Beacon Hill Park is a massive urban park located at the southern end of Victoria, BC. This park has more than meets the eye, with several sporting fields, a diverse variety of natural environments, manicured gardens, and even a petting zoo! You’re bound to find something to love about Beacon Hill Park, no matter what you’re looking for.
Where is Beacon Hill Park?
Beacon Hill Park is located at the southern end of Victoria BC. It is an urban park, surrounded by Cook St, Dallas Rd, Douglas St, and Southgate St. It sits between the neighborhoods of Cook St Village and James Bay. Several streets also run through the park for easier driving access to certain areas of the park. Beacon Hill Park is a massive 740,000 square feet !
Exploring Beacon Hill Park
I’ve strolled through Beacon Hill Park several times but never experienced the full extent of the park until my most recent excursion.
On this trip, I took the time to walk the full perimeter of the park, and tried to take in everything it has to offer, or at least as much as I could. I started at Cook St and Park Blvd, past the tennis courts, and soon found myself on a shady walking path that would take me southeast through the park towards Dallas Road. I tried to stick to paths I’d never walked before while being sure to try and pass all of the known landmarks.
Ball Fields, Tennis Courts, Lawn Bowling, and More
When I first entered the park, I passed the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club and the Beacon Hill Tennis Courts which were both being enjoyed. The Victoria Lawn Bowling Club was established in the early 20th century and is still a popular spot. Next to the club and tennis courts is the Cricket Field.
There are several sporting fields throughout Beacon Hill Park. A gravel all-weather field can be found on the southwestern end of the park just off of Dallas Road. At the center of the park is a free mini golf course, and on the north side is the Beacon Hill Ball Park for softball and baseball enthusiasts.
If you’re hoping to work on your game, you’ll probably find a court at Beacon Hill to do so.
As I wandered through the park I found myself on well-trodden and groomed paths, as well as paths less traveled or so-called ‘deer paths.’ The trails leading around the perimeter of the park run along the streets surrounding it. They are very well maintained but more exposed.
What I didn’t realize is that there were so many paths leading you through the woods and the meadows and onto more secret paths even deeper into nature. I enjoyed having the option to dive deeper into the woods as I pleased, but reconnect to the main path to cover more ground or recenter myself. I was able to be more immersed in nature, with the sounds of crickets and bird songs surrounding me.
Watching Ducks at the Pond
There are two beautiful ponds in Beacon Hill Park. One is between the Rose Garden and Pigan Hill Park, pictured below. It’s a small pond shaded by willow trees, with plenty of ducks enjoying the water. There are benches and picnic tables surrounding the pond, and it’s a great spot to stop and enjoy the view.
The second pond, or lake, is Goodacre Lake, at the northwest end of the park. While it’s called a lake, it is very small. The lake is divided by a stone bridge that carries you across, and the water is covered in lily pads, and ducks eating the algae on top of the water.
Home to the World’s Tallest Free-Standing Totem Pole
The world’s tallest free-standing totem pole can be found at Beacon Hill Park, at the southern end close to Dallas Rd. As you can see in the image below, this totem pole towers over the surrounding forest, at a whopping 127 feet tall.
The totem pole is named the Story Pole and was erected in 1956. It was carved by a group led by “Kwakiutl tribal chief and renowned carver” Mungo Martin. The original pole has since been restored several times by a number of First Nations artists to maintain the legacy of this story pole.
Beacon Hill Children’s Farm
At the center of the park on Circle Dr is a farm and petting zoo with an array of adorable barnyard animals. The fee to enter the farm is by donation, with a recommended 5$ minimum donation, as the funds go directly towards caring for the animals.
I spotted some adorable but funny-looking chickens as I passed by the farm. There are also goats, sheep, donkeys, and alpacas. The petting zoo only applies to the goats, but the rest of the animals you can observe, or pet but without entering their enclosure.
Stop and Smell the Roses at the Rose Garden
The rose garden is just across from the farm on the other side of Circle Dr. The rose garden is enclosed in a fenced-off area, and displays a variety of roses for you to smell and observe. It’s a beautiful little area and perfect for a photo opp.
I spotted a bee helping itself to the pollen inside this beautiful orange rose.
Plenty of Playgrounds
There are two children’s playgrounds at Beacon Hill Park, one near the Lawn Bowling Club on Cook St, and one at the center of the park. The playground near Cook St also has outdoor exercise equipment so you can get a workout in with some fresh air.
Connecting to the Dallas Road Waterfront Trail
At the southern edge of the park, you connect to the waterfront trail that runs along Dallas Rd and overlooks the ocean with views all the way to the Olympic Peninsula. Between Dallas Rd and the shore, there is an off-leash dog area, and access points to the beaches below, such as Spiral Beach.
A Diverse Array of Nature
This park is definitely unassuming if you observe it just from the pathways around the perimeter, but as you dive deeper into the park you’ll come across several diverse ecosystems and environments. You’ll find arid meadows with chirping grasshoppers, ocean views, ponds with aquatic plants and wildlife, and manicured gardens like the Rose Garden and Pigan Hill Park. Take some time to stop and enjoy each beautiful location with your friends or family when you come to visit Beacon Hill Park, which I highly recommend you do.
FAQs About Beacon Hill Park:
Are there public restrooms at Beacon Hill Park?
Yes, there are public restrooms near Cook Street and Dallas Road at the southeastern end of the park, and at the center of the park on Bridge Way across from Pigan Hill Park.
Is there parking at Beacon Hill Park?
Yes, there is parking on the surrounding streets, as well as throughout the park on Circle Drive, Dallas Rd, and Arbutus Way.
Is Beacon Hill Park free to enter?
Yes, the park is free to enter!
Can you camp at Beacon Hill Park?
No, there is no camping permitted at the park at any time.