Mill Hill Regional Park

Mill Hill Thetis Lake Calypso Trail 5 Mill Hill Thetis Lake Calypso Trail 20

Mill Hill stands two hundred and two meters above sea level and lies within the parkland called Mill Hill Regional Park in View Royal, B.C. As a regional park since nineteen eighty, this park is kept by the Capital Regional District which has a large fenced yard with several maintenance buildings within the parkland. The main parking area and trails are in Langford, B.C., where the partially paved trail (an old fire road), called Auburn Trail, leads to the top of the hill. There are toilets and picnic tables near this parking area. The Auburn Trail skirts the south and western slopes. The east side of the park is within View Royal and is bordered by Edwards Park and several private properties. This northeastern slope of Mill Hill is accessed using Calypso Trail. The Calypso Trail, about two kilometer trail long, is a rough pathway along Hwy1 and becomes a woodland trail as it climbs to the summit to connect with Auburn Trail. Douglas fir, arbutus, western red cedar and garry oak trees are seen along the trail. Near the summit are several shallow wetlands, moss covered rocks and small meadow areas where big-leaf maple, red alder are seen. Salal, Oregon grape and other small shrubs are seen in the park. Near the junction of the two trails are the concrete foundation blocks of the nineteen fifty eight fire lookout tower. A rock cairn with brass direction location lines on its surface lies near the concrete blocks. Calypso Trail then continues to the parking lot down a steep section on the eastern side of the hill. The park has several ecosystems along its slopes although most have been modified over the past hundred years to meet the needs of the area. Along the lower northeastern section of the Calypso Trail, beside Hwy1, pick some Himalayan blackberries in the late summer. A stroll along the forested section of this trail, in the springtime, reveals the small wildflowers like camas, white fawn lilies and fairyslippers (Calypso bulbosa), the namesake of this trail. A visit to this seventy-one hectare parkland is worthwhile and easily explored as a walk in your backyard.

Geographical location N48° 27’ 10” W123° 28’ 55” parking lot

Mill Hill Regional Park can be accessed from the Trans Canada Highway, Hwy1, and is located at 490 Atkins Road. Exit from Hwy1 to reach the Island Highway and turn right onto Six Mile Road. Continue along Six Mile Road just after the Galloping Goose Trail overpass, turn left onto Atkins Road. The park entrance on the right is on the right and is along a curve of the road in this quiet urban neighborhood. A second road to the right provides access to the maintenance buildings that are within the chain-link fenced area of the park. A large paved parking area is near the park buildings while a much larger gravel area is within the fenced area. City buses travel along Atkins Road.

There are several documents on the ecosystems within Mill Hill Regional Park.

Nursery Hill Park

Nursery Hill Park white fawn lily March 2014

Nursery Hill Park is on fifty-five meter high hill in View Royal, B.C. At about four and half hectares, this park has many Douglas fir trees with a few Garry oak, big leaf maple and arbutus trees on its slopes. The canopy keeps the Oregon grape and snow berry bushes fairly small. In a few areas broom plants grow well. A fine gravel trail meanders through the park around the small rocky outcrops that are covered with lichen, ferns and mosses. Spring time flowers, like the white fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum) are seen along the two hundred meters long trail. The park borders on the Via Rail track to the south and residential homes to the east and west. Despite the noise from the traffic on the Trans Canada Highway that borders the north side of the parkland and the signs that state the access route is a private roadway, this park is a wonderful place to explore in your backyard. Parson’s Bridge Park, Burchill Park, Mellor Park, Garry Oak Meadows Park, Jalan Park, Atkin Road Green Space, the Galloping Goose Trail and Trans Canada Trail as well as Thetis Lake Park are nearby. The park is part of Nursery Hill Trail Loop described by the Town of View Royal.

Geographical location N48° 27’ 35” W123° 27’ 36”

Nursery Hill Park can be accessed from the Trans Canada Highway, Hwy1. Exit onto the Old Island Highway and stay to the left to merge with traffic going under the freeway and railway overpasses. Turn onto Six Mile Road and look for the Atkins Road Green Space to park as there is limited parking along Nursery Hill Road or Six Mile Road. Nursery Hill Park is access along a rough trial from the corner where Nursery Hill Road curves to the left and from the cul-de-sac between homes 445 and 444. City buses travel along the Six Mile Road and Atkins Road.