4/18/2013

Royal Roads Old Growth Forest - Metchosin Road Entrance

A wide path runs through Royal Roads forest parallel to Metchosin Road

If you are in the Victoria area and feel like immersing yourself in an old growth forest, but don't want a long drive, the 565 acre forest on the Royal Roads University grounds in Colwood is a good option. This urban forest contains 250 year old trees some of which are the largest in the area.


Development one side of road, ancient forest on the other

Hatley Forest, as it is also referred to, contains trees listed in the Big Tree Registry of British Columbia.
The province's 10th largest Douglas-fir can be accessed via the 15 kilometers of trails that wind through this rare patch of intact dry coastal Douglas-fir habitat.


There are many trails through the trees


The "Magna Carta" tree, as some call it, measures 8.55 m (28 ft) in circumference and 73.5 m (241 ft) in height.


Wrapping around Royal Road's Magna Carta Tree, the largest on the property
and one of the largest in BC

Also to be found here is the province's 5th largest Grand fir, which measures 4.6 m (15.1 ft) in circumference and 64.6 m (212 ft) in height.



Stump of a 60 meter plus Douglas-fir cut in the park.
Bark is fire resistant and 20 - 30 cm thick

"Nearly every type of old-growth Douglas-fir forest on British Columbia's dry coastal plain is now rare or endangered." 
- British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks




"One study estimated that only one-half of one percent (about 1100 hectare) of the low coastal plain is covered by relatively undisturbed old forests. This is far below what scientists consider to be he minimum area required for the continued survival of these forest types." 

- British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks publication 


Trunk of an ancient, fire-scarred Douglas-fir


The federal government bought this property in 1940 from the Dunsmuir estate. It is now Canada's largest historical site.

It is also one of the largest old growth forests remaining in the dry coastal Douglas-fir ecozone. All just a few minutes from downtown Victoria.



View Royal Roads Old Growth Forest - Metchosin Road Entrance in a larger map

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