Goldstream Park is just a few minutes out from Victoria, yet it is so wild and majestic, one would think you were in the middle of a great wilderness. The park is full of incredible waterfalls, fascinating birds, and plants, some of which are very rare. The park seems to be a million miles from British Columbia’s capital city.
For the hiker who wants to get away and see Vancouver Islands’ deep rain forests or a birder who is looking for that rare bird or someone who loves to watch the salmon run, Goldstream park has it all. Goldstream Park has many trails that take you through very distinct forest settings.
Some of the trails are easy wheelchair accessible walks and some can be difficult hikes through forested uplands, over old trestles and past abandoned gold mines from the days of the Gold Rush, hence the name, Goldstream Park.
Walking these trails, you can see 600-year-old Douglas Fir trees and giant Western Red Cedars that are mixed with Western Yew, Hemlock, Red Alder, Big Leaf Maple, and Black Cottonwood. On the south-facing highlands, visitors can find flowering Dogwood, Lodgepole Pine, and Arbutus. The Arbutus trees, with their reddish-brown trunk and peeling bark, is Canada’s only broad-leafed evergreen, and it is found only on Vancouver Island and the bordering coast of British Columbia.
More adventurous hikers can climb to the top of Mt Finlayson, a recent addition to the park in 1994. Another trail leads you to the stunning 47.5 meters tall Niagara Falls with its clear pool below.
The park also has a great chum salmon spawning run, that attracts many visitors every year. Riverside trails and observation platforms provide incredible views of this natural phenomenon, which also attracts Bald eagles and Ospreys that can be seen feeding on the spawned out salmon.
The park has a large picnic area with shelters, as well as drive-in camping with plenty of sites and group sites in the upper park area. This is a very nice campground with lots to do, plenty of hiking trails, old train trestles, and a wonderful playground for the little ones.