As the summer gives way to fall, it can be tough to say goodbye to the warm weather and endless blue skies. In September though, the weather is usually sunny and warm but crisp with a few sporadic, overcast days. During these late summer, early fall weeks, Vancouver Island is as stunning as ever as trees all over the Island change from green to the golds and reds of fall. One of the very best ways to celebrate the coming season is to get out in nature and experience the changing environment before the rains set in!
Sooke & Metchosin
This trail system, on the south side of East Sooke Park, is perfect if you are looking for an easy walk or a great spot for an autumnal picnic. Just a five minute walk from the parking lot through gorgeous open fields spotted with old fruit trees, you’ll find a trail that leads down to a tiny beach. Here you can set up for an afternoon on the water and enjoy the peace and quiet and maybe even see river otters scurrying across the sand. If you continue on the trail inland, you’ll find gorgeous hilltop views. This stunning trail system is just a short drive away from both Pacific Coast Beach House and Suite and Arbutus Hill.
Guests at Pacific Coast Beach House who are looking for a moderate hike will love that Anderson Cove is just a five minute drive! Right on the edge of the Sooke Basin, on Anderson Cove Road you’ll find the trailhead for Babbington Hill and Mount Maguire. On these hilltops you’ll find sweeping views of the Olympic Peninsula and in the fall you can see kettles of turkey vultures circling, waiting for the wind to change and help them on their migratory path.
Just off Rocky Point Rd. in Metchosin and nearby Arbutus Hill, is the beautiful Matheson Lake. Take a walkon the picturesque trail that surrounds this lovely lake and take in the changing foliage. On a warm fall day, the sandy beach area is ideal to take a coffee or picnic and dip your toes in before it gets too cold!
Victoria & Langford
With nearly 200 acres to explore, Beacon Hill Park is one of the most stunning places to take a walk in the fall. Here, you can find Japanese maples aflame in reds and gold as well as one of the largest Garry oak ecosystems. As the cooler weather sets in, these magnificent trees drop their leathery leaves to create a carpet of the most perfect crunchy leaves to walk through. Guests at Beacon Hill View Condo, James Bay Studio Stay and Seaglass Suite are lucky enough to be right on the edge of this magnificent park!
With over 500 acres of oceanfront property and expansive Edwardian gardens to wander through, Hatley Castle is a must for an autumn stroll especially if you’re staying close by at Station Villa Executive Condo. Walk through the rose garden where the last blooms of the summer will be exploding all over the trellises, marvel at the manicured geometry of the Italian garden and stroll through the romantic Japanese garden where red and gold maples will be at their most beautiful.
With majestic waterfalls, meandering trails and a lush green forest that transforms into a autumnal paradise bursting with colour, Goldstream Provincial Park might be one of the most spectacular places to visit in the fall. Right at the doorstep of Nature’s Gate Executive Vacation Home, Goldstream is a great place to celebrate the changing seasons no matter if you’re looking for a peaceful stroll in nature or a more vigorous hike.
No matter where you are staying, whether it’s close by at Prospect Lake Country Cottage or at the top of the Peninsula at Oceanside Lodge on Saanich Inlet, it is worth the drive. There are over 25 kilometers of winding trails through this incredible park on the Saanich Inlet, and it’s here that you can discover rushing creeks, waterfalls, little wooden bridges, private beaches and enjoy trekking through the wilderness on a warm fall day.
With over fifty acres of gardens, the world-renowned Butchart Gardens is one of the best places to wander through and enjoy a sunny, crisp, early autumn day. Although all five of their themed gardens are stunning year round, in the fall, the Japanese Garden comes alive with vibrant red and gold maples. Whether you’re staying on the Malahat at the Malahat Mountain House or deep in Fairfield at Barkley Manor Executive, this is a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed!