Right in the heart of the city lies one of the most breath-taking views along with some of the most beautiful trails – that’s Mt. Tolmie!
I hadn’t been there in some time and when I visited recently to research this article I was simply stunned to experience the views!
There is an easy drive up to the top and loads of parking … several spots along the way with small-ish parking areas at the trailheads … one very large parking lot at just below the top which will accommodate RV’s … and more right at the very top.
The views are wheelchair accessable, but the hiking is not. I’ll deal with the hiking here and will write another post on views. See post on views HERE.
There are more than 1500 metres of trails within the park. Many lead to the summit, through meadows and up rocky slopes. They access:
- Picnic areas
- Secluded natural areas
- Great spots for bird watching and quiet contemplation
B.C.’s only native oak species, the Garry Oak, is at the extreme northern limit of its North American range on Vancouver Island. The dry, exposed rocky bluffs of the park support the shallow soil of the Garry Oak ecosystem. The remnant of this ecosystem within the park is one of the best in Saanich. You’ll find another tree here that’s unique to our region: the broadleaf evergreen tree called arbutus. It has satiny, smooth, chartreuse bark that turns reddish-brown in the fall and peels away.
The mottled grey bedrock of Mount Tolmie’s summit and surrounding outcrops belong to a group of rocks formed in the Jurassic period, about 200 million years ago. You can see signs of the last ice age that ended about 12,000 years ago in broken rock faces below the summit:
- Fine scratches called slickensides.
- Shallow grooves from the glaciers that moved across their surface.
Mount Tolmie Park Picnic Areas:
There are five (5) separate picnic areas available in Mount Tolmie Park. You can hike to these different areas, or use the nearby parking for each one. You can reserve picnic areas through our park permit system. Unreserved tables are available on a first come basis with the understanding that any reservations will be able to ask you to relocate.