Spectacle Lake Provincial Park - Victoria Area Trails
Spectacle Lake Provincial Park is popular with hiking, fishing, canoeing and swimming. Located north of Victoria, the drive to get there is very beautiful and well worth the drive just for the great stops on the way. Thetis Lake Park and Goldstream Park are easily combined with Spectacle Lake in a one day hiking/sightseeing adventure. These two parks are on the way to Spectacle Lake and very convenient pit stops adding just minutes to the day or hours if wanted.
Spectacle Lake lays in a serene and tranquil forest setting that feels remote and far from civilisation. The road that takes you to the lake is unexpectedly rural looking. Not manicured and flowery like you see in Victoria. Though manicured and flowery makes Victoria beautiful and scenic, finding a secret place like Spectacle Lake that is rough and wild is refreshing to see. You get a powerful urge to crack a beer and cast a line from the idyllic rocky cliff across from the beach!
The sandy beach that greets you as you first see the lake was a somewhat recent addition. The lovely sand covers a thick layer of sawdust from decades of logging in the area. Spectacle Lake was a millpond for the sawmill located on the rocky outcrop adjacent to the sandy beach. In the 1950's much of the forest you now see was cut and milled at this once thriving mill. In the summer you will find this beach and much of the lake popular with people swimming and picnicking.
Spectacle Lake Provincial Park has a very nice 2 kilometre trail around the lake compete with wooden bridges and plenty to see. The trail is popular for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Owing to the small size of the park and variety of recreation possibilities, you are greeted with several imposing signs. No Campfires! Stay on Trails! No Motorized Vehicles! No Overnight Camping! Leash and Clean Up After Your Dog! Another sign more politely states "Please remember that Regional Park Trails are designated for cyclists, hikers and horses only." The pristine solitude of the park has evidently been shattered by loud parties and loud motorbikes frequently in the past to warrant all the signs.
Spectacle Lake is home to the only Eastern Brook trout fishing on Vancouver Island. The lake is also stocked every spring with Cutthroat trout. There are several excellent places to fish from the shore of the lake and the rocky point along the right hand side of the lake is a convenient favourite. Occasionally you will see a fisherman in a belly boat fly fishing in the middle of the lake, but more often casting from the rocky point. Getting a BC Freshwater Fishing License is easy and convenient to purchase online.
Spectacle Lake Provincial Park - Directions
Spectacle Lake Provincial Park is located 30k north of Victoria just off the Trans Canada Highway. Much of the trail is wheelchair accessible. From Victoria get on the Trans Canada Highway north for 30k and then left from the Highway on Ebadora Lane, then immediately right onto Whitaker Rd. Follow this for 1.4k until you see the sign for Spectacle Lake Provincial Park. If you are driving up from Victoria Goldstream Provincial Park is a very nice and convenient stop on the way.
More Trails Near Spectacle Lake
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. Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is a beautiful park running along the Saanich Inlet. Accessible from Goldstream Park at one end and Brentwood Bay, near Buchart Gardens at the other. 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. Gowlland Tod Provincial Park 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. Lone Tree Hill Regional Park has a beautiful panoramic view from its summit. The hike is fairly short and relaxing at just 1.6k trailhead to summit. Expect to hike for under 30 minutes to reach the viewpoint. The views for such a short hike are quite amazing. You can see the distant Malahat, Victoria as well as the very distant Olympic Mountains in the United States. Dogs are welcome in the park, however, bikes, camping and fires are not. In the springtime you will see spectacular swaths of wildflowers. The original, lone tree that gave the park its name is now just a weather-beaten tree stump. 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. The hike is only 15 minutes to the summit with a branching trail that leads to the neighbouring Thetis Lake Regional Park. 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. The beautiful wilderness hiking trails in Francis King Park take you past massive, old-growth Douglas Fir trees. Some estimated to be as old as 500 years and the Elsie King interpretive trail gives beautiful descriptions of the forest around you. The Elsie King Trail is a self guided, 800 metre loop trail, named after a leader of the Victoria Girl Guides and wife of the Victoria naturalist, Freeman King. There are over 11 kilometres of trails in Francis/King Park, and the park connects to Thetis Lake Regional Park. Thetis Lake Park then connects to the beautiful Mill Hill Regional Park, combining these three beautiful parks into one, massive, interconnected hiking paradise. Galloping Goose Regional Trail developed from a disused railway line begins at the Johnson Street bridge in downtown Victoria and goes in two directions. One direction goes to the Vancouver ferry terminal at Swartz Bay, 35 kilometres away. And the other 55 kilometres through the Western Communities, out past Sooke ending near the ghost town, Leechtown. The trail is paved for 13 kilometres, from Victoria to Colwood, then the trail is gravel and dirt paths. Most of the distance the ground is fairly smooth and rarely do you encounter even gradual hills as the route follows the old railway line. There are convenient kilometre markers all along the trail emanating from the Johnson Street starting point. is astonishingly beautiful and incredibly interesting as a tourist attraction in Victoria that most never see. This fact is amazing as it is wonderful and unquestionably, or at least arguably, as good or better than any other attraction around. And at $3.90, what a phenomenal deal. You can crawl all over all the real pre World War I era defensive structures and even play with and all but fire a genuine World War II Anti-Aircraft Gun... which astonishingly is in the parking lot. Fort Rodd Hill has so much to see it spills onto the parking lot. What unbelievable place!Witty's Lagoon Regional Park is a great network of trails and boardwalks that meander through an impressive Douglas-fir forest leading to the wonderful beach at Witty's Lagoon. The trails total over 5k, however, can be hiked in smaller sections. Many just head to the beach and lagoon and avoid the trails, but the trails are well worth a look. The trails run around the lagoon with great ocean and wildlife scenery. Sitting Lady Falls is wonderfully viewed from the very nice boardwalk. Expect to take two hours if you walk most of the trails and far more if you stay to explore the beach and lagoon.