Anderson Hill Park

 

Anderson Hill Park is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of the thirteen communities in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Even when the flowers, Easter lilies, shooting stars, and camas lilies, are not in bloom Blueberry Hill draws admirers to its 63 acres at 125 feet above sea level.  Created from property originally proposed as a residential lots, Blueberry Hill provides suburb views over McNeill (Shoal) Bay and Juan De Fuca Strait.  On clear days this park provides awesome views of the Olympic Mountains as well as snow topped Mt. Baker of the Coastal Range in Washington State.  Trial Island with its three towers and light house form the forefront of the portrait.  Detailed sketches of the plants found in this park are provided at the main entrance to the park.  You can also look across to Walbran Park on the western hilltop. Dedicated to Al Unwin, the director of Oak Bay Parks, Blueberry Hill also named Anderson Hill.  The hilltop was named after Alexander Caufield Anderson.  He was an explorer, agriculturist, and artist, who arrived with the Hudson Bay Company and stayed on as the first customs collector and postmaster for Victoria. The footpath through the park is partly well marked by wood chips or gravel and other sections are across the rocky outcrops. The route is about half a kilometer along the perimeter of the park. There are a few garry oak trees and small shrubs in the parkland.

Geographic Location N48º 24’ 49”  W123º 18’ 22”

Anderson Hill Park can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Foul Bay Road. Continue along Foul Bay Road to reach Fairfield Road. Turn left onto Fairfield Road and continue along to Beach Drive. Turn left onto Beach Drive and continue along the shore McNeill Bay. Turn left onto Newport Avenue.  Turn onto Island Road and watch of the park sign.  Parking is available beside Island Road.  Access to the park is also available through Transit Road although the trail is difficult to spot.  It lies between houses #545 and #577. City busses provide access off of Transit Road.

Oak Bay Native Plant Garden

 

Oak Bay Native Plant Garden is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen areas of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This landscaped quarter of an hectare contains a unique collection of locally grown plants in a nurtured setting.  A wood chip trail leads around the park. Stroll past Garry oak, pacific madrone, elderberry, dogwood and black hawthorn trees.   There is also a small pond complete with a trickling fountain with evergreen huckleberry, red flowering current, Oregon grape and mock orange shrubs. The undercover is beautiful with blooms from springtime flowering plants like camas, trillium and violets. Several ferns such as maiden hair, sword, licorice, oak and bracken might also be seen.   Benches are available in the parkland; the property was donated by Ada Beaven in memorial of her husband Hugo. The rose garden in Oak Bay has the same beneficiaries. The Beavens were both from influential and remarkable families during the early nine hundreds in the Oak Bay.

Geographic Location N48º 25’ 13”  W123º 18’ 1”

The Oak Bay Native Plant Garden can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east.  Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Beach Drive. Continue along Beach Drive to reach Margate Street. The garden is across the road from the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.  To extend this into a walk, continue along beach Drive toward the Victoria Golf Course or to Turkey Head Walkway.  This park can be access by bus.

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.

Mount Ash Park

 

Mount Ash Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This small park provides a wonderful view over the western region of Metchosin from an elevation of two hundred and twenty meters. Nestled along the rocky slopes of Mount Ash, the trail is a steep climb on the granite gneiss bedrock. The narrow park is surrounded by homes and owners who value their privacy. Matheson Lake Regional Park, the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin, East Sooke Regional Park, Matheson Lake Trail and the Liberty-LeBonne trail are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 22’ 24” W123º 35’ 50”

Mount Ash 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 and then right onto Rocky Point Road. Continue along Rocky Point Road to reach Liberty Drive. Turn right onto Liberty Drive and continue to Le Bonne Road. Look for the access to Mount Ash Park near home number 5245. Walk along the driveway of this home to reach the trail marker for the steep ascent to the summit. There is limited parking along the roadside.

Wayne Rock Park

 

 

 

Wayne Road Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This small park is composed of narrow strip of land with a rough trail that leads down to the Galloping Goose Trail and toward Matheson Lake Regional Park. The rock that forms the name sake of the park is partially overgrown with mosses and lichen. The forest was logged in the early nineteen hundreds and the trail was original a skid trail. The pathway fords to Wildwood Creek; this creek flows into Pedder Bay of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. Matheson Lake Regional Park, Bob Mountain Park, Buckbrush Swamp Park, Metchosin Wilderness Park, Montreul Hill, the Galloping Goose Trail – Metchosin and Eleanor Mann Park are nearby.

Geographical location             N48º 22’ 3” W123º 35’ 10”

Wayne Road 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 and then right onto Rocky Point Road. Continue along Rocky Point Road to reach Liberty Drive. Turn right onto Liberty Drive and continue to Woodley Gyhll Drive. The trail marker is between homes 5125 and 5085. There is limited parking along the roadside.

Eleanor Mann Park

Eleanor Mann Park sign

Eleanor Mann Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia.   This forested area was selectively logged in the mid nineteen hundreds and continues to support cedar, Douglas fir and arbutus trees. Salal, ferns, mosses and lichen form part of the understory. The Mann family business, Don Mann Excavating Ltd, donated the parkland in the memory of Eleanor, wife of Don and mother to Steve, current proprietor of the family business. The main trails are bridle trails that are interconnected to the pathways from the end of Sweet Chestnut Place, along Liberty Drive and near the end of Arden Road.   Metchosin Wilderness Park, Bob Mountain Park and Buckbrush Swamp Park are nearby.

Geographical location N48º 22’23” W123º 34’ 48”

Eleanor Mann Park can be reached from the TransCanada Highway (Hwy 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. Continue along Rocky Point Road to reach Liberty Drive. Follow along Liberty Drive to reach Deer Park Trail and look for the park access at the end of the road.

Buckbrush Swamp Park

 

Buckbrush Swamp Park is in the District of Metchosin, a coastal community in the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. The rough well-trodden footpath circles around a small wetlands area and is about five hundred meters long. Sections of the pathway double as a bridle trail while no deer were spotted during my reconnaissance there is plenty of evidence that deer visit this parkland. The forest and wetlands are composed of deer fern, bracken, grasses, lichens, willows, hemlock, Douglas fir, western red cedar, alder and bigleaf maple trees. The park is across the road from Metchosin Wilderness Park and close to Bob Mountain Park.

Geographical location N48º 22’ 16” W123º 35’ 0”

Buckbrush Swamp 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 and then right onto Rocky Point Road. Continue on Rocky Point Road to reach Liberty Road. Turn right onto Liberty Road and look for the park on left near Eagle Point Road. Buses travel along Happy Valley Road.