Albert Head Beach

 

Albert Head Beach is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the southern end of Vancouver Island, this cobble and sand beach lies along the west side of the Strait Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea.  The view to the east includes the skylines of Victoria and Oak Bay as well views the distance Cascade Mountain ranges. The Olympic Mountains can also be seen to the south. This beach forms the southern shore of Royal Bay. Lined by Douglas fir and garry oak trees amongst the landscaped acreages, the one and half kilometer stroll along the shoreline leads toward Royal Bay Beach Park. Another three kilometers further is Esquimalt Lagoon Park and the sandy beach that forms Colberg Peninsula in Colwood. The upland area and lagoon is part of the Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park. This neighborhood in Metchosin was named for Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, as a result of the survey in the eighteen forties by the captain and crew of the HMS Herald. The point of land to the immediate south is called Albert Head and has limited access as a seasonal training area for the Department of National Defense.   Migratory birds, river otters, seals and other small animals are often seen in this area.

Geographical Location N48º 23’ 44” W123º 29’ 19”

Albert Head Beach is accessed from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit Hwy 1 onto the Old Island Highway to drive through the City of Colwood. Follow the curves of the Old Island Highway as it becomes Sooke Road. Turn left onto Metchosin Road. Continue along Metchosin Road to reach Farhill Road, which is just past the junction with Latoria Road and the open gravel site that forms the Royal Bay Community. Turn left onto Farhill Road then right onto Lower Park Road. Follow Lower Park Road as it curves sharply to become Delgada Road. A small parking area is found at the bottom of the hill within Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park. City buses travel along Metchosin Road from which it is about a four hundred meter downhill walk to reach the waterfront.

Vitality Park

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Vitality Park is in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Langford, B.C. This peaceful neighborhood park has a small playground. The playground is composed a small swing set with some climbing apparatus. It borders along the Galloping Goose Trail – Langford. Loma Linda Park, Southern Vancouver Island Rangers Green Space and AT Gordon Memorial Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 24’49”  W123°32’ 14”

 

Vitality Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Mill Stream Road and head south toward Sooke along Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. Continue along VMP to reach Latoria Road. Turn right onto Latoria Road and continue along to Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road and continue along to reach Vitality Drive. Turn left onto Vitality Drive and look for the park on the right as the road curves to the left.

Wild Ridge Park

Wild Ridge Park is in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Langford, B.C. This park is a steep loose shale walking trail between Ridge Pond Drive and Wild Ridge Place. This pathway is frequented by dog walking, hikers and those wanting to train on a steep rough terrain. There are a few Douglas fir trees in the park along the upper ridge where a shallow wetland area is fenced off. The park is fenced by chain-link fencing along both sides of the wide footpath. Willing Park, Valley View Park, A.T. (Tom) Gordon Memorial Park, Happy Valley Elementary School Green Space, Weaver Park, Vitality Park and the Galloping Goose Trail are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 24’30”  W123°32’11”

 

Wild Ridge Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Exit onto Millstream Road toward Sooke using the Veterans’ Memorial Parkway. Continue along the VMP to reach Latoria Road. Turn right onto Latoria Road and continue to reach Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road and look for Wild Ridge Road. Turn onto Wild Ridge Road and continue past the baseball park and through the traffic circle. An access trail to Willing Park is on the left while the trail of this park is on the right beside home 911.  There is limited roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Happy Valley Road.

Moss Ridge Park

Moss Ridge Park is in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Langford, B.C. This small nature park has a wetland area that has a landscaped border along its chain-link fence. The wetlands are a protected area and contain a shallow pond. Marsh plants like cattails as well as alder, ocean spray and blackberries are found here. The landscaped area is covered with grass a few trees and a concrete walkway. This pathway is frequently by dog walkers, hikers and those wanting to train on hills and steep terrain. Willing Park, Valley View Park, A.T. (Tom) Gordon Memorial Park, Happy Valley Elementary School Green Space, Weaver Park, Vitality Park and the Galloping Goose Trail- Langford are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 24’25”  W123°31’59”

 

Moss Ridge Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Exit onto Millstream Road toward Sooke using the Veterans’ Memorial Parkway. Continue along the VMP to reach Latoria Road. Turn right onto Latoria Road and continue to reach Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road and look for Wild Ridge Way. Turn onto Wild Ridge Way and continue along to reach Ridge Pond Drive. Turn up the hill and look for this on the right at the junction of Moss Ridge Close with Ridge Pond Drive.  There is limited roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Happy Valley Road.

