From swimming, hiking, and water activities to discovering waterfalls and environmental education hubs, check out these spots this long weekend
As Labour Day long weekend approaches, it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather!
Here are five fun excursions to take near Victoria with your friends and family.
Sooke Potholes Provincial Park
This scenic destination is a 40-minute drive from Victoria and has some amazing hidden spots to check out. With amazing access to freshwater, it’s great to take a swim while overlooking the river cliffs and scenery. If swimming isn’t your forte, there are a variety of hiking trails, including Mary Vine Creek Waterfall and Todd Creek Trail. You can follow the signs from Parking Lot 1 for more marked locations such as beaches and swimming holes.
Elk Lake/Beaver Lake Provincial Park
An easily accessible gem with a rich and intriguing history, Elk Lake/Beaver Lake Provincial Park welcomes swimmers, surfers, paddle boarders, fishermen, birdwatchers, and hikers alike to enjoy its beauty. Along with a swimmable lake, the site offers 15 km of trails.
With a playground and a nature hut open on the weekends during the summer, this is a fantastic spot to bring families and children.
A fun fact: Canada’s Olympic Rowing team utilises Elk Lake to host competitions and training sessions.
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary
Located in a central part of Saanich, Swan Lake/Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary has a variety of wildlife, a stunning lake, and a short 2.5 km trail. The Nature House is also home to interactive exhibits and information about the sanctuary to check out.
Make sure to leave your bike at home as riding is not permitted in the sanctuary.
Juan de Fuca Park
Along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, you’ll find multiple stunning day hikes, including Sombrio Beach, with opportunities to surf and swim. A few other highlights include the suspension bridge, a hidden waterfall, and a chance to camp by the beach. A 10-minute walk from the parking lot will get you through a forest and to the route information and map to both East and West Sombrio Beach, which features the suspension bridge.
If you’re heading to the water, bring some waterproof/watersafe footwear as the rocks can be challenging to navigate.
With giant trees, fantastic hikes, and a winding river, it’s no wonder many visitors are drawn to Goldstream Park. With many camping facilities available for reservation, visitors can enjoy hiking, park-led programs, wildlife, and opportunities to swim in the summer. Though there are chances to see salmon spawning, the park advises visitors not to fish and to preserve the water. The 150-foot waterfall is an unmissable sight with a pool below.
No matter where you go, make sure to stay hydrated, properly clothed, and safe throughout your adventures around Victoria this weekend!