Mount Douglas Park is the largest and most magnificent park administered by Saanich. This parkland was originally set aside in 1858 by Sir James Douglas as a Government Reserve (the creek and hill ar both named after him), and has been protected as crown trust since 1889. In November 1992 it was transferred to Saanich Municipality. The park stretches from the shores of Cordova Bay to the summit at 213m above the sea. At the peak, the 360º lookout is breathtaking, with views of rural Saanich, the city lights of Victoria, and further, the Olympic and Cascade mountains in Washington State.
The 182 hectare area is rich with trails of varying terrain and there is also a paved road to the first summit. The group known as Friends of Mt. Doug recently won a decision to lock the paved access until 12pm. This allows for people to walk up the road without disturbance from vehicle traffic. Whether you are walking up the paved road or the trails you will be treated to the abundance of natural splendor - such as Fir, Cedar, Arbutus and Garry Oak trees, wild ferns, wildflowers, huge boulders, and a magnificent view.
In 1942, Emily Carr claimed to have had a vision while visiting a friend in Vancouver. The vision inspired her to return immediately to Mount Douglas Park where she felt the "forest had something to tell her". There, for a few weeks in August of that year, she painted her last works which were both mystical and enchanting.
Mount Doug Park is another perfect example of natural beauty spared from urban sprawl, another oasis within the city. It is one of my favourite places to go for a hike, a picnic, or to treat visitors with the very enjoyable view.
Here are some pictures taken during my recent hike to the summit.
If you love Victoria as much as I do, email your photos and stories to sweethomevictoria@gmail. They will be posted on this website for worldwide appreciation.