

 

 

tree stump in John Dean Park

Gulf View Picnic Grounds, North Saanich

Gulf View Picnic GroundsThis one hectare park has several picnic tables and a grassy area to enjoy a break from walking. The view is eastward toward the Bazan Bay and the Salish Sea with James and Sidney Islands. On a clear day the San Juan Islands and the Washington State Coastal Mountains with Mount Baker’s snowy peak are visible. This park contains a National Gravity Net Station, a benchmark disc #9041-1979 is used a way-point for geo-cashing yet it is for accurately measuring the curvature of the Earth’s surface. This heritage park in North Saanich as it has been a public park since nineteen thirty-six. This means that there are several Douglas fir and cedar trees that could be older than eighty years. This is amazing, since the majority of this area has been cleared for residential use and big trees are not often considered the “view.” Quarry Park and Dominion Brook Park close by to the south and north, respectively, along East Saanich Road. Several green spaces with trails are close to Gulf View Picnic Grounds including Fentress Road Green Space and Lowe Road Green Space. A larger grassy area is at Sansbury Elementary School Green Space.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 3″ W123° 24′ 59″

Gulf View Picnic Grounds 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 continue past the Center for Plant Health. Look for the park sign across of Dean Park Road and look for the entrance to the small gravel parking area and a gated roadway. Alternatively, catch a city bus to this park from along East Saanich Road. There is bus stop right in front of the park.

 

Amity Drive Green Space

Amity Drive Green SpaceAmity Drive in North Saanich lies east to west across Saanich Peninsula. The green space extends from the shores of Bazan Bay westward toward the lower slopes of Mount Newton. The majority of this green space is a paved sidewalk along Amity Drive. This green space is included here since it contains the pedestrian bridge that connects the Sansbury neighborhood to the shoreline of Bazan Bay. The view of the waters of Bazan Bay, the Salish Sea and the neighborhood from over the Patricia Bay Highway is quite unique. Go see for yourself. The beach access from Amity Drive is lovely, despite the large pump facility that runs periodically. Nineteen steps down the concrete and rock staircase brings us to a rock and cobble beach. From here it is a short stroll to Wardle Road Green Space to the south. Cy Hampson Park is slightly further away to the north.Amity Drive Green Space is close to several other parks and green spaces including Fentress Road, Lowe Road, Dominion Brook Park, Gulf View Picnic Grounds and Quarry Park.

Geographic coordinates N48° 36′ 56″ W123° 24′ 3″ at Bazan Bay

Amity Drive Green Space can be reached from Pat Bay Highway. Leave the highway at Amity Drive. This section of Amity Drive leads to Lochside Drive and Lochside Trail. There is limited roadside parking along Amity or Lochside Road. Alternatively, walk down Lowe Road from the city bus that travels along East Saanich Road.

Sansbury Elementary School Green Space

The large grassy field behind the old Sansbury Elementary School forms a terrific place to toss a Frisbee or enjoy the sun. This is a unique site in this North Saanich neighborhood where there are few large sports fields. This residential neighborhood apparently was formed around with the idea that this sport field would always persist. The school building is now home to a performing arts company while a day care is based in the outside building. The green space is bordered by some large Douglas fir and western red cedar trees and is crucial for the Sansbury neighborhood. The property was considered surplus by the Saanich School District since the school closed yet the grass fields are a peaceful outdoor space for community use.

Geographic coordinates N48° 37′ 4″ W123° 24′ 38″ along Aldous Terrace

Sansbury School Green Space 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 continue past the Center for Plant Health. Turn left down Lowe Road and look for the school building as the road curves to become Emard Terrace. There is a paved parking area in front of the building and parking for this green space can be found along Aldous Terrace which can be reached off Amity Drive. Alternatively, walk down Lowe Road from the city bus that travels along East Saanich Road.