 

Valley View Pond Park

Wild Pond park 2

Valley View Pond Park is located in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Langford, B.C. The footpath in this path is along a small creek that flows from the Olympic View Golf Course. A series of small ponds and small earth dams makes the parkland unique. There are cottonwood and cedar trees in the park as well as many shrubs such as blackberries, ocean spray and hardhack. The footpath is about four hundred meters long and connects with the turnabout at the end of Wild Pond Lane and Wild Country Lane. The elevation change is slight. Willing Park, Wild Ridge Park, Vitality Park, Loma Linda Park and the Southern Vancouver Island Rangers Green Space are nearby.

Geographic location N48° 24’32”  W123°32’11”

 

Valley View Pond Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream exit and continue south to reach Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. Continue on the Parkway to reach Latoria Road. Turn right onto Latoria Road and continue to Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road and turn left onto Wild Ridge Way. Continue past the park and baseball diamond that is on the left and look for Wild Berry Bend at the traffic circle. The park trail is seen on the right side across from 982 and to the left of 979 Wild Ridge Way. There is limited roadside parking. City buses travel along Happy Valley Road.

Willing Park

Willing Park 3

Willing Park is in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Langford, B.C. The park is named after the pioneering family who moved to this area in the early nineteen hundreds. The park has a oval gravel walking trail, small pond and connections to the neighborhood streets. The one kilometer trail circles through the alder and cedar second growth forest and meadow lands that were cleared for agricultural uses. The Willing Family donated the four of the fourteen hectares that includes Nesbit Creek. There are deer, raccoons, and many birds dwell here. Nisbet Creek flows through the park from the slopes of the Olympic View Golf Course. A smaller intermittent creek flows from the rocky slopes in the Valley View Ponds Park. Nisbet Creek connects with the much larger Pritchard Creek to form Bilston Creek. Bilston Creek connects with Witty’s Lagoon which flows into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A large sediment and detention pond was created along Nisbit Creek to improve the storm water management from the nearby housing developments.  Moss Ridge Park, Valley View Park, A.T. (Tom) Gordon Memorial Park, Happy Valley Elementary School Green Space, Weaver Park, Vitality Park, Linda Loma Park and the Galloping Goose Trail-Langford are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 24’33”  W123°31’59”

 

Willing Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream exit and continue along south to reach the Veterans Memorial Parkway. Follow VMP past the Westshore Mall Complex then make a right turn onto Sooke Road and continue along to reach Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road and continue along to reach Wild Ridge Way. Turn left onto Wild Ridge Road and pass baseball diamond in the AT Gordon Memorial Park on the left. The gardens and Willing Park can be reached from between 946 and 900.  There is roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Happy Valley Road and Latoria Road.

 

Alternatively, there is a gravel walking trail into the park from Fredrick Drive via Klahanie Drive from either Latoria Road  or Dickier Road. The park trail is on the right near 656 Frederic Road and before a maintenance gate into Olympic View Golf Course.  There is limited roadside parking this area.

Braeburn Park

Braeburn ParkBraeburn Park is in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Langford, BC. This nature park has a circular walking trail and a small pond that is feed by Colls Creek. The forest is a mixed wetland with cedar and big leaf maple as well as salal, ferns as well as ocean spray and hardhack shrubs. The gravel trail of that circles the pond is about eight hundred meters long and has a couple of foot bridges across the creek. Colls Creek continues flowing southwest to connect with Bilston Creek and Witty’s Lagoon which drains into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The gravel walking trail has branches that connect to Thrush Park and Gala Court, Happy Valley Road, and Braeburn Avenue. Turnstone Park, Willing Park, Luxton Park, Kinglet Park and the Galloping Goose Trail – Langford are nearby,

 

Geographic location N48° 25’16”  W123°31’58”

 

Braeburn Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream exit and continue along south to reach the Veterans Memorial Parkway. Turn onto Sooke Road and continue along to reach Happy Valley Road. The park is between Gala Court and Braeburn Avenue on the left side of Happy Valley Road. There is some parking along Baeburn Avenue. City buses travel along Happy Valley Road.