Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary

Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary is in the seaside community of the Highlands, one of thirteen communities of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This nature sanctuary is about seventy hectares. It lies on the Millstream watershed and is part of the Earsman Creek tributary. Earsman Creek flows from the slopes of Gowlland Tod and Twin flower parks to Mary Lake. A smaller second creek connect to  Mary Lake on its west shore. The lake drains into Millstream Creek which flows along the eastern border of the property and eventually flows  into Esquimalt Harbour on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The nature sanctuary lies between the Stewart and Finlayson Mountains and near the Gowlland Tod Park. There is a trail that connect both Thetis Lake and Gowlland Tod Park that passes through the southern border of this sanctuary. The sanctuary lies in the Saanich West Coast Salish traditional territory and was the private homestead of Mr. Albert Reginald Manzer, whom erected a small concrete dam on the lake,  prior to being purchased by Ms Gertude Mabel Snider. Eventually purchased from the Brothertons whom continued the conservation of the property. The Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society is raising funds for purchase of the lands for perpetuity. For the time being the property is open on the second Sunday of the month only. Come for a visit to the nature house and trails to enjoy the wetland and shore of Mary Lake, the stream with two concrete dams that help to form the lake, the Douglas fir and arbutus trees and rocky outcrops. This is a place in nature where humans have changed the environment yet this place has the beauty to change humans.

Geographical location of gated entrance N48° 29’51” W123° 30’47”

Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway. Exit onto Millstream Road and follow this road to reach the sanctuary at 1772 Millstream Road. The nature sanctuary is accessible only on the second Sunday of the month only. The access road leads along a paved driveway to a small parking area. The sanctuary is immediately past the hydroline towers that cross Millstream Road and before Stewart Mountain Road. There is a walking trail from the road that leads into the property and limited road side parking along Millstream Road.

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