See Big Trees

Giant Sequoia in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park

The best way to learn about trees is to hang out with trees. People that take time to see the trees will also take the time to save them. That is why I have created the following page listing some of my favourite places to see big trees. Because I live in Sooke, BC the list leans more toward south Vancouver Island locations.

Many of these trees are hundreds of years old - some well over 1000. You may feel little (and brief) standing in the presence of such size and antiquity.

This page is a work in progress, and I will be updating it as I visit new places and uncover new information. Please do check back.

Click on highlighted titles to link to more information.

Do you have a favorite big tree location? Please share it in the comments below.

Goldstream Park near Victoria - Upper Goldstream River runs through old growth trees

Victoria Area
Native Tree Species

    1.    Francis/King Regional Park (some of the biggest trees closest to Victoria, including one on the B.C. Big Tree Registry - largest Douglas-fir in the CRD)
    2.    Beacon Hill Park (designated Heritage Tree Status)
    3.    Thetis Lake (Hiking trails link Thetis and Francis/King parks)
Adrmore's Th-Kuat Tree
1100 years old, 110 feet tall
    4.    Royal Roads/DND Lands (Urban big trees in Colwood, including the 2nd and 3rd largest Douglas-firs in the CRD)
    5.    Goldstream Park (very accessible old growth 16 km from downtown Victoria)
    6.    East Sooke Road/East Sooke Park (along East Sooke Rd. is one of the biggest Western red-cedar in the CRD)
   7.     Ardmore Golf Course (North Saanich - massive Douglas-firs up 1100 years old. This link is to the golf course web page - scroll to the bottom to read about their Th-Kuat Tree, a massive Douglas-fir guarding the third tee of the course.)
   8.    Witty's Lagoon Beach parking lot (Metchosin)
   9.    Royal Colwood Golf Club (has the most extensive collection of varied-age Douglas-fir and Garry oak forest in an urban setting)
10.    Victoria Area Arbutus (Arbutus are coast-hugging, broad-leafed, evergreen trees. They are abundant in parks and urban areas. The largest is found on Thetis, one of the Gulf Islands)

Non-native Tree Species

   1. Beacon Hill Park (Heritage Tree Site: many exotic trees such as Giant sequoia)
   2. Victoria Area (Urban Giant sequoia of huge proportions)

500 year old Douglas-fir on Royal Colwood Golf Course

Sooke Area

    1.    Sooke River Road/Galloping Goose Trail (scattered big trees)
    2.    Sooke Potholes Park 
    3.    Sunriver Park  (Phillips Road)
    3.    Matheson Lake Regional Park
    4.    Humpback Road (Langford)
    5.    Muir Creek (threatened by logging) - west of Sooke
    6.    Roche Cove Regional Park (the map in this post has directions to big Douglas-fir and Arbutus in a shore line area of this beautiful park)
    7.    Juan de Fuca Provincial Park - China Beach 
    8.   French Beach - nice, older second growth forest with lots of Sitka spruce
    9.   Chin Beach Trail Lone Cedar - grows on the Juan de Fuca Rural Resource Lands west of Sooke, 13 km past China Beach parking lot.

Eagles need old growth trees for perching and nesting

Avatar Grove

Port Renfrew Area
    1.    Avatar Grove (threatened by logging)
    2.    Red Creek Fir (Champion tree - largest Douglas fir in Canada, not protected)
    3.    San Juan Bridge Spruce - (Champion tree - largest volume Sitka Spruce in Canada, not protected)
    4.    Juan de Fuca Provincial Park (smatterings of remnant old growth can be found in different areas of the park)

    5.    Loss Creek (has an old growth grove of Stika spruce)
    6.   Harris Creek Spruce (short walk off logging road, not protected)
    7.   Chester's Grove/Lens Creek Trail (huge Sitka spruce, Western redcedar, Western hemlock, and record-sized Black cottonwood, beside the San Juan river)

Other Areas

    1.    Carmanah/Walbran Provincial Park (Largest Sitka spruce: West Walbran Creek, Tallest Sitka spruce, Caramanah Creek)
    2.    Pacific Rim National Park/West Coast Trail
Pacific Rim National Park
    3.    Cathedral Grove (one of the most accessible stands of giant trees on the island)
    4.    Clayoquot Arm/Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park
    5.    Clayoquot Arm Beach Forestry Site
    6.    Flores Island Provincial Park
    7.    Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park (Parksville) - contains towering old growth trees.
    8.    Cheewhat Cedar (Champion tree - largest tree in Canada, largest Western red cedar, protected within Pacific Rim National Park)
    9.    Koksilah River Provincial Park
   10.   Brooks Peninsula (this remote and mysterious area contains the largest diameter Sitka spruce in the world, plus a host of other potential record breakers, some protected areas)
   11.   South Vancouver Island is a good place to see Arbutus in a variety of coastal locations.

Enjoy the trees. After you get home consider sending a letter or email to your elected officials telling them you want to save the old growth.

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