I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
Vancouver Island Beauty!
Verdant and lush Beacon Hill Park is only two blocks from downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbor on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
My mother, niece, and I spent three beautiful days on Vancouver Island, and it merely gave us an overview. One cannot begin to see everything on this scenic island in that limited amount of time. Suffice it to say, we would happily go back and enjoy exploring more of this part of the world.
We had already spent five glorious days in Vancouver before moving to the island.
On our first day on Vancouver Island, after disembarking from our ship, we toured Butchart Gardens. It is world-renowned and was engineered, built, and designed to fit into an old depleted limestone quarry. We toured it for many hours as it sits on 55 acres of land and then went back to the gardens at night to see the entertainment culminating with a fireworks display that lit up the sky.
On the second full day on the island, we had taken a double-decked Grayline bus tour of the island, and Beacon Hill Park was among the many sites we got to see. The park was close to our hotel. So after we had finished the tour, we decided to walk back to the park and spend more time there. We liked what we had seen on the bus tour and wanted to see Beacon Hill Park in a more leisurely manner.
While on the bus tour, we learned that the Hudson Bay Company had donated some land for the park. A stipulation that there would never be any commercial development within the park was a part of the deal. Water is available, but true to the agreement, no vendors selling ice cream cones, soft drinks, trinkets, or anything else happens. Thus the park is pristine, and nature is the prime focus.
Beacon Hill Park
The average daily summer temperatures in Victoria are between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is similar to a Northern Mediterranean climate. We particularly loved it as it is sweltering and humid during typical Houston, Texas, summers from where we had come. So this respite from the heat was being relished by us.
We found out that Beacon Hill Park became a municipal park in Victoria in the year 1882. It consists of over 200 acres and is the largest park on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
Unlike Butchart Gardens, this garden overlooks the waterfront. One can see views of Juan de Fuca Strait. The Olympic Mountains in the State of Washington rise above the water and offer an excellent and scenic if somewhat distant backdrop.
Much of the park landscaping has colorful displays of blooming plants and shrubs, but an even more significant part is in a more natural state.
There are lovely water views inside the park in addition to the shoreline. Goodacre, Fountain, and Arbour lakes add additional beauty as well as being a draw for many birds to those freshwater aquatic areas. One can spot many ducks swimming about and waiting for some crumbs to be thrown their way from people in the park. Also seen are swans, turtles, Canada geese, and blue herons, among other avian wildlife.
This lovely park is perfect for meandering and slowly taking in the nature scenes, precisely what the three of us did. It has paved paths both along the shoreline and the interior of the park. The latter is where we chose to spend most of our time.
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People can enjoy amenities such as sports fields, a petting zoo, a playground for children, including a wading pool, a putting green, and an outdoor bandshell. We did not get to take in a concert due to timing, but all during the spring, summer, and fall of the year, these are available to people coming to Beacon Hill Park.
More About The Park
One of the statues in the park sits on top of a monument dedicated to Robert Burns. Inscribed is the following:
To the memory of Scotia's Immortal Bard, Born 1759.
Erected by His Admirers 1900
Also inscribed was the following:
"The golden hours, on angel wings flew oer me and my dearie; for dear to me as light and life was my sweet highland Mary."
Lovely green trees of various types lent their beauty to the woodland spaces and punctuated the lawns and the perimeter of the lakes. Some of these tree specimens include the following: Geary Oaks, the only native trees to Victoria. There is also the noble Douglas fir, Western Red Cedar, Weeping Willow trees, and others.
Much of the native flora inside the park is in its natural state. There are the rose gardens and other mass plantings, but what we particularly loved about this vast and less populated park (compared to our experience at Butchart Gardens) was the peace and serenity. This park is one that whoever lives nearby would never tire of strolling through and discovering the nooks and crannies shared with squirrels, raccoons, cute chipmunks, and other critters. A change in seasons would be a delight to experience in Beacon Hill Park.
The First Nations Native Totem Pole was erected in 1956 and is the world's 4th largest totem pole. It is 128 feet high or 38.9 meters.
Mile 0 of the Trans-Canada Highway also originates here.
Hopefully, these many photographs will enable you to enjoy a bit of the verdant greenery and peaceful solitude that we felt while strolling through the portion of the park that we got to enjoy. It is a place to slow down and let the cares of a day wash from your shoulders. Few parks have everything this one has to offer with no commercialization of any type involved. We loved our time spent there!
- Wikipedia, Beacon Hill Park
- Wikipedia, Robert Burns
- About First Nations Totem Poles
- Wikipedia, Vancouver Island
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Peggy Woods