Goldstream Provincial Park is located 16 km (10 miles) north-west
and 96 km (60 miles) south of Nanaimo
on the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 in the municipality of Langford.
The park is divided in half by a highway with the campground located
off Sooke Lake Road and the day-use facility situated farther north
on Hwy 1 at Finlayson Arm Road.
The highlights of Goldstream Provincial Park are the vast bio-diversity
of plants and animals in a rain forest setting. Throughout the park
you can find a lush forest containing moss covered Garry Oak, Arbutus,
Maple and old-growth Douglas fir trees, some up to 600 years old.
Goldstream River is the site of major salmon runs throughout the
year from late October through to December. Every year you can watch
this phenomenon along the spawning channel in the Day Use area.
Plus you can visit the Freeman King Visitor Centre for more information
on the yearly salmon spawn including an Underwater Salmon Cam.
With the annual salmon spawn a by-product is a large amount of bald
eagles that visit the park following the salmon run. Other birds
found in Goldstream Provincial Park that you can also enjoy viewing
include robins, hummingbirds, sea gulls, woodpeckers and numerous
song birds. You will find a great bald eagle habitat display at
the Visitor Centre.
Goldstream Provincial Park features a large campground with 141
sites including some walk-in and group sites. The campsites are
set in a large grove of Douglas Fir trees, some 300 feet tall bordering
the Goldstream River in the south, the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway
to the west.
Through-out the whole of Goldstream Provincial Park you can find
various trails along the Goldstream River, Finlayson Arm estuary,
419 metre (1,375 feet) high Mount Finlayson and up to Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls at 47.5 metres (156 feet) high is nearly the same
height as its namesake in Ontario. The trails are well-marked with
posted maps located at different trail intersections.
One favourite walk is the Arbutus Ridge Trail combined with the
Gold Mine Trail that will lead you through a grove of Arbutus Trees
to an abandoned gold mine cave and the 1910 built E&N Railway
Niagara Creek Trestle, eventually reaching Niagara Falls. The trail
is low-impact, quite kid-friendly and very scenic, traversing small
meadows, lush forests and views of Mount Finlayson.
There is a steep and rugged hike to the top of Mount
Finlayson starting at the Day Use parking lot. If you are going
to walk this trail, make sure you take certain precautions before
attempting to do so. Dress for the weather, wear suitable walking
shoes, don't walk alone and allow yourself reasonable time to hike
to the top, enjoy the view, then return in daylight.
One place that is really popular to visit is Goldstream Falls. You
can get to the falls by either walking up the 30-minute, one-way
Upper Goldstream Trail starting at the Gate House or by taking a
short trail in from near the pit toilet by campsite # 60.
There are a couple of small swimming holes on the Goldstream River
located in the park. One is at Goldstream River Falls where there
is a small pebble beach the other is downstream from the bridge
near the Gate House. Just a reminder there are no lifeguards present
and the rocks can be very slippery at times.
Wells Regional Park
Areas to explore nearby to Goldstream Provincial Park include Mount
Wells Regional Park. This park features a brisk hike to the top
of 352 metre (1,155 feet) Mount Wells for panoramic views of the
Juan de Fuca Strait and the Sooke Hills. To get there you take Humpback
Road which is near the campsite entrance for 2 km (1.3 mile) past
Irwin Road to the trailhead.
If you're an adult there is a small pub called Ma Miller's located
in the historic Goldstream Inn built in 1864. Ma Miller's is across
from the park gates at the corner of Humpback Road and Sooke Lake
Road. Ma Miller's features a pub, liquor store and sometimes has
live blues music on Saturday nights.
There is a small store called Streamside Grocery across from Ma
Miller's Pub. The store offers camping supplies, video rentals and
some canned goods. There is also a small take-out pizza called Cappelli's
Pizza next door to Streamside Grocery. Then if you want to treat
the kids to an ice-cream cone, Ice Cream Mountain is located across
Hwy1 at Sooke Lake Road.
If you need propane when camping at Goldstream Provincial Park there
is a Shell gas station located 1 km (.6 mile) south-east towards
Victoria at the traffic light at Spencer Road. Here you can also
find a Subway for fast food and, if you need some ready cash, there
is a Scotiabank instant teller.
The staff at Goldstream Park are very accommodating, friendly and
quite helpful. The park is managed by R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd., a
company who happen to run other provincial parks on South Vancouver
Island. You can e-mail R.L.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information or view VIsland web site.
Goldstream Provincial Park, because of its closeness to Victoria,
can tend to be booked up especially during the summer peak season.
If you decide you would like to stay here, reservations are recommended
and can be made through the Discover Camping's web site.