Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park is composed of a diverse number of habitats over the 560 square kilometer (56 ha/138 acre) park. With five kilometers of woodland trails, a salt marsh, meadows, and a tidal lagoon this is a comprehensive nature appreciation park. Witty’s Lagoon Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Witty’s Lagoon is wheelchair-accessible and was created in 1969 then became a CRD park in 1986. Along with its diverse habitats is the flora and fauna that accompanies the various habitats. In spring, the open meadows above the lagoon contain a brilliant array of wildflowers including camas lilies, saxifrage, and nodding onions. Witty’s Lagoon is a stopover for migrating birds such as osprey before they attempt the 13-mile (21-km) crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Peninsula. Other birds, such as the belted kingfisher, orange-crowned warbler, and dark-eyed junco overwinter in the shelter of the lagoon. Migratory birds that stop in the lagoon include sandpipers, turnstones, and surfbirds. The Bilston Creek watershed forms the small valley and contains a soothing waterfall called Sitting Lady Falls. If you approach the beach at Witty’s Lagoon from the Sitting Lady Falls or main entrance, the waterfalls can be observed from several vantage points. The water from Bilston Creek spills through a cleft in the granite. The park has plenty of berry bushes in summer and apple trees in the autumn. The marshland is lined with Garry oak and arbutus trees. Stop at the information display to learn more about the natural history. There are several bridal trails in the park that are frequented by equestrians year round.
Tower Point is also part of Witty’s Lagoon Park but is separate by a tidal sandy beach area. A short trail leads to a small beach at Tower Point where the ocean has hollowed tide pools in the granite outcropping. A rich variety of marine life shelter in the pools and stand revealed at low tide. Bring your rubber boots. You’ll also be rewarded with good views from here of aptly named Haystack Islands, where long, thick strands of grass grow in the shape of old stacks. Harbor seals can be seen sunbathing just off shore from Rocky Bluff Trail on Tower point. Farther out in the strait are the Race Rocks, Canada’s most southerly point on the west coast. Hurricane Ridge in Washington States Olympic Mountains forms the plateau on the distant southern horizon.
Geographical Location N48º 23’ 21” W123º 33’ 33”
Witty’s Lagoon 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 each Metchosin Road. Turn right onto Metchosin Road and look the parking area for Witty’s Lagoon across from the golf course. Park near the nature house and the other which provides wheel chair access into the park. This is well-marked trailhead at Sitting Woman Falls is located opposite the Metchosin Golf Course. Tower Point parking lot is near the junction of Olympic View Road and Bradene Road.Additional access points into the park have limited parking including along Metchosin Road, Duke Road, via the very long staircase at the end of Witty Beach Road, Bradene Green Space and the end of Cliff Drive.
The Town of View Royal, BC, has some unique waterfront beach accesses with views of Fisgard Lighthouse, forested areas, watery reefs and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State in the distance. This is one of those amazing places. Stewart Beach lies along the north shore of Esquimalt Harbour near Victoria, B.C. The uplands area is on a low ridge and has a bench near the road access. The landscaped garden beds of the residential homes on both sides of the park enhance the patch of grass beside the bench which is also next to the Stewart Avenue sewage pumping station. An asphalt trail leads past this bench to a set of thirty three stairs to another view point and bench. Located on a rocky promontory, this bench can be a great place to watch the activity of local fauna and to enjoy the scenery. A short ramp leads the rest of the way down to the pebble and coarse sand beach on the right. There is a small beach to the left and is a good place to launch a personal watercraft like a paddleboard, kayak or canoe. The park is best accessed at lower tides. This is a wonderful place to explore in your backyard.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 8” W123° 26’ 35”
Stewart Beach can be accessed from Hwy 1. Exit onto Helmcken Road (exit #8) and head south down the hill toward Esquimalt Harbour waters across the Island Highway. Turn left onto View Royal Avenue and then right onto Stewart Avenue. Continue to the end of Stewart Avenue. The trail to the beach is near the pumping structures. There is limited parking in this area. The city bus travels along View Royal Avenue.
