Summit Park

Summit Park playsetThis Garry oak meadow parkland is slightly larger than four and a half hectares. Native to the west coast of North America, Garry oak trees (Quercus garryana) form in unique habitat that is found on southern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and a few areas of the Fraser River valley. Their understory is composed of grasses, wildflowers, small shrubs and mosses.  The meadow at Summit Park broken up by many granite outcrops. The highest point is about sixty-seven meters. There are about six hundred and fifty meters of walking trails throughout the park. Some trails area paved pathways, some paved roadways (with limited access) and many gravel footpaths. Vistas of the surrounding area are from near property surrounding the CRD water reservoir, called Smith Hill Reservoir, and the proximal to the concrete communication tower. The hill was named after an entrepreneur in the early nineteen hundreds. The water reservoir has not been in use for many decades.  The views are mainly to the north and east, that is of the residential areas of Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria. The waters of the Haro Strait  and the distance Cascade Mountains in Washington State provide an excellent background. Come out to explore nature in a peaceful urban parkland. For those who are interested the Victoria Heritage Foundation has a walking tour on a brochure which includes Summit Park. It is available online.

Also, if you have an interest in big trees, two of the seventeen giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in Victoria can be seen just down the hill near the junction of The Rise and Montrose Avenue.

Geographic coordinate 48° 26’ 44” 123° 21’ 15”

Summit Park can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn east onto Finlayson Street and turn southward on Jackson Street. After one block turn uphill (east) on Summit Avenue and continue to the small gravel turnabout at the end. There is roadside parking near the turnabout. The concrete wall of the CRD Smith Hill Water Reservoir is just to the left. Alternative access points are from the many streets that end on Summit Park: the north side of the park can be accessed from footpaths near either 1137 (across from north end Blackwood Street) and between 1161 and 1203 Finlayson Street (across from Stevenson Place); the junction of Highview and Lang streets has a concrete staircase that leads up to the park; the end of McNair Street has a footpath that leads into the park; Summit Avenue, from Cook Street, becomes Arthur Avenue before curving into The Rise borders on the southern side of the park. The south end of Blackwood Street provides the shortest walk to the play area. There is limited roadside parking along these roads. Several bus routes pass near this park along Finlayson Street, Cook Street, Quadra Avenue and Hillside Avenue.

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