Join me as we explore Thetis Lake Regional Park in Victoria, British Columbia. This is one of the most visited parks in the Capital Regional District. It is a 922 hectare park with over 40kms of trails to explore. Established as Canada’s first nature sanctuary in 1958, this park promotes natural area conservation and recreation. There are two main lakes (upper and lower Thetis) that are connected by a small culvert.
One of the reasons this is such a popular park is that it is less than 15 minutes from the downtown core, making it popular with tourists and Victorians alike. Thetis lake is popular with walkers, hikers, trail runners, as well as offering caoeing, paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, and has a beach to enjoy during the summer. Dogs are not allowed on the main beach during the summer months, but you'll find a dog specific beach on the north side of the park for your furry friends to enjoy.
Most people walk the main Thetis loop, which is approximately a 5 kilometer walk that can be described as moderately challenging. This is by far the busiest route, and during peak times you can be walking with hoardes of people. It is very family and dog friendly, and is definitely worth the trip, especially if you come during the week or in the off season. You have views of the lake almost the whole loop, with benches to take breaks or enjoy a picnic by the water. If your feeling more adventurous, there are plenty of trails to explore deeper in the park that are generally less busy.
This park is considered an old growth forest, with some trees being more than 300 years old. There are ten species found in this park that are considered endangered in the province of British Columbia. You will see an abundance of Garry oaks, Douglar fir, cedars, arbutus, and many other trees here, as well as numerous bird species, animals and amphibeous creatures. There are both lake and swamp ecosystems to study, and abundant wildflowers to enjoy in the spring.
This is one of my favorite trails to walk, but I try to do so only during the week or in the off season. As it's so close to town it can be very busy- and I prefer solitude while on the trail. I would highly recommend checking out Thetis Lake Regional Park on your next trip to Vancouver Island!
Peak season 10/10
Off season 8/10 (depending on when you go)
Have a great day, and don't forget to get out there and do something epic!