If picnicking, swimming, camping and walks along a long sandy beach is your idea of having fun and relaxing then Island View Regional Park is a sure bet. There is a loop trail that affords an easy and scenic walk, do some bird watching or take in amazing panoramic seascape views of Mount Baker, James Island and Haro Strait.
Island View Regional Park is located on the eastern shore of the Saanich Peninsula that has an RV & Tent campground which operates from Victoria Day weekend through to the Labour Day long weekend. Their fees are very reasonable and run at:
- Tents – $15.00/night
- RV’s – $20.00/night
- Additional vehicle – $10.00
You will want to be prepared with enough cash as that is the only form of payment they except. All sites are self-contained with 18 beach front RV sites, 24 treed tent sites, and 5 treed tent trailer sites. The facilities at the campground include:
- Picnic areas
- Waterfront views
- Drinking water station
- Public garbage bins
- Group fire ring
- Pit toilets
Again, being prepared ahead of time is important as the Park does not have a dumping station, showers, hydro, or individual fire pits. It is always a good idea to take a look on their website by clicking on their Alerts & Notices for any fire bans or restrictions that may be in place during your stay at the Park. As long as you are aware of these minor limitations, Island View Regional Park is a great place for a fun outdoor family vacation.
There is a great circular walk that campers of all ages will enjoy if you head north down the beach where you can choose one of the access trails that run through the foredunes. Make sure you pack a picnic before you leave and head back along the inland trail and through the old salt marsh where you can stop at their picnic area.
Spring and fall are the seabirds and shorebirds migration times and you can watch as they enjoy a meal on the eel grass beds and hunt for worms and clams during low tide. With an amazing and fragile balance within this ecosystem, it is important to make sure you keep an adequate distance from the birds and to keep dogs on the trails and under control at all times.
Along some of the shorelines, rocky islets, and spits you will find some of British Columbia’s most threatened shorebirds, like the Oystercatchers. One of the ways these birds defend their eggs is by means of distraction so it’s important not to get too close and also watch for one that might be showing signs of evasive behaviour which could mean that you are a little to close to a nest.
The campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis and they do not accept any online or phone reservations. It’s a good idea to take a look at their brochure which shows a map of the grounds and surrounding area as well as the campground’s features, facilities, and rules. There is also a simple map of the roads leading to the campground.