Walks in Your Backyard
A pocket guide to Highlands and Willis Point Parks, Playgrounds and Green Spaces
Copyright 2014 Roberta V. Eckard
From watching soaring eagles, ravens, hawks, and turkey vultures to stumbling across a homestead among the wildflowers blooming in Garry Oak meadows walking in the Highlands is fascinating. The District of Highlands is a beautiful rural district of lakes and parkland in the Capital Regional District on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Bordering on the east shore of Saanich Inlet, the Highlands are part of the Victoria area West Shore municipalities. Walking in the Highlands just is like going to a park as the area has managed to maintain rural parkland with the growing residential areas. A stroll up to Stewart Mountain or Lone Tree Hill provides soothing sights of forest groves and the ocean waters. The Highlands have an immense wealth of parks, gardens, and green spaces.
This book describes the parks, gardens, and green spaces within the Highlands. Its goal is to encourage you to explore your neighborhood by foot. Each place takes less than an hour to explore or much longer, if you are inclined. The best part of walking in your backyard is that you will become healthier, happier and lose or maintain a suitable weight.
Bordered by Mount Work and Gowlland -Tod Provincial Park, the Highlands extend southwest to Thetis Lake Park. East of this border is the District of Saanich and west is the Municipality of Langford. There are thousands of hectares committed to parks, gardens, and green spaces in Highlands. A brief description of each park is provided with directions.
There are roadside hiking and horse trails throughout the Highlands. In the Hazlitt Creek and Old Mossy Road area the roadside trails along Dixon Road connect to Hazlitt Creek Park. Trails along Highland Park Terrace, off Caleb Pike Road, connect to Lorimer Road and Rowntree Road. These trails can extend your hike into the Gowlland – Tod Provincial Park. Access into the upper end of Thetis Lake Park is from the end of Davis Road, off Munn Road. The trail of Hanington Road provides a lovely stroll along Mill Stream Road.
The maze of mountain bike trails under the hydro towers may entice walkers as well as cyclists. These trails lead to the hills of Stewart Mountain to the east and toward Blacktail Road to the west.