Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Cycle Up Mt Doug- A View From The Top

Mt Douglas Park, located in the Gordon Head Area of Greater Victoria, is one of the best viewpoints in the city. At 213 metres high, it's more of a large hill than a mountain, but the summit still offers a great vista and the surrounding area is a lush and mature forest, full of ferns, Douglas Firs, cedars, oaks and maples. 

First, start your bike ride on the Lochside Trail in Saanich, crossing over MacKenzie Avenue. On the trail, turn right towards Galey Farms, and cycle past the popular corn maze. Continue straight, crossing over Blenkinsop Road, and up Mt Douglas Cross Road which has it's own separate cycle lane.

Turn left at the top of the hill on Glendenning Road, a quiet residential back road.
Biking The Quieter Back Roads 
Cute Farmstand Along the Way

Turn right and then left onto Parkside Crescent and then left again onto Cedar Hill Road, until you reach the entrance of Mt Douglas Park.

 The numerous trails in the park cannot be accessed by bike, they are only for hikers, but Churchill Drive, the main, paved road up to the summit can be cycled. Until noon each day, this road is closed to vehicular traffic providing an ideal time to bike up it. Although I went later in the afternoon, there still was not much traffic on the road, so it wasn't a bother later in the day either. The road to the top is about 1.5 km long, and winds its way up. It can be fairly steep in parts, so I'll admit I did have to get off my bike and walk part of the way up. There is no shame in that! My heart was definitely pumping and it's a great workout. Just think of the way down, all you have to do is coast!

The view from the top is beautiful. Sometimes we can forget we are on an island, but this viewpoint will remind you as you see the 180 degree expanse of water, clearly the south point of Vancouver Island.

  Look for the views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains of Washington State in the distance and the view of the downtown city of Victoria, the rural farmland of Saanich, islands in the Straight, and all the neighborhoods of town. 

Saanich Farmland 

View Towards Oak Bay 

Cadboro Bay 

A Place For Reflection 
A challenging ride up the hill will give you the reward of the beautiful views. It's well worth the climb.

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