Matheson Lake Regional Park

Matheson Lake Regional Park is partly within the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.  Matheson Lake Regional Park is 1620 square km area that became a Capital Regional District park in 1993 when it was acquired from the province of British Columbia.  The lake is surrounded by trails with some excellent views over the lake and surrounding areas.  The Galloping Goose Trail –Metchosin passes by the lake shore on its north side; there is access to the parking lot and toilet facilities near the eastern end of the lake.

Matheson Lake Park is bordered by Roche Cove Regional Park on the west border and there is a pathway that follows the course of Wildwood Creek to the ocean. Wildwood Creek forms in the wetlands of the surrounding hills and enters Matheson Lake on its eastern end. Wildwood watershed covers about seven hundred and sixty nine hectares. with about three percent of the watershed covered by impervious surfaces.

The parkland is composed of young trees as most harvestable trees were removed in the early nineteen hundreds. That said, there are several large old trees to admire for their tenacity and resilience. Hemlock, cedar, Douglas fir compose more of the main slopes of the lake shore while big leaf maples and cottonwood fill in the new growth. The lake is a pleasant paddling destination for those seeking a serene, cloistered environment. There is a small island in the land to circumnavigate. It’s a short walk from the parking area to the beach, where hand-carried boats may be launched. Launch your canoe, kayak or paddle board to explore the small indentations and island that characterize the lake. The park has wonderful excellent swimming areas and hiking trails.

A trail from the park leads rough southward up to Caines Way. This is a very steep slope route that ascends about one hundred meters along its three kilometer course. This route connects through Roche Cove Regional Park and eventually leads to Mount Matheson. With an elevation of 267 meters, Mount Matheson is located outside the perimeter of Metchosin in the community of East Sooke.

Trails along the north side of the park connect with the Galloping Goose Trail from Metchosin and include La Bonne Trail, La Bonne-Matheson Lake Trail, Wayne’s Rock Trail, Wildwood Creek Trail, Bob Mountain Park.

Geographical location N48º 21’ 37” W123º 35’ 40”

Matheson Lake Regional Park 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 right onto Latoria Road and continue along to reach Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road then right onto Rocky Point Road. Matheson Lake Road will be on the right just past the sign that indicate a parking area for the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin.

Blinkhorn Park

Blinkhorn Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Blinkhorn Lake forms the center of this parkland while the Mount Blinkhorn lies to the east. Mount Blinkhorn is surrounded by private property thus is not available to the public. These features recognizes the English man Mr. Thomas Blinkhorn whom arrived in the eighteen fifties. He was appointed the chief magistrate and justice of the peace for the local area. Blinkhorn Lake is feed by drainage off the two hundred and fifty nine meter hill. In the mid-eighteen hundreds the lake was marked as a potential water reservoir for the Esquimalt-Victoria area. The nature developed property has maintained its Douglas fir and red cedar forest. There is a footpath around the lake that is about seven hundred meters long. A long partially submerged log forms a pier into the lake. The parkland is surrounded by private properties. Spellman and Carlton Cosh parks are nearby.

Geographical location             N48º 23’ 8” W123º 34’ 31”

 

Blinkhorn Park 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 Sooke Road. Turn left onto Sooke Road and continue along to reach Kangaroo Road. Turn right onto Kangaroo Road and then left onto Lindholm Road. The park near the junction of Spellman Place and Lindholm Road. Access to Spellman Park is across the road. There is limited road side parking along Lindholm Road. A small parking area is available off Kangaroo Road.  City buses travel along Sooke Road.

