I Love Victoria - Elk Lake
For my New Year's Resolution, I decided to walk more. I hate exercising in a gym but I love to walk and hike. I think of it as sightseeing. All of you other exercise haters - listen up - get out and walk in the great outdoors of Victoria. Spring has sprung at least three weeks early - so go for a walk outside, enjoy it, and get healthy at the same time.
For those of you who have read other "I love Victoria" entries, you will recall my guarantee that something excellent is within 20 minutes from our homes by any transportation (foot, bike, car). It takes 20 minutes for me to walk to Hollydene Park from my sweet home. For me, there is nothing more relaxing than being at the ocean. I haven't disclosed my favorite 20 minute bicycle destination yet. But my favorite 20 minute driving destination is Elk Lake.
Elk Lake is the larger and northernmost of the attached lakes. It is shared by swimmers, anglers, and rowing enthusiasts. In warmer weather, I like to take my pontoon boat and go fishing for rainbow trout here. Or, at least, I remember doing this before I went into real estate. Beaver Lake is the southern lake and the two waters attach via a tributary.
Surrounding the lake is a 10 km, level-grade trail. I've walked it twice this week. It has been a long time since I've walked 10km. I probably haven't done it since I did the West Coast Trail many years ago. It took me 2 hours both times. It is a really nice break from the working routine. I love listening to music and just putting one foot in front of the other.
The trail is very smooth, there are no roots or large rocks to trip you up. Anyone can walk or jog it and there are several parking areas at both lakes. There are benches along the way if you need to rest and soak up the view. Bicycles are not permitted on a large section of the trail. Horses are permitted on a small section and dog walkers love it, of course. The majority of people you see will greet you with a friendly hello or a smile.
Hiking in the early spring is very advantageous - there are no leaves to block your view, there are no bugs, and it isn't too hot or cold. It's just perfect – because it is Victoria. We've endured our month of winter weather. It was tough, I know. We had to suffer through the temperatures dipping below zero for a few days and we had a week or more with snow on the ground. But we got through it. Phew!