Elk Lake and Beaver Lake are 2 ‘conjoined’ lakes located just off the Pat Bay Hwy. in Saanich. (See map below)
This is one of my favorite walks. You can walk completely around the 2 lakes which is about 10km and will take approximately 2 hours. Of course you can walk as much or as little of that as you want. This is a fairly flat trail, some is wheelchair accessable – but there are exposed roots and rocks in places that make it a bit challenging. There are a few benches along the trail at access points to the lake. Trails are easy to find and well-marked.
There is also a trail going out to the ‘filter beds’ that’s a bit rockier but still flat.
This is also a very popular dog-walking trail … lots of off-leash doggies … they love to run and then jump into the lake! This is also a popular horse trail as there is an equestrain centre nearby – so beware if your doggie gets spooked by horses!
The trail is beautiful year-round … but in the ‘wet’ months it can be quite muddy. Wear appropriate foot wear.
There are 2 parking lots – and 2 entrances. You can access the trail(s) from either lot. One entrance to the park is off Elk Lake Drive and the parking lot you find first is the one with the beach. It’s a very large, paved parking lot with handicap spaces available. At this area there is also washroom facilities – but they’re only open in the summer months. There is also a new playground here – lots of picnic spots – very nice.
The other entrance is off West Saanich Road and the first parking lot you come to is also large, but gravel and a bit rough. There is a very large field and picnic spots – and also a washroom facility (closed in the winter). A great place to let your doggies run and fetch!
You can drive to either parking lot from the other … the road goes right through from Elk Lake Drive to West Saanich Road.
There is also a small beach at the opposite end of the lake from the above photo called Hamsterley Beach. It can be accessed from the Pat Bay Hwy. – turn on Hamsterley Road. There are washroom facilities here as well as a small boat launch.
- Large freshwater lake for swimming, canoeing and fishing (Elk Lake is stocked with catchable Rainbow Trout)
- Walking and equestrian trails through forest, field and wetlands
- Beaches, group picnic areas and a fishing float with access for people with disabilities
- A Nature Centre
Trail Rating: Easy
Size: 442.77 hectares
Location: Patricia Bay Highway (#17) in Saanich
Hours: sunrise to sunset
From West Saanich Road turn east onto Beaver Lake Road and drive
1.2km to the Filter Beds parking lot.