Lakes & Beaches in Victoria
Dallas RoadThe stony beaches below the Dallas Road walkway are tremendous for walking in the wind, with kites and hang gliders soaring overhead. These beaches are also a treasure trove for beachcombers, who find driftwood in all its convoluted shapes and tidal pools at low tide.
Willows BeachWillows is a long, broad stretch of white sand, just a block off Beach Drive near Dalhousie Street in Oak Bay. Its shallow, protected waters are a safe and ideal place for kids to burn off energy, and the beach is a popular place to launch kayaks. A well-equipped and shaded playground is right next to the beach, as is a large open area bordered by big shady elms that appeals to frisbee players. In summer, the volunteer-run Oak Bay Tea Room provides simple sustenance. The beach affords views across Haro Strait to the Olympic Mountains and the white cone of the dormant volcano, Mount Baker.
Cadboro BayFrequented by kayakers, windsurfers, canoeists, sunbathers and people walking their dogs (restricted in summer), Cadboro Bay Beach sprawls behind Cadboro Bay Village and Gyro Park. The open grassy parkland is home to an assortment of concrete sea creatures, including a giant blue octopus and the mysterious sea serpent "Caddy," said to frequent these waters. Dubbed "Cadborosaurus" by Victoria newspaper editor, Archie Willis, after a sighting here in the early 1930s, this seafaring cousin of the Loch Ness Monster is reputed to be a large snake-like creature, five to 15 metres long.
Elk/Beaver Lake Regional ParkSituated just 10 kilometres north of downtown off the Patricia Bay Highway (Highway 17), this 442-hectare park offers an exceptional diversity of recreational opportunities and is understandably one of the most popular parks in the Capital Regional District. There are four beaches, 15 kilometres of trails, the Elk Lake Rowing Centre, an equestrian centre, boat launches, fishing pier, day-use facilities, playground and concession stands.
Elk and Beaver lakes are used by swimmers, windsurfers, sailors, water skiers, fishers and rowers. The park is also the home base for the Canadian national rowing team. Some park trails are designated multi-use for hikers, cyclists and horse riders, while others are for hiking only. An excellent 10-kilometre walking and bridle trail through forest, fields and wetlands circles the lake. Beaches, picnic areas and a fishing pier are all accessible for people with walking disabilities.