Gowlland Tod Provincial Park
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park provides excellent day-use recreation opportunities for hiking, nature appreciation and picnicking. More than 25 kilometres of trails, varying in degree of difficulty, offer spectacular views, as well as the chance to view animals in their natural environment. In spring and early summer, the moss-covered rocky knolls come alive with a carpet of colourful, vibrant wildflowers.
Located near Victoria on southern Vancouver Island, the park preserves a heritage of green space for present and future generations. It encompasses nearly the entire east side of Saanich Inlet, stretching from Goldstream to Brentwood Bay and the world-famous Butchart Gardens.
Gowlland Tod protects a significant part of the Gowlland Range, one of the last remaining natural areas in Greater Victoria, and a significant portion of the natural shoreline and uplands of Tod Inlet. The Gowlland Range is a particularly rich area of biodiversity, with more than 150 individual animal and plant species identified. The protected area preserves a rare, dry coastal Douglas fir habitat that features grassy meadows, rocky knolls and old-growth forest.
The Gowlland Range towers 430 meters over Finlayson Arm, a unique fjord that only replenishes its marine waters once a year. Species that are rare elsewhere in the world flourish in this isolated and stable habitat. The abundance of marine activity attracts scuba divers from around the world, as well as boaters seeking the calm waters and sheltered anchorage of Tod Inlet.
Visitors to the park will find reminders of the area's early pioneer activity, as well as remains of settlements associated with the Vancouver Portland Cement Company, which thrived here in the early 1900s. The area has been, and continues to be, important to First Nation peoples, who utilize areas of the park for medicinal, ceremonial and spiritual purposes.
source: BC Parks