Glen Lake Park

Glen Lake Park is along the west shore of Glen Lake in Langford, B.C. This park hosts lake front sandy beach access to the water, a short wharf, a spray play area and a playground. The waterpark and playground are separated by a low concrete wall. The grass covered area has a pathway from the parking area. A landscaped water drainage garden borders the private homes beside the park. Picnic tables, several benches and a privy are partially shaded by tall Douglas fir and cedar trees along the north side of the park. Glen Lake Park also hosts a dog park area as dogs are not allowed in the children’s play area. The dog park is also along the shore and has a ten meter wharf and sandy beach area. There is also a grass covered area. A three meter wooden pedestrian bridge connects the two sections of the park. Glen Lake is part of the Colwood Creek Watershed and collects water from Humpback Reservoir and Irwin Ponds which are connected by Parkdale Creek. This watershed has an area of 1194 hectares including storm drains in the surrounded communities. Eventually the waters from Glen Lake reach the Salish Sea as the lake drains into Colwood Creek on the eastern shore. The lake has a surface area of about seventeen hectares and lies at an altitude of sixty-seven meters. The beach area is good launching personal watercraft like canoe, paddle boards and kayaks. There is an aeration system in the lake which helps support a healthy water quality for the small mouth bass, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. The latter two species have been released into the lake since the nineteen eighties. Shoreview Park, City Center – Hull Trail, Belmont Secondary School Green Space, Galloping Goose Trail, Glen Cove Park, Leigh Beach Park, Langford Lake Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’26”  W123°31’38”

 

Glen Lake Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream Road and turn right onto Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. Continue along VMP to reach Jenkins Ave. Turn left onto Jenkins Ave and continue to the junction with Glen Lake Road once across Jacklin Road. Turn right onto Glen Lake Road and continue past Belmont Secondary School on the right. Turn left onto Glenview Place and follow the road to the parking area. City buses travel along Glen Lake Road.

Ed Nixon Trail – Langford Lake Park

The Ed Nixon Trail lies along the southern half of Langford Lake in Langford, B.C. This trail is within Langford Lake Park and is about two kilometers in lenght. The trail is extended by including pathways that parallel Goldstream Avenue and Leigh Road to create a four and half kilometer circle route. This footpath is wheelchair accessible over rough gravel with several portions as elevated boardwalks. The boardwalks are over wetland that help to protect marshlands found along the trail. The marsh lands include skunk cabbage, spirea, sedges, willows and several grasses. The trail is shaded by tall Douglas fir trees, as well as a few cottonwood and cedar trees. A stroll along the pathway allows connection to several other Langford Lake Parks: Lakeshore Place Park, Shelby Park, Flute Lane Park, Le Quesne Park and Leigh Beach Park.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’57”  W123°19

 

The Ed Nixon Trail can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Leigh Road exit and continue along to turn left onto Goldstream Avenue. Follow Goldstream Avenue to reach a large parking area. The Trans Canada Highway once exited onto Goldstream Avenue in this area (but is now closed).  The trail is to the southwest or left as your enter the parking area. This is a good staging area for larger groups using the pathway. City buses travel along Goldstream Avenue.

Langford Lake Park

Langford Lake Park is in Langford, B.C. It is also known as Leigh Beach Park as it can be accessed near the end of Leigh Road. This large waterfront park has a walking trail, washrooms, playground, picnic tables, benches, fishing wharves and several sections with boardwalks. The park is hosts most of the four and half kilometer long Ed Nixon Trail which circles the lake. Black cottonwood, Douglas fir, arbutus and red alder trees are seen in this park.

