7/30/2012

Goldstream Park: Accessible Old Growth

Accessible old growth forest just 30 minutes from downtown Victoria, 
Goldstream Park (day use area)
There is nowhere else in the Victoria region that I know of that a person can as easily access as many big trees as in Goldstream Park. It is unfortunate that this amazing, small bit of remnant old growth is split by the busy Trans Canada Highway, but don't let the road noise stop you from enjoying this living museum.

In comments on past posts here, VIBT reader and big tree guy, Samuel Bednarski, has noted the champions among the 800 year old trees in Goldstream Park.
"Goldstream still holds the crown for Victoria area big trees at 80+ meters. There are cedars that reach 72 meters, and the tallest Douglas-fir is 82 meters. There are many 70+ meter tall trees, especially off the highway."
"A few hundred metres south of where the Trans-Canada Highway meets Finlayson Arm Road, there is a grove of trees on the east side of the road that I have not measured, and are about 80 metres tall." 
Those are some pretty impressive numbers. Are these the tallest trees in the CRD? Samuel thinks so, and he should know - he has a laser device for easy and accurate measurement of trees, and has used it here.

Looking up the trunk of a Goldstream Park old growth Douglas-fir

The day use part of Goldstream contains many huge trees that one can drive or walk right by, and there are several trails for hiking. The primeval forest still dominates here, and is populated by gigantic, ancient Western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, Bigleaf maple, Grand fir, and Black cottonwood.


Broken Western red-cedar surrounded by Bigleaf maple along Goldstream River

This is part of the 1% of the old growth Coastal Douglas-fir forest that remains after 150 years of depletion. 99% of the trees outside of parks have not been so lucky. Goldstream Park and places like it exist to remind us of what we have lost. Hopefully they also provide the inspiration and motivation to  stop the continued destruction of the tiny bit of old growth that remains.


Day use area parking lot - big tree drive through


There remains a lot to be discovered in this island of old growth. Check it out - spend a day in a temperate rain forest with trees that were already large when Europeans were living in walled cities, and errant knights in shining armour roamed the countryside.

For more information see here.

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