A hidden gem of a park that even most locals don’t know about is Macaulay Point Park in the community of Esquimalt (Esk-kwi-malt) which is only a short drive from downtown Victoria.
Indeed it’s so close that it’s about a 10 – 15 minute drive, a 1 hour walk or a shorte bike ride from downtown.
The park includes not only a breathtaking view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula beyond, but a great little beach and climbing wall at Fleming Beach and some neat old military ramparts to wander through.
This park is popular with dog-walkers, families and is also great for bird watching and even a romantic stroll. Fleming beach is a popular boat launch and has picnic facilities as well.
The paths are either gravel, level dirt or paved and easily navigated by most people and is wheelchair accessable (if it’s not too muddy!).
Parking is at Fleming Beach or there’s a bit of street parking at the end of Clifton Terrace.
Some of the area directly adjacent to the park is Canadian military facilities so do not attempt to climb over the fenced areas!
Here’s the “official description”:
Macaulay Point began as a Hudson Bay farm, then later became part of Fort Macaulay. It has been managed as a municipal park since 1985.
This 7.6 hectare park is popular with birdwatchers, hikers and dog walkers. Native vegetation is mixed with grasses, plantain, and common cat’s ear. A remarkable array of plants has adapted, including roses, lupins, gumweed, wild onions and biscuit roots. At the eastern limit of the park boundary, a small grove of trembling aspens grows.
A number of trails and access points lead to views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, as well as former military ramparts. Bunkers, lookouts and defensive berms give the park an historic look.
The park is home to rare and endangered plant species protected under Canada’s Species At Risk Act. Visitors and their dogs are required to stay on designated paths to help protect this fragile area.
Macaulay Point can be accessed from Fleming Beach, as well as from Clifton Terrace off Munro Street.