The Town of View Royal, BC, has some unique waterfront beach accesses with views of Fisgard Lighthouse, forested areas, watery reefs and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State in the distance. This is one of those amazing places. Beaumont Beach lies along the north shore of Esquimalt Harbour near Victoria, B.C. The uplands area is on a low ridge with Garry oak and arbutus trees with snow berry and black berry bushes. A bench is just off the wood chip trail about 20 meters along has with excellent views. The wood chip trail becomes a two tiered staircase with about twenty five steps onto the rocks of the beach. The rocky beach is an amazing place to explore during a lower tide and it is sheltered from most winds. The shore line quickly becomes quite steep in either direction with several wharves from the nearby residential homes. The indentation is about 8 meters deep and is a good place to launch a personal watercraft like a paddleboard, kayak or canoe, provided you can manage the staircase railings. There is a small cobble beach around the point to the east.
Geographical location N48° 27’ 6” W123° 26’ 27”
Beaumont Beach can be accessed from Hwy 1. Exit onto Helmcken Road (exit #8) and head south down the hill toward the ocean waters that form Esquimalt Harbour. Turn right onto the Island Highway then left onto Beaumont Avenue. Continue along Beaumont Avenue to reach Kerwood Street. The trail to the beach is near the junction with Kerwood Street. There is limited parking in this area. The city bus travels along the Island Highway.
Finlayson Point – Beacon Hill Park lies in the southern border of City of Victoria. Form from felsic rocks and glacial till this point projects into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea. It is smaller than Clover Point, to the east. Holland Point is further west. Finlayson Point’s seaside bluffs, composed of mostly glacial till overlain with dark soils, of Beacon Hill Park merge with the shoreline of Clover Point Park and Holland Point Park. The grasslands of the ridge along Dallas Road shaded by a few large Garry oak and horse chestnut trees. The shore line shrubs are mostly composed of an elm species and few snowberry and alder bushes.
There are two main footpaths to stroll along while enjoying the spectacular panoramic view of the ocean with Washington State’s Olympic Mountain range as the backdrop. A flat paved eight hundred and eighty meter long pathway lies along the ridge within Beacon Hill. Bordered by the grasslands that contain camas and other flowers this area is one of six parks that permits dogs to be off leash in the City of Victoria. Be aware of exuberant canines bounding around. This is a very popular place to see dogs of all types as well as their owners.
The slightly quieter beach route can be accessed from near Cook Street via a stair case formed out of the old military weapons battery as well as a rough trail near Finlayson Point. The cobble and gravel beach stretches from Finlayson Point to Clover Point about a kilometer. Access to the waters in Horseshoe Bay, a small sandy bay immediately west of Finlayson Point, is via the rough trail off the point. There are many benches and several picnic tables along the pathways in this section of Beacon Hill Park. Mile Zero – Beacon Hill Park, Holland Point Park and South Park
Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 24” W123° 21′ 52″
Finlayson Point – Beacon Hill Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Stay on Blanchard Street as it merges with Douglas Street near Southgate and Superior streets. This marks the western corner of the parkland. Continue along Douglas Street to the junction with Dallas Road and Battery Street. Turn left onto Dallas Road and look for the angled roadside parking. City buses travel to the park from downtown Victoria.
Stunning water views are seen from this linear green space. It hosts a pathway beside a large arbutus and a couple of Douglas fir trees. The pathway is a wide slope concrete sidewalk to a concrete fifteen step staircase that leads to the sandy shores of Gonzales Beach. Foul Bay Road Green space is a couple of houses to the east and Gonzales Beach can also be accessed from Ross Street a few houses west along Crescent Road.
Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 43” W123° 19′ 41″
Crescent Road Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Foul Bay Road. Turn right onto Foul Bay and then right onto Crescent Road. The green space is at 1849 Crescent Road where there is limited roadside parking along. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown.
The southern end of Foul Bay Road, Victoria, BC, ends at Gonzales Bay which is part of the Salish Sea in British Columbia, Canada. This bay was once called Foul Bay, which was a misspelling of the word fowl: as the area once was a fowl farm established by landowner Isabelle Ross and her family. This green space hosts a concrete pathway beside a large Garry oak tree. The pathway leads to long concrete staircase that ends in the rocky area of the eastern side of Gonzales Beach. Gonzales Hill Regional Park is on the hilltop north of this green space. Crescent Road Green Space is about four houses west along Crescent Road. Harling Point Cemetery Green Space is to the east.
Geographic coordinates N48° 24′ 42” W123° 19′ 36″
Foul Bay Road Green Space can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Fairfield Road and follow along to Foul Bay Road. Turn right onto Foul Bay Road and continue across Crescent Road. There is limited roadside parking along Foul Bay and Crescent Road access. City buses travel along Fairfield Road from downtown.