(Banfield Park/Photo by @steph_athletic_therapy - Instagram)

It’s finally starting to feel like spring in Victoria!

If you’re looking to have your first picnic of the season somewhere off the beaten path instead of a more popular spot like Clover Point or Beacon Hill Park, check out some of these gems!

1. Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

Gowlland Tod is located right next to Saanich Inlet, so you’ve got numerous picnic spots with a view of the water. There are also over 25 kilometres of trail to hike, from Goldstream to Brentwood Bay, with scenic viewpoints dotted throughout and plenty of wildflowers along the way.

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2. Knockan Hill

A tiny park nestled amidst the View Royal suburbs, Knockan Hill provides smooth rock clearings surrounded by Garry oaks and grape hyacinths. Trails wind all over and up the little hill, allowing you to either make a beeline to the top or gradually ascend as you explore the forest.

3. Hyacinth Park

Hyacinth Park is home to more than just picnic tables: there’s also a playground, a baseball field, and tennis courts. In addition to roadside parking, Hyacinth is accessible via the Colquitz River Trail.

4. Saxe Point Park

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Located off the coast of Esquimalt, most of Saxe Point Park is dog-friendly, including a leash-optional portion along the north-west side. There are a bunch of grassy lawns to sprawl out on alongside the paved walking path, and the park offers gorgeous views of the Salish Sea.

5. Lime Bay Park

Lime Bay Park is intersected by the Songhees Walkway. It straddles the urban and the natural, in between Vic West apartments and plenty of waterfront, busy with boats and sea planes. At low tide, you can go looking for sea stars.

6. Banfield Park

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Picnic tables, a playground, and wide grassy expanses make up Banfield Park – an accessible space located nearby the Galloping Goose Trail and parking lots. Dogs are welcome, especially in the off-leash area.

7. Uplands Park

Uplands Park, just north of Willows Beach, has plenty of windswept, rocky green space to wander, as well as picnic tables and walking trails. There’s also a boat launch ramp at Cattle Point, if you want to do a bit of kayaking or canoeing after lunch. Dogs are permitted off-leash at Cattle Point all year round, and free to roam the rest of the park except from April to June.

8. Gonzales Bay

For those that prefer to spread their picnic blanket out on the sand rather than the grass, Gonzales Bay is a small, low-traffic beach tucked away at the border of Victoria and Oak Bay. Dogs are allowed off-leash until May 31st but not at all after that, so make sure you visit soon!

 

Know any other picnic spots off the beaten track? Comment below if you want to share your secrets with us!

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