Gowlland Tod Provincial Park - Victoria Hiking Trails
From beautiful ocean views of the inlet to wonderful mountain views from Mount Work, this park has a great variety of characteristically Victoria hiking.
Mount Work is a popular hiking trail in Gowlland Tod and the most challenging trail at 5k from trailhead to summit.is quite large, spread out and the trails so varied, that you feel far from the city. The trails and views to and along Finlayson Arm are amazing and breathtakingly serene. An amazing park, so convenient to Victoria. And much like most other Victoria area parks, astoundingly quiet and wild.
Naturally peaceful and beautiful in any weather and any month of the year. Over 25 kilometres of trails zig-zag across Gowlland Tod Park connecting Goldstream Provincial Park to Brentwood Bay, home to the world renowned, Butchart Gardens.
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is home to hundreds of plant and animal species and its park status ensures that the area will be forever protected. Finlayson Arm is the fjord that the park overlooks and attracts scuba divers from around the world to its unique habitat.
This massive, wild and beautiful park comes alive with wildflowers during the spring and early summer. The geographically protected area encourages species of marine life rare in other parts of the world. The size and location of the park make you feel as though you are far from civilisation.
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park - Directions
There are three main access points to Gowlland Tod Provincial Park:
The McKenzie Bight Access: trailhead is located off Rossdurrance Road. This relaxing trail leads to the beautiful McKenzine Bight on Saanich Inlet. The Timberman Trail branches off to the Saanich Inlet Viewpoint and further along the Malahat Viewpoint, Squally Reach Viewpoint and Jocelyn Hill.
The Tod Inlet Access: trailhead is located in Brentwood Bay off Wallace Drive.
The Caleb Pike Access: trailhead is located on Caleb Pike Road which is just off of Millstream Road near Langford.
More Trails Near Gowlland Tod Provincial Park
Goldstream Provincial Park and Mount Finlayson are beautiful and shouldn't be missed on a trip to Victoria. Huge coastal rainforest trees everywhere. An impressively golden river, an abandoned gold mine and one of the highest mountains in Victoria. As soon as you leave your car you can feel the wonderful forest alive around you. Goldstream Park is home to the annual salmon spawning run every fall and the rest of the year is just a wonderful world of centuries old Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedars. Trails run all over the park, but the Mount Finlayson trail takes you up to beautiful views of Victoria. Mill Hill Regional Park is a well hidden though wonderfully short hike to amazing views of Victoria, Esquimalt and the Western Communities. The hike is only 15 minutes to the summit with a branching trail that leads to Thetis Lake Park. This is a remarkably seldom hiked park in Victoria. It is rare to see anyone on the trail or at the beautiful summit. The views are amazing. What makes them even more amazing is that the views look as though you are on a much higher mountain than the small and short hike that brought you to this great summit. Thetis Lake Regional Park is a very popular Victoria park that contains several lakes. Lower Thetis Lake, Upper Thetis Lake, Prior Lake and further out, McKenzie Lake are all within this amazing park. A wide, spider web of hiking trails run in between and around these lakes in the midst of a beautiful and secluded forest. Trails also lead to more challenging trails to Scafe Hill and Stewart Mountain. In the summer Thetis Lake is fantastically popular as a swimming beach. Sandy beach, beautiful lake, and a wonderful trail system make the park crowded on hot days. Bear Hill Regional Park is a nice hill trail, just north of Elk/Beaver Lake in Saanich. It is an easy 2k hike to the summit where the views are sensational. From the trailhead to the summit only takes about 20-30 minutes. High up on the Saanich Peninsula you can see the Gulf Islands and even the San Juan Islands in the United States. The technically active, and alarmingly close volcano, Mount Baker in Washington State is very visible as well on a clear day. The trail to Bear Hill is easy and runs through a beautiful forest of Douglas fir trees that lead to the unexpected grove of Garry oak trees at the summit. The Elk & Beaver Lake Trail is one of many beautiful lakeside trails in Victoria. From the convenient parking lot the trail is mostly flat, gravel or dirt, densely forested at times and runs around both Elk and Beaver Lakes to complete a 10k circuit. The park is very popular for swimming, picnicking, windsurfing, boating, fishing and rowing. Though it can get busy the large size of the park disperses people quite well. If you are running here you will find the trails around the lake peaceful and quiet even if the sandy beaches are crowded and noisy. Like other BC Provincial Parks there are excellent toilet facilities at several points along this beautiful and relaxing trail. Concession stands are located at both ends of the park as well as water sport equipment rental shops at the Elk Lake end of the park.