Esquimalt Lagoon - Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria Hiking Trails RatingEsquimalt Lagoon is a wonderful stretch of beach that extends two kilometres, separating the lagoon from the ocean.  The beach is made up of wonderful, powdery sand and driftwood logs.  Looking out from the beach you as you sit on a massive and ancient, driftwood tree, with weathering that makes it dry, smooth, gleaming white.  A perfect seat to take in the view.

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The view you see is a perfect stretch of sand, littered with improbably idyllic driftwood logs.  In the unexpectedly close distance you see the United States.  Snowy mountain peaks of the Olympic Range in the fuzzy distance.  Partway between these mountains in the US and the Lagoon where you sit, a jut of land stretches out similar to the distant mountains, but dark coloured, instead of fuzzy grey.  The few kilometres greys the view, whereas the three or so kilometres to the jut of land at the end of the beach does not.  It contrasts with the distant mountains in a hypnotizing way. 

The Lagoon is officially called the Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary.  But for those of us that grew up in the area, it is simply the Lagoon.  A place where you surreptitiously went to drink beers with your friends when you were 16.  Or a decade earlier, watch your dad scuba dive from this same ancient driftwood log seat.  He would walk into the ocean and disappear.  We would trace the smooth, dark surface for 15 minutes until finally a ripple in the surface down the beach.  He would back out of the water to the beach and the yellow, mesh bag full of sea creatures.

When you are 6 years old and a Dungeness Crab is pulled from the ocean and set in front of you on the sand it is something you never forget.  Like a giant, armored spider, its claws extend menacingly toward you.  It crab walks back to the ocean, all the time facing you with those giant claws.  More crabs come out of the bag, and bright purple starfish.  Occasionally dad would return with monstrous Lingcod he savagely speared with his speargun.  What a marvel of creatures live just beyond view, under the surface.

The Lagoon, you soon discover growing up here, is not the only one.  Further down the beach, about 4 kilometres away is another similarly beautiful bit of paradise, Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park.  Albert Head, the large finger of land that stretches out into the ocean has another lagoon just beyond it.  Witty's Lagoon is another hidden bit of serenity.  A hidden wilderness world that somehow managed to survive development and become a park.  A wonderful park, hidden well inside Metchosin, a rural suburb of Victoria.

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The Esquimalt Lagoon Trail

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Esquimalt Lagoon Trail Map

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History of Esquimalt Lagoon

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Geology of Esquimalt Lagoon

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Camping & Bivouacking at Esquimalt Lagoon

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Facilities at Esquimalt Lagoon

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Restrictions at Esquimalt Lagoon

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Wildlife at Esquimalt Lagoon

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Driving, Biking & Public Transit to Esquimalt Lagoon

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