Loading Events
This event has passed.

Join with community as we connect with Spirit of Place on a guided hike with our team leader and naturalist, Caren. Take a rejuvenating and informative few hours away from your wifi and cell phones and give yourself the gift of calm, clarity and creative thinking. Rebalance your nature in Nature!

All ages, all abilities and dogs on leash are welcome.

Directions:   From Victoria take the Trans-Canada Highway 1 North to the Colwood exit. Follow the Island Highway and keep going through Colwood past the main entrance of Royal Roads to Metchosin Road, then turn left. Continue on Metchosin Road past the Colwood Fire Hall and the Royal Roads Forest boundary fence on the left side of the road until you see Gate 8 (G8 on the sign). Directly across from Gate 8 on the right side of the road is Terrahue Road and then Painter Road. Gate 8 is the park entrance where we will meet.

There is angle vehicle parking available here along the left side of Metchosin Road. To access the parking, use Terrahue Road or Painter Road for a U turn, or go a little further up Metchosin Road past Sangster Elementary School and turn left on Lagoon Road. There is the Royal Bay Bakery and a convenience store just on the corner where you can turn around in the parking lot and then turn right to get back onto Metchosin Road to the parking area at Gate 8 of Royal Roads Forest.

NOTE: Carpooling is recommended as parking can be limited.

For part 2 of the hike, we will caravan together over the short distance from Metchosin Road to 2005 Sooke Road, (the Island Highway) which is the main entrance to Royal Roads University and Hatley Castle. We will then proceed past the Castle to the lower parking lot near the Esquimalt Lagoon beach on the Hatley Castle grounds.

Washrooms are available at Hatley Castle but not at the Royal Roads Forest

Hike Details:  This hike will be in 2 parts. Starting at Gate 8 at the Royal Roads Forest, we will trek along some of the extensive trails of this huge 260  hectare park as we enjoy the abundant and diverse natural flora and fauna of the forest. There will be some discussion of the natural history and traditional ethnobotany of the area along the way. After a short break on the beach at the lagoon we will head up the trails back to our vehicles and then caravan together over to the parking lot at Hatley Castle. From here we will continue on part 2 of the hike. There is a great spot in this area near the pond where we can stop for a picnic lunch and rest before we continue on to explore the grounds and various gardens of the historic Hatley Castle. Expect to spend approximately 1.5 to 2 hours on each portion of the hike, but the actual length of time spent will be determined by the pace of the participants.

What to Bring:  We will take short breaks along the way over the duration of the hike, so bring a lunch or snack, bottled water, beverage, etc. Bring a walking stick and camera if desired.

Wear:  Comfortable and sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather, rain or shine. Dressing in layers is recommended for this type of activity. Bring sunscreen and insect repellent when necessary.

NOTE:  There is no fee for part 1 of this hike, but with the option of part 2 there will be a small parking fee of a dollar or two at Hatley Castle. There may a separate charge of $9.00 required for admission to visit the formal Gardens (eg: Japanese and Italian Gardens and others) for those who choose to do so, but a self guided tour and a picnic lunch on the Castle grounds is permitted with the parking fee.

For more information contact the Open Door Sanctuary office, by email or by phone (1 250 383-1012), or the Information table after the Sunday Gathering. Let us know if you plan to join us, or you can just show up. Be on time and don’t get left behind …. see you there!