British Columbia provincial parks and Victoria beaches
BC Parks and Victoria beaches abound nearby: British Columbia provincial parks guide for Vancouver Island
The area municipality of Saanich alone has 80km (50 miles) of local trails, the Centennial Trails. There are over 160 Saanich parks alone.
Galloping Goose Trail extends for nearly 60 kilometres on the Galloping Goose Trail. You can cycle, walk, or ride a horse along this former rail line from the Selkirk Trestle downtown to Leechtown, the abandonned gold mining town north of Sooke.
East Sooke Regional Park is the largest regional park of natural and protected coastal landscape. A 45 minute drive west of Victoria. Enjoy short or long hikes along the coast. See left image below.
Goldstream Provincial Park. Massive 600-year old fir and cedar trees, majestic waterfalls, a meandering river that meets the sea, flowers, birds, animals. See the world class salmon-spawning stream with thousands of salmon returning between October and December. Take a short hike to Niagara Falls, a 50-metre cascading waterfall. Find an abandoned gold mine or take trails to incredible views. Get up close to one of the largest concentrations of Bald Eagles anywhere in Canada from December to February.
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park Take an easy walk to Tod Inlet (see right image above) or have a hike on trails climbing up to such vistas as that below of the Saanich Inlet.
Elk/Beaver Lake offers the greatest diversity of year-round water and land-based activities in Victoria.
Witty's Lagoon - a creek, waterfall, lagoon, beach and rocky shore draw you into an ecosystem rich with coastal plants and animals. An hour's drive west of the city. (Below, left.)
French Beach Provincial Park. A sand and gravel beach provides a good site for whale watching in the spring or enjoying interesting walks through second-growth forest. North of Sooke.
Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. One of the favourite swimming spots for locals in the deep sinkholes of a ravine. (Above right)
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park offers scenic beauty, spectacular hiking, marine and wildlife viewing and roaring surf
Sidney Spit Marine Provincial Park. White sand beaches backed by towering bluffs, sweeping tidal flats and salt marshes with birds, mammals and marine life
Mount Douglas Park, south of Cordova Bay. Enjoy 360 degree views of Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands. You can drive almost to the summit. We recommend coming here early on your visit; it helps you to see the area in perspective.
BC parks and Victoria beaches page