Posted by: cherylyoung | March 12, 2012

Minutes from Victoria B.C. you can be one with nature and enjoy all it’s gifts

 

 

Massive trees, majestic waterfalls, a meandering

river that meets the sea, flowers, birds, animals and

fascinating fish are a few of the attractions that draw

people to Goldstream Provincial Park, just 16 km from

downtown Victoria on southern Vancouver Island.

 

 

It’s a world that seems far removed from the urban

adventures of British Columbia’s capital city.

 

Goldstream’s numerous trails criss-cross through the

dramatically different terrain of two distinct

vegetation zones.

The park is home to 600-year-old Douglas fir trees and

western red cedar, mixed with western yew and

hemlock, red alder, big leaf maple and black

cottonwood.

 

On the drier ridges visitors can find flowering dogwood,

lodgepole pine and arbutus.

 

The arbutus, with its thick leathery evergreen leaves,

red-dish trunk and peeling bark, is Canada’s only

broad-leafed evergreen and is found exclusively on

Vancouver Island and the southwest coast of BC.

 

In spring and early summer, Goldstream overflows

 

with colourful wildflowers.

The park is also the site of an annual chum salmon

spawning run, which draws thousands of salmon –

and visitors – every year.

 

Riverside trails and observation platforms provide

extraordinary opportunities to view this natural

phenomenon, which also attracts Bald eagles, who

swoop down to devour the bodies of the spawned

out salmon.

The annual salmon run starts from late October

through December, with thousands of salmon making

the arduous journey from the Pacific Ocean to the

Finlayson Arm of the Saanich Inlet.

 

The salmon draw people, bears and Bald Eagles to the

park as they struggle up the Goldstream River to spawn

in the streams in which they were born three to four

years earlier.

 

From the riverside trails in this forested park you have

an extraordinary opportunity to view the miraculous

event of chum, chinook and coho salmon spawning.

The observation deck is an excellent place for viewing

numerous Bald Eagles during December and January.

 

Look for them as they survey the waters below from

their vantage points high in the tall trees adjacent to the

estuary.

These majestic raptors devour the carcasses of

spawned-out salmon. 

 

The Freeman King Visitor  Centre at the north end of

the  park has several displays that enhance the

understanding  of the area’s natural and human

history.

 

The Visitor Centre schedules seasonal interpretative

programs, with naturalists and volunteers conducting

informative lecture tours throughout the summer

and fall.

A viewing platform located at the estuary near the

Visitor Center provides visitors with great views of

the eagle feeding frenzy in the winter.

 

Goldstream Provincial Parkoffers an extensive network

of interconnected nature walks and hiking and walking

trails.

Trails track along creeks, through forested upland,

amongst some of the oldest and largest trees in the

park, and past abandoned gold diggings from the gold

rush days

 

The park also protects various reptiles and amphibians

and a number of red and blue listed species of flora and

fauna, including rare wildflowers and plant species such

as the Dense Spike Primrose and the Pacific Waterleaf.

 

Just east of the Goldstream River is the start of

Mount Finlayson Trail.

 

Take this mountain trail seriously, as people have lost

their lives on Mount Finlayson.

 

For ambitious hikers, the trail is steep and rugged.

 

Hiking time to the summit is little more than an hour.

 

Keep to the trails and follow the same route down.

 

Goldstream Park is home to black bears, cougars and

deer, as well as numerous small animals like raccoons,

minks, beavers, otters and Gray and Douglas squirrels.

Migratory and resident birds such as hummingbirds,

Bald eagles, turkey vultures, ducks and gulls can be

spotted throughout the park.

 

CHERYL C YOUNG

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY BC.

Website: http://www.cherylyoung.ca    Email: cbythesea@shaw.ca

 

 

http://www.facebook.com/cherylcyoung

 

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