Mount Douglas Park has something for everyone
With year-round activities and experiences, Mount Douglas Park [PDF - 593 KB] provides inspiration and enjoyment to thousands of visitors each year.
At 1.88km2 (188 hectares), the park contains the largest urban forest on the Saanich Peninsula. You can explore this forest on more than 21 kms of trails.
Take an easy stroll or make it a strenuous climb - there is much to see along the way. Look for:
- Marine life on the beach
- Birds and animals in the forest
- Fish in the creek
- Lizards and lichens among the rocks
Enjoy the serenity of the ocean from the summit or the beach with a view of Mount Baker. Watch for:
- Search out familiar landmarks from the outstanding 360 degree panoramic view from the summit.
Book your family reunion or special group events. The park features a large picnic area complete with facilities including accessible washrooms and open field area with a backstop for activities.
Enjoy the beach, the playground or a group game.
Photograph or Paint
Capture the landscape, the seasonal colours of the plants and the variety of birds and animals.
Come to the park to enjoy the extensive trail system named after the early settlers and farms in the area – it’s likely they established some of them. Use the difficulty rating system to easily plan your hike:
- Green – Easy
- Blue – Moderate
- Black – Difficult
From one of the many parking areas, a variety of trails will lead you through the forest, around the base of the summit, up to the spectacular view at the mountain summit or down to the secluded, sandy beach.
We keep Churchill Drive, the paved road leading to the summit, closed to vehicles until noon seven days a week to promote a more active, enjoyable leisure experience for pedestrians and cyclists. You can then drive to the summit until dusk.
We installed elevation and distance markers as part of the 20th Anniversary celebrations. Take the 1,500m hike from the Churchill parking lot gate 42m above sea level to the Summit parking lot 202m for a 160m change. If you go right to the Summit at the Geographic Marker, its 225m.
Try our GPS-enabled map! You can now download a GPS-enabled map of the park to your smart phone.
- Respect plants, wildlife and private property.
- Keep our parks and trails clean – put litter in the waste containers.
- Watch for and respect horseback riders as horses may easily startle.
- Keep dogs under control.
- Please pick up after your pet and deposit bags in waste containers.
- No dogs on the beach or around the playground and lower/beach parking area ("area bounded by Cordova Bay Road, Ash Road, Douglas Creek, the natural boundary of the ocean and the northwesterly boundary of the park, EXCEPT the asphalt road surface lying to the northwest of the picnic area between the two gates" - Animal Bylaw).
- Cycle only on paved roads, not park trails.
- Many fragile ecosystems exist within the park – from the rock outcrops at the summit to down between the tide lines on the beach. Please treat Mount Douglas Park with respect and preserve these sensitive habitats.
Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints. Enjoy your visit to the park!
From Past to Present
Local First Nations have used the area in and around Mount Douglas Park for thousands of years.
The mountain was originally known as "Hill of Cedars". Fort Victoria, built in 1843, had its cedar pickets milled using wood from the park.
Governor James Douglas established this park in 1858 as a Government Reserve.
Government work projects initiated in the Depression years led to the construction of Churchill Road. It also had a teahouse, washroom and "crew huts".
The City of Victoria took over the land on September 30, 1889 from the Province it became Mount Douglas Park. In 1992, Saanich began looking after managing the park. Over the years it has grown from 1.5 km2 (150 ha) to 1.83 km2 (183 ha) and the park will continue to be managed as a natural area.
Mount Douglas Park Charter
The Mount Douglas Park Charter, approved by Council in 1992, assists in guiding the management of the park:
“The lands known as Mount Douglas Park are hereby reserved in perpetuity for the protection and preservation of the natural environment for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public.
This land has been transferred by the Province of British Columbia to the Corporation of the District of Saanich on the condition that it be maintained and preserved as a public park.
With this charter, the spirit and intent of the original crown grant of 1889 is maintained while its scope is expanded to include within Mount Douglas Park all adjacent municipal parklands, present and future, so the whole will continue as a wilderness preserve for generations to come.
Proclaimed this 22nd day of November, 1992, by the Council of the Corporation of the District of Saanich on behalf of the citizens of Saanich.”
Mount Douglas Park Bank Stability
Our engineering group checks on the stability of the banks surrounding Mount Douglas Park. Learn about the work being done.
Restoration and Volunteering
Volunteers with the Saanich Pulling Together Volunteer Program and the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society have been assisting with restoring the natural areas since 1991. This collaborative approach has removed .5 km2 (50 Hectares) of invasive species and planted thousands of native trees and shrubs.