Durrance Lake – Mt Work’s Hidden Gem
Durrance Lake is part of Mount Work Regional Park. The lake is located along Willis Point Rd with an accessible parking area located off Durrance Close. It is a small lake nestled in the valley between Mount Work and the Partridge Hills, which are part of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.
There is a good sized parking area off Durrance Close. This gives accessible access to the trails, boat ramp, washrooms and the accessible fishing dock. In the summer and on weekends this parking area can fill up quickly.
There are also a couple of access points to the lake by parking along Willis Point Rd. The one closest to Durrance Close is marked with park signs and has the largest pull off area. It is a short walk down to the perimeter hiking trail from here.
Things to do
Durrance Lake is a popular summer swimming destination during the summer months. The water is clean and warm. The beach area is accessed from the accessible trail from the parking lot and is about 2/3 of the way down the lake.
There are some picnic tables located along the accessible path near the parking area.
Durrance Lake is a relatively popular fishing spot and it is well stocked with rainbow trout. There is an accessible fishing dock quite near the parking lot. If you like fishing from a boat, there is a boat ramp located just before you drive into the parking area. Gas motors are not allowed, only paddle craft and boats with electric motors.
There are opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and standup paddle boarding. Though the lake is very small, it is a pleasant lake to paddle around. The lake is very sheltered and the tree lined shores very scenic. In the summer, with its warm water it is a great place to practice your paddling skills.
The trail is not long, but it is a pretty hike around the lake. There is an accessible trail along the north and east end of the lake. The trail continues around the north and west end of lake coming back to Durrance Cl. This portion of the trail is much less developed and not accessible.
There is a short section leading off the northeast end of the lake which leads down to a small waterfall. It is not much to look at in the summer, but it is quite pretty in the fall and winter when the rains bring the lake level back up. This trail ends at the border of a Ministry of National Defence shooting range, please don’t trespass. When the range is in use the road can be patrolled by police.
The Durrance Lake trails will also give you access to the multi-use trails running through the Partridge Hills, part of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, on the north side of the lake. Many of these trails have been developed into mountain biking trails and you will find signs with mapping and trail difficulty posted along the trails. For more information on these trails check the South Island Mountain Bike Society (SIMBS) website