Gowlland Tod Provincial
Park is located on the east shore and uplands of the picturesque Saanich
Inlet on Vancouver Island.
Arm viewed from Gowlland Tod Park
The park protects
a significant part of the Gowlland Range, one of the last remaining
natural areas in Greater Victoria, and a portion of the natural
shoreline and uplands in Tod Inlet, which adjoins the Saanich Inlet
south of Brentwood Bay near Butchart Gardens.
of First Nations peoples is evident at Tod Inlet, the place of Blue
Grouse. They also utilized numerous sites within the park for medicinal,
ceremonial and spiritual significance. Included in this park are
representative examples of the rare, dry coastal Douglas-fir habitat
that features old-growth forest, wildflowers, and stands of arbutus
In the afterglow
of goodwill that followed Victoria's hosting of the 1994 Commonwealth
Games, local and provincial governments, as well as interested private
companies, joined together to create the Commonwealth Nature Legacy.
The grand purpose of the project was to further protect the remaining
natural spaces that surround the ever-expanding city of Victoria,
and Gowlland Tod Provincial Park was created as a result of this legacy.
Tod Inlet has long
been valued for its natural beauty, ecological significance and recreational
opportunities, providing a safe and secluded overnight anchorage,
and marine access to the park.
Bight, Gowlland Tod Park
down Saanich Inlet, MacKenzie Bight serves as a day anchorage and
provides shore access to the park's trail systems, including the
trails in the adjacent Mount
Work Regional Park.
Range is a rich area of biodiversity where seashore, open forest
and rocky outcrops support more than 100 resident species of bird,
in addition to cougar, Black-tailed Deer and the occasional Black
Bear. In spring and early summer, the moss-covered knolls offer
an abundant display of wildflowers.
The clear waters
of Finlayson Arm are home to a rare and fascinating variety of marine
life, such as cloud sponges, lamp shells, anemones, wolf eel, Killer
Whales, River Otter and seals. Scuba diving opportunities from shore
abound along the Finlayson Arm of Saanich Inlet.
park contains an extensive network of hiking trails that date back
to the area's history of logging and mineral development. These
old mining and logging roads in the park now serve as hiking trails
today, providing more than 40 kilometres of trails, with magnificent
opportunities for day trips.
There are three
access points to the park, which shares a common boundary with Mount
Work Regional Park. For those hikers who enjoy easygoing trails coupled
with access to Tod Inlet's shoreline, take Wallace Drive from either
of its two intersections with Hwy 17A. The trailhead at the north
end of the park is located on the west side of Wallace Drive opposite
Quarry Lake. A second trailhead is located on Willis Point Road west
of Wallace Drive and is shared with Mount Work Regional Park.
to the north up Saanich Inlet
seaside access to McKenzie Bight and climb to spectacular viewpoints
and rocky outcroppings on Partridge Hills and Jocelyn Hill. The
southern entrance to the park is reached by following Millstream
Road north from Hwy 1 to Caleb Pike Road, then a short distance
west to the trailhead. From here trails lead to Holmes Peak, Mount
Finlayson, and Jocelyn Hill.
Bight, Gowlland Tod Park
in the park include an information shelter, parking, viewpoints,
toilets and picnic areas.
Provincial Park is located north of Victoria in Saanich, with the
northern end of Gowlland Tod being reached on Wallace Drive. Millstream
Road and Caleb Pike Road will get you to the southern end of the