Beacon Hill Park is located in Victoria which lies on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia. With 200 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds complete with a rock and alpine garden, bridges, ponds and lakes, every visit can be an exciting and different adventure for the whole family. This amazing jewel in the heart of BC’s provincial capital was officially recognized as a park in 1882 and named for the two beacons that are strategically located atop a hill providing a navigational aid for vessels approaching Victoria’s Inner Harbour. These consisted of a blue triangle and a green square and acted as a warning to sailors for it they were able to see the square through the triangle, it meant that they were on Brotchie Ledge and in trouble.
Visitors of all ages can enjoy feeding bread to a host of waterfowl that make their home among the pond lilies of Fountain and Goodacre Lakes. Experience the majesty of both native and exotic trees such as the Arbutus, Western Red Cedar, Garry Oak, Birch, Douglas-fir, willow and more. Beacon Hill Park is also home to the many peacocks that wander freely throughout the grounds. It’s easy to find a quiet place for a picnic or a leisurely walk along one of the many trails that connect with local neighbourhood streets or the vibrant activity of downtown.
A popular attraction for families with children is the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm. The petting zoo gives young and old a unique hands-on opportunity to interact with the animals. The Koender family has operated the farm since 1985 and continues to encourage a healthy relationship with animals and foster a life-long respect forthem.
Visitors will not want to miss the many festivals held each year at Beacon Hill Park including the Luminara Festival which takes place at the Fisgard Light House. The Cameron Bandshell conveniently located in the centre of the park hosts numerous activities from May to September. Everyone is welcome to these free events that include live theatre productions, dance ensembles, concerts, various community events, choral performances and much more. Spectators can relax and enjoy the entertainment on the grassed areas or sit on one of the many benches.
Photography enthusiast travel from far and wide to capture such plants as the Western Buttercup, Shooting Star, Chocolate Lily or the Prairie Violet. Also found in a few secluded corners are the Large White Trilliums that can change colours to pink or purple as part of their aging process. These magnificent plants are protected throughout the province as the plants die if the flowers are picked.
It is clear why most people agree that no trip to Victoria is complete without at least one visit to Beacon Hill Park. From quiet and relaxing strolls along the many trails to Fisgard Light House, the children’s farm and petty zoo, the numerous festivals and live entertainment during the summer months at the Cameron Bandshell, there is truly something for everyone in the heart of Victoria at Beacon Hill Park. With Vancouver Island’s more moderate year round climate there is always a new adventure that awaits visitors of all ages to the city’s 200 acre park.