A lovely narrow road that lies parallel to Mills Road in North Saanich is Sangster Road. There are two gravel pathways connecting the east and west sections of he road that encourage exploration in your backyard. The easternmost green spaces contains a narrow gravel pathway that is shaded by Garry oak and maple trees with a few Douglas fir. This trail is about fifty meters. The western green space has a pathway about twice that distance and less sheltered due to the neighboring yards. This trail leads to West Saanich Road across from Patricia Bay. Other nearby greens spaces include the Flight Path which lies on the other side of Mills Road and just across West Saanich Road are Patricia Bay Beach Park and Scoter Trail.
Geographic coordinates N48° 39′ 24″ W123° 26′ 27″
This park can be reached from Pat Bay Highway. Turn left at Beacon Avenue and follow the road as it curves to become McDonald Park Road. Turn left at the intersection with Mills Road. Follow Mills Road over the hill and as you begin to see the Holy Trinity church and its parking lot, on the left, look for Meadland Road to the right. Turn onto Meadland Road and, almost immediately, turn left onto Sangster Road. There is limited roadside parking.
In the Swartz Head neighborhood of North Saanich is the short Beach Road. It ends in pebble trail and small gravel turnabout beside a large rock face with modern glyphs. The gravel trail along the seaside properties of Swartz Head leads to the pebble beach. There is a eleven step concrete staircase to this unique sandy pebble beach of Tsehum Harbour. This is a wonderful place to watch the waves and yachts while you relax against the logs on the shoreline. This promontory, called Kingfisher Point, is worth the effort to visit as on the nearby waters, rocks and reefs you can see Canadian geese, buffleheads, harlequin ducks as well as crows and gulls. Occasionally river otters can be seen swimming or amongst logs and rocks. A peaceful spot.
Geographic coordinates N48° 40’ 33” W123° 24’ 30”
You can get to Beach Road Beach Access from Pat Bay Highway. Before you reach ferry terminal follow the signs that lead to Lands End Road. Turn east onto Kitti Wake Place right onto Curteis Road, then south on Tryon Road to pass by West Port Marina. Follow Tryon Road southward and look for the right branch of the road to get onto Beach Road. There is very little parking along Beach Road. The trail to the beach at near the turnabout along the road.
Her Majesty’s Ship Plumper, a survey ship during her last commission, provides the name for this ecological reserve park overlooking the seashore of Tsehum Harbour. For those curious, the image of this three-masted barque is on the shield that forms part of the crest for the town of Sidney. The natural trail circles down though the Douglas-fir trees to a wooden bench that provides a view of Tsehum Harbour’s tidal island called Resthaven, another lovely place to stroll and the yachts on moorings or at the docks at Van Isle Marina. This is a peaceful spot to rest.
Geographic coordinates 48° 40’ 35”N 123° 24’ 24”W
You can get to HMS Plumper Park by traveling north on Pat Bay Highway (#17). Just before you reach ferry terminal follow the signs that lead to Lands End Road. Turn east on Kitti Wake Place then south toward West Port Marina and follow the rolling curves of Tryon Road. Keep an eye out for Prentice Place on the left as the park sign will be around the next curve, on the right. There is limited roadside parking. The natural trail to the ocean view and bench is short.
The single dock that forms the Capital Regional District’s public wharf in Swartz Bay is a busy site as it is used by commuters from Piers Island as well as fishermen and kayakers for boat launching. The shallow waters off this wharf make it a good spot look at the ocean bottom for those curious. It can be difficult to find a quiet time with the on- and off-loading of the local boaters.
From this green space you can watch the passage of the BC Ferries and private boats through Colburne Passage. Pier Island is the larger island to the left whereas Knapp and Pym Islands are the left of Gosse Passage. There is a small area to access the beach.
Located at geographic position of N48° 41’ 12” W123° 24’ 26”
You can get to the wharf by traveling north on Pat Bay Highway (#17). Before you reach ferry terminal follow the signs to the right that lead to Lands End Road. Continue straight after the traffic light and stay on Dolphin Road. As you pass the ferry terminal’s chain link fence, look on the left for the government dock at Barnacle Road. There is large gravel parking lot on the left side of the road.
Take pleasure in the sparkling waters and small islets off Swartz Head from this beach access point. You can also watch the BC Ferries and private yachts navigate the waters of Colburne Passage. Often there are seals, river otters, Great blue herons, cormorants and other sea birds on the small islets and the larger Musclow Islet. The natural and rough trail to the shore line is short.
Geographic location: N48° 41’ 9” W123° 24’ 06”
You can get to Swartz Head Beach Access by traveling north on Pat Bay Highway (#17). Before you reach ferry terminal follow the signs to the right that lead to Lands End Road. Continue through the traffic light on to Dolphin Road. The chainlink fence for the ferry terminal will be on the left as will the Swartz Bay government dock. Follow Dolphin Road as it curves and narrows then turn right onto Gullhaven Road. Look for roadside parking at the foot of the road to walk to the seaside.