Ahh Spring in Victoria...sunnier days, cool breezes off the ocean and of course ALL the allergies! As we watch pink "snow" fall to the ground it's easy to believe that summer is right around the corner (my kids even went lake swimming last week but they're water crazy 🤪).
Spring is my undisputed favourite season mainly due to the abundant pops of colour that start to creep up on rock walls, in gardens and of course on the many trails we frequent. We are lucky that my kids go to school on a mountain so we get to see the flowers changing almost daily. To celebrate our love for spring hiking I've put together a quick list of our Top 3 Spring Hikes in the Westshore area of Victoria BC.
Mill Hill will always hold a special place in my 💚. We live close by so this has always been our go-to for a quick hike. It's not for the faint of heart but is definitely do-able with kids (mine have been trekking up there since they were toddlers). There are a few ways to diverge off the main (steep) trail that are a little less intense and provide awesome views of the huge growth in the Westshore.
My kids love leaping and climbing the rocks and trees that dot the top of this peak, especially the huge boulder that looms on the edge, it's our favourite stop for a water or snack break.
Mill Hill is stunning any time of the year with the gorgeous Garry Oaks and Arbutus trees but it really shines in the Spring when all the Camis, Shooting Star Flowers and Fawn Lilies start to pop out.
Devonian Regional Park
A short-ish trail takes you along a farm or through the forest and brings you to one of the many amazing rocky beaches in Metchosin. We frequented this stretch many times in the summer and fall but just recently discovered how many wildflowers are out in the Spring. Vibrant Purple, white and yellow (yes I'm counting annoying scotch broom in here, event though it's incredibly invasive it is pretty in bloom) lined the path wherever we went and it almost felt like we were walking through painting 💐
We usually veer off to the right at the first junction and take the path which winds along side a beautiful open field. The trail is not too difficult but does have a bit of a steep part just before you get to the beach. Once it opens up you can head to the left towards Taylor Beach (yep it's the same stretch) or take our advice and go to the rocks on the right. My kids love checking out the tide pools and being able to explore the rocks when the tide is low.
Royal Road's University boasts a spectacular garden filled with native plants and flowers and is always on our list of places to spend an hour or two, wandering through the Japanese Garden or being followed by hungry peacocks.
However one of our favourite places AT Royal Roads is Charlie's Trail. We'd been able to explore it quite a bit and seem to find a different hidden gem each time. We recently went on a rainy Sunday and spent some time marvelling at the giant skunk cabbage leaves, getting our feet wet in the creek and finding some new varieties of flowers that we hadn't seen before.
So if you've ever hiked with kids you know that the flowers don't just stay in the ground. I've talked about leaving the habitats as they are until I'm blue in the face but we always seems to end up with a couple pockets full of treasure.
The Spring wildflowers seems to be gone as quickly as they appear so I am never mad when a few make their way into our house. This year we actually manage to press a few for future crafts so we can keep the magic of the wildflowers alive for just a tiny bit longer.
I hope you get a chance to explore some trails and take in some Spring beauty before Summer really hits us! If you'd like to have me document your next adventure please reach out!
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