Celebrate summer in Saanich parks: Explore your own backyard!

If Saanich residents didn’t already know about the amazing array of parks and trails their municipality has, COVID-19 has created the perfect opportunity to get out and explore.

Not only has the pandemic struck at the very time we want to be outside, but parks provide the opportunity to exercise at a safe distance from our neighbours, and connect with nature in a meaningful, accessible way. On top of that, it’s great for our mental health and wellbeing whatever our mobility or fitness level is. Even having a quiet moment on a park bench is good for us.

Diversity in amenities and landscape

Saanich is home to more than 170 parks and over 100 kilometres of trails, providing all manner of outdoor experiences.

“Definitely for me, the diversity is significant,” says Eva Riccius, senior manager of parks in Saanich. “You’ll find everything from beginner trails to longer, more challenging trails in places like Mt. Douglas or Mt. Tolmie parks, to the little neighbourhood connectors we have.”

Add to that, parks in urban neighbourhoods and rural communities, forests and meadows, playgrounds and sport courts, waterparks and beaches, and you have destinations to take you through summer and far beyond! “We do have it all!”

Boulderwood Park in Broadmead is a great example of a park that many residents might not have heard of, but provides a diversity of landscapes and experiences. Part Garry oak meadow, part old growth Douglas fir forest, depending on which part of the park you’re in, “you also get a totally different view of Mt. Douglas,” Eva says.

Others, like the spectacular Gorge Waterway waterfront park, may be out of sight, out of mind for those living on the other side of the municipality, but has an amazing accessible pathway right along the water.

Get out and explore

Need a few ideas? Check out the Find a Park section of the Saanich Parks page and choose by amenity or location, or browse the Saanich Parks and Trails Guide.

Saanich Recreation’s free walking tours are another great way to discover some possibilities you may not have thought of.

  • Gentle Walk and Talk 55+ – Enjoy fresh air, beautiful scenery, friendly chat and gentle exercise during different walks through Saanich parks and trails. Walks follow mainly chip or gravel trails but may have some steep sections. Mondays and Thursdays 9:30 to 11 a.m. with John Henigman; dogs not permitted; registration required.
  • Sunday Walks – Discover the beauty of Saanich parks and nature in your backyard. Guided walks are open to adults of all ages. Wear sturdy footwear and bring drinking water. Walks go rain or shine, Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. with Penny Stevens and Robert Newell; leashed, well-socialized dogs are welcome; registration required.

So many possibilities for getting out and exploring! “With our focus on staying local this summer, 170 parks offer just so much to explore,” Eva says.


To learn more about all the opportunities coming up from Saanich Parks and Recreation, visit the online welcome back update. And to stay up-to-date about the resumption of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, Facilities, Programs and Activities, sign-up to receive an e-newsletter conveniently delivered directly to your inbox.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Comments are closed

Just Posted

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Most Read