Goldstream Park is just a few minutes out
from Victoria, yet it is so wild and majestic, one would think you were in the
middle of a great wilderness. The park is full of incredible waterfalls,
fascinating birds and plants, some of which are very rare. The park seems to be
a million miles from British Columbia’s capital city.
For the hiker who wants to get away and see
Vancouver Islands deep rainforests or a birder who is looking for that rare bird
or someone who loves to watch the salmon run, Goldstream park has it all.
Goldstream Park has many trails that take
you through very distinct forest settings.
Some of the trails are easy wheelchair
accessible walks and some can be difficult hikes through forested uplands and
past abandoned gold mines from the days of the Gold Rush, hence the name,
Walking these trails, you can see 600 year
old Douglas Fir trees and giant Western Red Cedars that are mixed with Western
Yew, Hemlock, Red Alder, Big Leaf Maple and Black Cottonwood. On the south
facing highlands, visitors can find flowering Dogwood, Lodgepole Pine and
Arbutus. The Arbutus trees, with their reddish brown trunk and peeling bark, is
Canada's only broad leafed evergreen and is found only on Vancouver Island and
the bordering coast of British Columbia.
More adventurous hikers can climb to the
top of Mt Finlayson, a recent addition to the park in 1994. Another trail leads
you to the stunning 47.5 meter tall Niagara Falls with its clear pool below.
The park also has a great chum salmon
spawning run, that attracts many visitors every year. Riverside trails and
observation platforms provide incredible views of this natural phenomenon, which
also attracts Bald eagles and Ospreys that can be seen feeding on the spawned
The park has a large picnic area with
shelters, as well as drive in camping and group sites.