Langford Lake, along with Glen Lake and Florence Lake, is a natural glacial kettle formed by glacial drift during the last ice age. Inflow to Langford Lake is primarily through storm water ponds and weir located at along the southeast shoreline. The original drainage of the lake was altered when the railway berm was constructed in the nineteen thirties. Langford Lake’s outflow is through a drainage ditch with a large culvert into Langford Creek and onto Goldstream River. These waters eventually reach Saanich Inlet and the Salish Sea. Monitoring of the sixty one hectares that form Langford Lake is a combined effort of the Langford Lake Area Protection Society and British Columbia’s Lake Stewardship and Monitoring Program. Since the installation of an aerator system, Langford Lake has become a user-friendly lake for water enthusiasts. Overseen by the City of Langford under guidelines from British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment, the drainage system is set to maintain a constant water level during the summer. With an average depth of nine meters and maximum depth of sixteen meters, Langford Lake reaches its highest water level during rainy winter months. Langford Lake was once a source of domestic water supply but today its six kilometer shoreline is a source of recreation for lakeside property owners with six public access areas. Several public swimming areas may be found around Langford Lake as well as two other public beaches. Boaters, canoers and kayakers can use the boat launch found at the lake’s southeast end. To help maintain Langford Lake’s quiet and peaceful setting, outboard motors and personal water craft are not permitted. Three wheelchair accessible fishing floats are provided by the City of Langford. The lake is annually stocked with seven hundred and fifty rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) although the waters might contain native fish called peamouth minnows (Mylocheilus caurinus). Trout and other introduced fish such as small mouth bass, pumpkin seed sunfish and yellow perch are caught by local fishers.  Native fish, like M. caurinus, are rare since like many freshwater fish, these minnows are not capable of surviving in salt water to have swum to the island.  Leigh Beach Park, Le Quesne Park, Flute Lane Park, City Center Park, Westhills Park, Goudy Park, Belmont Secondary School Green Space, Glen Lake Park and Irwin Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’39”  W123° 31’ 34”

 

Langford Lake Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Leigh Road exit and continue along to turn right onto Goldstream Avenue. Continue on Leigh Road as it curves past the lakefront homes to the west. The park is on the right near the rail way track.  There is a large gravel parking area and limited roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Goldstream Avenue and Langford Parkway.

 

Leigh Beach Park

Leigh Rd beach park Langford

Leigh Beach Park is in the Langford Lake area of Langford, B.C. This small waterfront park has washrooms, playground, picnic tables and benches. The playground has rubber matting under the climbing and swinging apparatus. A small grass covered area is on a low plateau overlooking the beach and playground where a few Douglas fir, arbutus and small shrubs remain. There is room to launch a personal watercraft like a kayak, board, or canoe from the beach area. A thirty meter boardwalk, part of the Ed Nixon Trail, lies along the road on the south side of the parkland. Seasonally a small raft is anchored off shore and used as a swimming platform. The park is right beside the Ed Nixon Trail, which lies mostly in Langford Lake Park. Langford Lake Park, Le Quesne Park, Flute Lane Park, City Center Park,  Belmont Secondary School Green Space, Glen Lake Park, Westhills Park and Irwin Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’39”  W123°31’34”

 

Leigh Road Beach Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Leigh Road exit and continue along to turn right onto Goldstream Avenue. Continue on Leigh Road and look for a gravel parking area on the left. The park is about twenty meters further along the road. Alternatively use Langford Parkway, accessed from Jacklin Road, and park in several of the parking areas for the City Center Park and Goudy Park. There is limited roadside parking near the beach. City buses travel along Goldstream Avenue and Langford Parkway.

Le Quesne Park

Le Quesne Park is in the Langford Lake area of Langford, B.C. This small waterfront park has a sign and a wooden arch that marks the gravel pathway. Strolling along the one hundred and thirty meter long pathway brings you to a twenty meter wide section of the lake shore. This area of the lake is rather muddy although the cottonwood and alder trees provide ample shade.  Seasonally the park becomes part of the wetlands of Langford Lake as the outflow for the lake was once toward Colwood Creek and Glen Lake. The berm for the railway changed the drainage of the lake in the mid nineteen thirties. At the moment, dogs are allowed in this park in the winter months. Leigh Beach Park, Flute Lane Park, Langford Lake Park with Ed Nixon Trail, Goudy Park, Belmont Secondary School Green Space, Westhills Park, Irwin Park, Centennial Park, Spencer Middle School Green Space, Shelby Park, Glen Lake Park and City Center Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’39”  W123°31’29”

 

Le Quesne Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Leigh Road exit and continue along to turn right onto Goldstream Avenue. Continue on Leigh Road and look for the arch way and sign between homes 2990 and 2998.  There is limited roadside parking this area as well as a small overflow parking area for Leigh Beach Park. City buses travel along Goldstream Avenue and Langford Parkway.

