One of the great urban parks, just a moments walk or drive from Victoria BCs down town area. This 200 plus acre park offers ornate gardens lined along meandering paths and duck ponds, quite picturesque and relaxing. The park also encompasses a couple of acres of coast line that has been developed with walking trails and staircases down to the many beaches and coves. This is a park with many attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
A brief history; Beacon Hill park was named after the nautical beacons on Mt. Beacon that would warn mariners if they were coming too close. The park was for many years in dispute with the Hudsons Bay Company and the colony of Victoria concerning ownership. It was finally handed over to Victoria in 1882 to be kept in trust.
What greater way to spend a gorgeous day than to visit one of the loveliest parks in the world. There are many ways of accessing the park by car, you access it vis Southgate St. and this will take you into the heart of the park. Off Douglas St. there is a parking lot and another access road to the heart of the park. And a third off Dallas Rd. that will take you into the centre of the park. All around the edge of the park there are plenty of free parking spots to choose from. If you are on foot, you can enter the park off of any of the before mentioned streets; there is no official entrance to the park.
In the heart of the park is where you will find the ornate garden lined paths that wind along duck ponds, unique fountains, streams, a band shell and old bridges. Many different birds inhabit the park, for instance; ducks, geese, swans, peacocks, eagles and the great blue herons. There is a heron breading program (heronry) in the park that provides many opportunities for heron viewing. These herons are quite friendly and not camera shy.
Please, bring the children. There is a large playground to amuse themselves with. On hot summer days there is a water park children can cool off in, lots of open spaces for running around, playing Frisbee or just exploring. Beacon Hill Park is host to a large petting zoo (donation requested) where the whole family is welcome to explore the aviaries, pot bellied pigs, other farm animals and a special area where you can intermingle with baby goats. You can pet them, brush them or just enjoy their company.
You can either walk or drive up to the top of Beacon Hill Park. The drive only takes a minute. The walk will take you under 5 minutes and you'll be treated to views of gnarled Garry Oak trees and long grassed fields. At the top you will bear witness to a breathtaking view of the Strait of Jaun de Fuca, Victoria's southern coastline and the majestic Olympic Mountain Range. This is a great place to take a momentary pause and soak up the beautiful sights.
Making your way down the other side of Beacon Hill, you will come to Dallas Rd. and stumble across a walkway that stretches a few kilometres from the Ross Bay Cemetery to the Breakwater. The shoreline has numerous beaches and coves that are easily accessible via paths and staircases. Stone and driftwood lined beaches provides many opportunities for treasure hunting, hiking, relaxing, sunbathing, picnics or making a driftwood fort.
All in all Beacon Hill Park is a fun place to visit with something to offer to your friends or family. When visiting Victoria try to set aside a little time to visit this beautiful park and enjoy all she has to offer.
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