Thetis Lake Regional Park is one of the largest urban parks around Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island. This 831 hectare park is located in suburban Victoria and is a natural refuge of lakes and forests teaming with wildlife. Hikes in this park include loop trails and treks up coastal mountains.
The park is located 20 minutes from downtown Victoria and is an excellent family location to enjoy hiking, swimming, boating and canoeing. Hikers are rewarded with easy trails through thick forests with expansive views of the lakes. The loop trail around Lower Thetis Lake has a few up and down sections but the well-groomed trail makes for easy hiking.
The trail starts to the right of the information board and weaves through a thick coastal rainforest. Some trees are hundreds of years old. In the spring, wildflowers paint the slopes in a myriad of colours. As the trail skirts close to the lake shore, it begins to climb scenic, rocky bluffs. These lookouts provide great views of the lake and make for tempting jump-sites into the water below (this is not recommended).
The trail continues to the far side of the lake where many trails branch off to all corners of the park. To return to the parking lots, take the small foot-bridge across the stream which leads to Trillium Trail. This wide path is the most direct route back to the starting point and has good wildlife and bird-viewing opportunities in the forest. The park is home to deer, marten, eagles and vultures. At the rear of the park, bears and cougars have occasionally been spotted.
The trail ends at a popular, sandy beach where change facilities are provided. In the summer, this small beach may be crowded but there’s plenty of space in the water for wading and swimming. After a reward hike, feel free to hop in a canoe and do some fishing.
Getting There: For driving directions to Thetis Lake Regional Park, click here for a Google Map. From downtown Victoria, take Douglas Street north which will then turn into the TransCanada Highway (Hwy #1). Take the turnoff into View Royal using Burnside Road (Exit #10). This will turn into the Old Island Highway. After going under the highway overpass, turn right on Six Mile Road which leads into the entrance of the park. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the park.
- There is a small parking fee in effect from May 1 – September 30.
- Dogs must be under control at all times. From June 1 – September 15 they must be leashed when passing through the beach area and are not permitted to stay.
- Bicycles are not permitted on the trails.
For more coastal hiking around Victoria and Sooke, BC visit Comfort Cove Cottage. For a list of romantic getaways in Victoria, look at Heavenly Hideaways.