Flute Lane Park

Flute Lane Park 5Flute Lake Park is in the Langford Lake area of Langford, B.C. This small waterfront park is accessed from a small gravel parking area along Leigh Road. The gravel foot path to the water is about one hundred and thirty meters. Arbutus and Douglas fir trees are found in this park which is surrounded by private homes. A short section of chain-link wire fencing forms a barrier along the upper section of the park which is covered with grass. Seven rock covered concrete steps lead to the lower grass covered area along the shore. A short dock from the shoreline connects to the concrete wharf to provide access to deeper water. The beach is a small gravel and grass area about ten meters long. It would be possible to launch a personal water craft from the beach. At the moment, dogs are allowed in this park in the winter months. The Ed Nixon Trail, along Leigh Road, passes beside this park. Centennial Park, Spencer Middle School Green Space, Shelby Park, Le Quesne Park and City Center Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’53” W123°31’9”

 

Flute Lane Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Leigh Road exit and continue along to turn right onto Goldstream Avenue. Continue on Leigh Road and look for a small parking area between and in front of homes 2866 and 2878. There is limited roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Goldstream Avenue.

 

Shelby Park

Shelby Park beach

Shelby Park is in the Langford Lake area of Langford, B.C. This lakefront park is about a quarter of a hectare in size and has a gravel access to the lake through a grove of Douglas fir, arbutus and cedar trees. The narrow sandy beach has rock wall along the high water level to limit erosion of the shoreline. There is just enough space, due to the metal handrail along the rock wall, to launch a personal watercraft like a kayak, board or canoe. This park is exposed to westerly winds. Shelby Park is a good spot to enjoy Langford Lake waters. There are picnic tables and benches. A temporary washroom can be found here seasonally. The park also hosts a pump station for the area with a small grass covered area under the grove of trees. The Ed Nixon Trail, along Goldstream Avenue, passes beside this park. Spencer Middle School Green Space, Langford Lake Park North, Centennial Park, Flute Lane Park and City Center Park are nearby.

 

Geographic location N48° 26’56” W123°31’ 21”

 

Shelby Park can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Leigh Road exit and continue along to turn right onto Goldstream Avenue. The park is on the left at Shelby Lane. There is three parking area on the right on Shelby Lane. There is limited roadside parking this area. City buses travel along Goldstream Avenue.

Florence Lake Pier

The pier and viewing dock at Florence Lake is a great place to explore nature and the outdoors. This park is found in the Florence Lake neighborhood of Langford, B.C. The pier and view dock are used by fishers and swimmers who enjoy the warm waters of this shallow lake. A small boat launch area is found beside the dock that is used by kayakers, paddle boarders and canoeists. Florence Lake is a shallow glacial kettle lake with a surface area of about eight hectares and average depth about two meters. There is one seasonal tributary, Florence Lake Creek North, providing water flow into the lake from the slopes of Skirt Mountain which lies to the northwest. Florence Lake Creek South drains from the south end of the lake and flows through a series of culverts, mostly under the Trans Canada Highway, until it reaches Mill Stream. The lake had been stocked with rainbow trout for several decades until the water quality was determined to limit fish survival. Florence Lake Park North is a couple of hundred meters north while Strachan Trail is the pathway along the shore. Strachan Trail lies along the eastern shore of Florence Lake and is about a three kilometer return stroll over flat terrain.

Geographic location N48° 27’30” W123°30’39”

Florence Lake Pier and Viewing Dock can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at McCallum Road/Spencer Road exit and continue along McCallum Road to reach Florence Lake Road. Stay on Florence Lake Road and look for a small parking area just past the junction with Shaw Avenue. There is three parking sites at this park and limited roadside parking and it is short stroll to the viewing dock and pier.