Falling for Victoria
By Nicole Rutherford
As autumn rolls around there are several remarkable changes to make note of: a harvest moon in the early morning, the brisk nip of the air on an outdoor stroll, and the plethora of pumpkin-flavored drinks and goodies to be found in every café. However, the most distinguished feature of fall is the inflamed coloring of our deciduous trees, a very worthwhile—if not underplayed— attraction in our beautiful city of flowers. So, grab a cozy cardigan and a hot cup of tea and take a look at some of the top five color-changing locations in Victoria:
1. Beacon Hill
Park: Victoria’s most famous park is famous for a reason. Beacon
hill has a very wide variety of plant life to view so that in one
lovely walk you can view orange maple trees overhanging the old stone
bridge at the duck pond, to coniferous trees dropping their cones on
a pine needle carpet, to the brightly colored tropical flowers and
palm fronds across from the kid’s playground. If you’re walking
through the park then you must also make your way to Cook Street
Village and stop at the Moka House for an almond milk hot chocolate
or a hot apple cider, and then meander through the antique shops,
book stores, and the unique local boutiques that make the village
2. University of
Victoria Campus Grounds: Uvic is a beautiful, environmentally
conscious campus where studies and student events occur in between
maple trees, formal gardens and long running trails. In particular,
Uvic’s Mystic Vale is the most beautiful area to be seen in autumn
as the ravine features Douglas firs, red cedars, maple trees,
cottonwood, arbutus, Garry oak and willow trees all just south east
of the campus.
3. Mount Douglas
Park: This park is great because it spans a wide variety of
environments in one beautiful space. You can, for example, hike up
the mountain through a dense mossy forest until you stand a top the
peak for an amazing view of the city. Alternatively, if you head down
into the park and pass a few gnarled and hollowed trees, you will
find a staircase down to a beach sheltered by pealing arbutus trees.
Here, a clay-infused streambed adorned with driftwood bridges also
makes a great spot to see fall in action.
Park: 17 kilometres from downtown Victoria this provincial park
features rivers, waterfalls, and rail-line trestles dating back to
the gold rush, all amongst an old growth forest that is as full of
colorful foliage as it is with wildlife. Definitely bring your hiking
boots and a camera for this gorgeous spot!
5. Elk Lake/Beaver Lake: a 10-kilometer loop around the lake is a popular trail for runners and fall-enthusiasts alike because of its diverse but flat environment. This family-friendly location includes playgrounds, walking trails (where your four-legged friends are also allowed) and of course, the view of the lake all amongst the changing colors of the forest. Don’t feel like going for a 10-kilometre walk? Don’t worry, you can get off of the main loop at many given points and take a smaller route instead.
These are amazing locations to see autumn in action; make your way to as many as you can while the season lasts!