Goldstream Provincial Park, Attractions
Massive trees, majestic waterfalls, a meandering river that meets the sea, flowers, birds and fascinating fish are but a few of the attractions that draw people to Goldstream Provincial Park, a mere 19 km from downtown Victoria on southern Vancouver Island. It's a world that seems far removed from the urban adventures of British Columbia's capital city whether the visitor is a hiker seeking inspiration from this magnificent example of the great outdoors or a naturalist looking to add to their notebook. There's something new, different and exciting in each of the 12 months and in many different areas of the park that was given to the people of British Columbia in 1958.
Trails lead through Goldstream's two distinct vegetation zones so that a day spent walking in the park offers views of 600 year old Douglas fir and western red cedar, western yew, red alder, big leaf maple, western hemlock and black cottonwood, as well as the flowering dogwood, lodge pole pine and arbutus found on the drier ridges. The moss on the trees next to the river are absolutely uncannily bountiful. The green stuff goes all around the limbs and trunks, and hangs off about eight inches, dripping water. There is a huge log jam in the river below. This is one wet park.
On the flood plains of the lower Goldstream River, there are 80 to-100- year-old broad leaf maples, and farther down river are 300-year-old black cottonwoods. They are among the most easily accessed old growth trees found on southeastern Vancouver Island, a reminder of the great forests that once covered this entire area.
The arbutus, with its thick leathery evergreen leaves, red-dish trunk and peeling bark, is Canada's only broad-leafed evergreen and is found exclusively on Vancouver Island and on the southwest coast of British Columbia.
Take in the experience of hiking to the top of one of the highest points in Greater Victoria - Mt Finlayson, a recent addition to the park in 1994. Another trail leads you to Niagara Falls, higher than its namesake - a truly exquisite discovery buried deep in Goldstream's forests.
The park overflows with wildflowers and is also the site of an annual chum salmon spawning that draws thousands of salmon (and people) every year. The campground features an outdoor theatre where, during the summer months, naturalists conduct programs designed to help visitors appreciate and enjoy the innumerable facets of this remarkable provincial park. The Freeman King Visitor Centre in the day-use area showcases the area's natural and human history. There is so much to see and do in Goldstream - it's all yours to savour and explore.
There is a very limited fishing season at Goldstream National Park and it is catch and release only at all times of the year. For more information on Fishing in British Columbia please visit Discover Fishing BC.