Spectacle Lake Regional Park

Spectacle Lake Provincial Park is cooperatively managed by the Cowichan Valley Regional District. It is located thirty minutes north of Victoria and is the perfect spot for a break on your way down island. In summer it is good for swimming, canoeing, kayaking and fishing, and in winter for skating, providing the ice is thick enough (which it wasn’t when we visited in mid January).

The turn off is just south of the Malahat Summit and north of Shawinigan Lake Road, turn west off the Trans-Canada Highway onto Ebadora Lane. Go right on Whittaker Road.

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Maple Mountain


This 5.02 Km loop takes almost 3 hours and features some vigorous uphill grinds and stunning views of Sansum Narrows. To access the trail from Maple Mountain Road, drive from Duncan to Maple Bay on Herd Road, turn left on Drummond Road, left on Beaumont, right on Arbutus and left (though it looks like a right on the map below) on Maple Mountain.  I used Heavy-J’s map in the Avenza app for this hike and found it incredibly easy to use and very accurate. Since the maps work offline without the internet (using your phone’s built in GPS) you don’t need WiFi or a phone connection to see where you are. And you don’t have to gobble up all your data to use it.  The trails are well marked, but if you take a wrong turn, you can see almost immediately on the map that you are off track.

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Stoney Hill

This 3.02 Km trail takes about an hour and features stunning views of Sansum Narrows. To access the trail from Stoney Hill Road, drive from Duncan to Maple Bay and take the road to Genoa Bay.  I used Heavy-J’s map in the Avenza app for this hike and found it incredibly easy to use and very accurate. Since the maps work offline without the internet (using your phone’s built in GPS) you don’t need WiFi or a phone connection to see where you are. And you don’t have to gobble up all your data to use it.

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