Remote Greater Victoria lakes uncovered in new guidebook

Secret Lakes book launch is 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 18 at the Prospect Lake Golf Course

From a pleasant afternoon with the family at Glen Lake in Langford, to a bike ride out to Metchosin’s hidden beauty Blinkhorn Lake, to an epic day hike up to Sheilds Lake in the Sooke Hills wilderness, Victoria author Adam Ungstad has done it all – and now he’s written a book about it.

“I decided to write it in late August of 2011, as I was looking for information about the remote lakes in the Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve, which is close by Sooke,” said Ungstad. “I couldn’t find any reliable information about the trails or what to expect on a hike up there, and thought: ‘Why hasn’t someone written a book about the lakes in the area?’ Of course, the next thought was, ‘Why don’t I write a book about lakes in the area?’”

Ungstad’s new guidebook, Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island helps outdoor enthusiasts explore and enjoy the many lakes within a short drive or cycle ride from Victoria.

“The first time I ‘discovered’ Thetis Lake was by bike via the Galloping Goose trail about seven years ago. I wasn’t a big cyclist then, and wasn’t sure I’d be able to find the lake, but the experience left a lasting impression,” said Ungstad. “When I first got there I thought that the main beach was everything, but decided to walk along the trail just to see what else was there – and of course discovered some spectacular view points and secluded coves.

“From that point on I was hooked, and each summer I would ride a bit further getting to know the area better, and continually being fascinated by just how many different lakes there are that are accessible by bicycle from town. With each new lake I found my questions, curiosity and admiration grew. I wanted to know them all.”

The guidebook includes recreational information, information on natural features and history for each of the 25 lakes and also features top 10 lists to help find the best lakes for each activity. The guidebook features maps and directions that show trails, beaches, viewpoints, boat launches, picnic tables, washrooms and parking, while photos and the Lakes 101 section answer a myriad of questions.

“Essentially I wrote the book I wanted to read. Other guidebooks had a little bit of information about lakes here and there, but they usually covered just the large lakes I already knew, and often they didn’t have much about the history of the lakes. I found it fascinating to imagine being an early settler of Vancouver Island, and spent a lot of time at different archives and museums learning about who these people were,” he said.

Secret Lakes book launch is 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, June 18 at the Prospect Lake Golf Course, 4633 Prospect Lake Rd., with partial proceeds from the launch going to The Land Conservancy. Tickets, $40, are available at secretlakes.ca.

Ticket price includes a signed copy of the book, a presentation on the history and nature of local lakes by the author, and a presentation on the Wild Hills and Beaches Campaign by TLC.

Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island is $19.95 and is available at Bolen Books, 1644 Hillside Ave., Ivy’s Bookshop, 2188 Oak Bay Ave. and other Greater Victoria locations.

Just Posted

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read