Vancouver Island is home to some of the most beautiful nature in the province, and Beacon Hill is undoubtedly a testament to that. Located in downtown Victoria within close walking distance to the inner harbour, Beacon Hill Park contains 200 acres of meandering trails, flower beds, and preserved natural areas. One of the latter areas is the rare Garry oak ecosystem, which is one of the most rare and endangered in the country, according to the City of Victoria.
Visitors can also view everything from canna lilies and palm trees to springtime blossoms – so if you’re looking for an escape from the city that transforms for every season, it’s worth adding Beacon Hill to your itinerary.
Right now, the park is immersed in vibrant fall colours, moss, and lichen, so time is of the essence if you want to experience an autumn wonderland!
History of Beacon Hill
For thousands of years, Beacon Hill has had cultural significance to the Lekwugen People, now known as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, according to the City. Its rich First Nations history can be seen through the park’s ancient burial ground on the southeast slope, in addition to other archaeologically significant sites throughout the park.
In 1956, Kwakiutl tribal chief and carver Mungo Martin erected a Story Pole to overlook the Strait of Juan de Fuca and stand as a reminder of the region’s First Nations heritage. According to the City’s website, they restored the art on the pole in 2011 with the help of First Nations artists Jonathan Livingston and Calvin Hunt.
Park facilities & features
Visitors of Beacon Hill can enjoy two spray parks during the warmer months, in addition to two playgrounds, a baseball diamond, tennis and pickleball courts, lawn bowling, and golf putting. The City of Victoria says that the park also contains three public washrooms, a Rose Garden, and a Children’s Farm, which reopens in the spring.
Oh, and don’t forget to get a glimpse of the famed Moss Lady, an 11-metre-long statue on the west side of the park. Created in 2015, the stone statue was inspired by the Mud maiden found in the Lost Gardens of Heligan in England, according to the City.
To get to the park from downtown Victoria, visitors can walk up Belleville Street past the Museum of Natural History and the Imax Theatre to Douglas Street. Here, they’ll climb a short hill to the top of Beacon Hill Park.
So there you have it, BC! Your next picturesque nature escape awaits in downtown Victoria.
Where: Victoria, BC