Monday, October 5, 2015

Beautiful Victoria, British Columbia: In, Out, and Around Beacon Hill Park

Yesterday, the first Saturday in October,
was glorious here in Victoria, British Columbia,
the perfect day for a long, leisurely walk
in, out, and around Beacon Hill Park.

Leaves Turning in Beacon Hill Park

Along the Seashore by the Park
Juan de Fuca Strait

Beacon Hill Park is magnificent,
and Sir James Douglas, the governor of 
the Colony of Vancouver Island
protected the area in 1858.

The City of Victoria officially made it a municipal park in 1882,
and today it is the biggest public park in the city,
historically significant and a refuge for native ecosystems.

 Garry Oak on the Northwest Ridge of Beacon Hill Park
One of the Rarest Ecosystems in Canada

Along Southgate Street

The park is 183 acres (74 hectares)
in size, with about 127 acres
available for the free use of the public.

Some 80 acres are more natural,
but the rest is taken up by infrastructure,
buildings, sports fields, gardens, even
private sports clubs and a children's farm.

Walking for miles can be a thirsty, hungry adventure,
but Cook Street with its restaurants, pubs, and coffee cafes
is steps out of the east side of the park.

Terry took me to Rica Salsa, a wonderful 
Mexican restaurant, just off Cook Street.
One of the friendly owners has cousins
living in our home city of Aurora, Colorado!

We had a grand conversation while he cooked 
and assembled fresh, flavorful beef and pork soft tacos.

Terry heads into Rica Salsa

Delicious Rica Salsa Fare

After lunch we randomly roamed through the park and along the seashore,
enjoying the warm sunshine and varied scenery.

A Giant Sequoia Tree
One of Many Beautiful Trees in the Park

Along the Park's Sea Cliff and Shore

Clover Point 

A Sailboat on Juan de Fuca Strait
with the Olympic Mountains of Washington State in the Background

What a Difference the Light Makes!
The Same Sailboat Not Two Minutes Later (in Color!)

A Rose Garden Mid-Park

Roses Still Thrive in Early October

One of the Wooded Areas in the Park 

Peacocks Love This Garden Adjacent to the Rose Garden

There are many popular outdoor activities in the park,
among them watching the waterbirds along Goodacre Lake.
Getting handouts from the visitors is very popular with the birds!

On sunny days, the turtles get this spot;
on grey days the ducks take over.
These may be the most photographed turtles
on Vancouver Island!

Stretching in the Sun

Goodacre Lake with Its Pebble Bridge,
a Tribute to BC Artist Emily Carr

My favorite spots in the park are natural areas
where knobs of bedrock stick out.
It's fun to climb all over them,
but it's also fun to think about their origin.

The outcrops are small roche moutonnĂ©es or sheepbacks
formed by moving glaciers that smoothed over the rock surface
on the upstream side and plucked out rock on the downstream side. 

The rocks themselves are metamorphic migmatites 
formed deep in the crust from gabbros and granodiorite.

The Smooth Side of the Sheepback

I have the layout of this huge park internalized,
but Terry and I have just scratched the surface
of what you can see, do, and learn in this Victoria treasure.

You really can't say you've seen the best of Victoria
if you haven't been to beautiful Beacon Hill Park!

And for map lovers like me:

I couldn't find any maps I could post,
but here are links to a couple if you are so inclined.

1.  The best map of the park I could find;
     scroll to the bottom of the page:  map

2.  Zoom, zoom, zoom with Google,
     and checkout the satellite view:  map


  1. What a spectacular place! And the weather looks so lovely. Victoria, British Columbia! This is on my list of places I want SO MUCH to visit one day. I can enjoy it for now through your wonderful images!

    1. Martha, you would love Victoria! It's very bike friendly, and you can ride all over the place with a bike. There are so many fascinating things to do and to see, and it's a photographer's paradise! I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos! Have a great week!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, JackieSue! I loved taking them! Have a good one!

  3. Wow, what a stunning place! So many lovely photos ... I especially like the peacock's varied crest, the very tall trees, and that lovely little pot of salsa verde (mi estomico esta growlando - how's that for Really Bad Spanish?) Enjoy the rest of your time there!


    1. How lovely to hear from you, Sue! Victoria is amazing! We're headed back on Wednesday! :( Sorry I've not visited your blog very much this summer. I've been pretty much traveling since Terry retired at the end of February! Hope all is well with you!

  4. Lovely pictures especially the one at Clover point.

    1. Thanks, Haddock! I enjoy snapping candids of people, especially children as long as they're not intrusive or easily identifiable. Like you, I don't like posed photos, although sometimes I take them. Thanks for visiting and your kind comment! Happy Tuesday!

  5. Replies
    1. I have discovered that there are a lot of fine days in Victoria, Debra! Have a great day!

  6. Wonderful post, Louise! My favourite part of the park was also the Sheep Backs, though I didn't know that term. Even more evidence that we are kindred spirits :) Your photos show off Victoria beautifully. Every capture with blue, blue skies and such vibrant colours! I do love your peacock and was fascinated by the difference from one moment to the next of the sailboat. Your post brought back a lot of memories of our visits to Victoria. Even the little table on Cook Street reminded me of the soups we used to enjoy not far from there. I hope you and Terry have a very safe and happy trip back to Colorado. I'll miss knowing you were so close, but hope to see you again sooner than later. Love and hugs!

    1. Thanks for your wonderful words, Carol! We are planning to return in late summer 2016, and I'll definitely find a way to Vancouver. It was awesome to meet you and Bill in person! We had just the best time here in Victoria! I'm finishing up packing tonight. We leave tomorrow. :) Take care and I'll be in touch soon! Love and hugs back at you!

  7. Then we haven't seen the best of Victoria because we didn't go to this wonderful Park! Next time we will, Louise.
    What a beautiful place....lots of different things to see and do for everyone.
    Your photos so give it justice!

    1. Hey Jim! Victoria is phenomenal! I hope that you and Ron do get to return to this beautiful city! I am almost finished packing ~ thought I'd take a brief break! Hugs to you guys and belly scratches to Ms SD! I'll be back in touch when I get home!


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