Goldstream Park - A Nature Park in Victoria, BC
Goldstream Park is located 17 kilometers from downtown Victoria, BC on the Trans Canada Highway. It's a 477 hectares park at the head of Finlayson Arm, and is one of the most scenic and most visited parks in Victoria. Protected by the Highland mountains, the park is a quiet oasis for rare plants, forest mammals and ocean-life.
Goldstream Park is a magical place just outside of Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island. It's a popular park where visitors can witness:
- The life and death cycle of spawning salmon.
- Bear and cougar feeding on the bounty of the sea.
- Eagles fishing and hunting.
- An old growth forest with trees over 500 years old.
- Scenic forest hikes that lead to cascading waterfalls.
- An interpretive centre near the Goldstream Estuary where visitors can learn about this protected area where the sea and rainforest meet.
Located 17 kilometers from downtown Victoria, Goldstream Park is just off of the Trans Canada Highway #1. It's a 477 hectares park at the head of Finlayson Arm, just outside of Langford, BC. Protected by the Highland mountains, the park is a quiet oasis for rare plants, forest mammals and ocean-life.
The park is home to eagles, cougars and black bears which come to feast on the salmon run in October & November. Birdwatchers will be in awe at the number of species of birds that come to the annual autumn hunt. The marshy area near Finlayson Arm is an official bird sanctuary.
The main day use area is located on the right-hand side of the highway and offers easy, paved trails along the spawning grounds of Goldstream River (dogs must be on leash). You'll walk beneath massive Douglas fir trees hundreds of years old. A bird-observation deck is available near the Goldstream Freeman King Visitor Centre (1-250-478-9414).
The rest of the park is a hiker's paradise. There are over 16 kilometers of hiking trails in Goldstream Park that lead to cascading waterfalls, cliff-top lookouts and secluded forests. Venture into the back country to find trails leading to old mining caves used for gold prospecting (hence the name of the park).
GoldStream Park Campground
The campground is located in the western section of the park and is open year round. Full service including water, security, washroom facilities and firewood is guaranteed between March 15 to October 30 but not during the other months.
There are 173 accessible campsites, situated beneath towering trees. The location is quiet and secluded with only songbirds breaking the morning silence. The thick forest protects campers from the full force of the wind and rain. Goldstream Falls is located a short distance away so parents need to supervise their children. The falls is located in a deep gorge so noise is muted for campers.
Trestle Bridge near hiking trails.
The photo above was taken in the Goldstream campsite in late September and there were only 2 parties in the entire site. The air was warm and quiet and the birds played and danced low in the forest canopy. This is a family-oriented location so drivers should be cautious of pedestrians and cyclists darting from the surrounding forest.
Goldstream Falls near the campground
Things to do at Goldstream Park in Victoria
Goldstream Provincial Park is an oasis from the urban world which surround its borders.
- The main section of the park offers walking tours along the Goldstream River where people can witness close up, the life and death cycle of the salmon. This runs from October to November. The trails are well groomed and running shoes will suffice.
- The day-use area provides picnic tables, barbeque pits and a large, sheltered cooking area for groups. It's located close to the spawning grounds in the river, so children should be supervised so as to not venture into the water. Pets should be leashed at all time so as to not disturb the fragile spawning grounds.
- The Goldstream visitor centre offers nature displays and outdoor lectures that discuss the natural history of the area.
- Consider taking the Niagara Creek hike to see Vancouver Island's version of Niagara Falls (Victoria).
- Bird watching in BC is available from the sheltered viewing platform just north of the Goldstream Freeman King Visitor Centre where visitors can view eagles, falcons and owls hunt. Bring telephoto lenses to capture hundreds of other species that can be seen darting around the inland old-growth forest.
- There are three waterfalls in the park, each in a remote section teaming with birds and wildlife. The forest trails are steep and slippery and should only be navigated with sturdy footwear.
- Just like all other provincial parks in British Columbia, there is a minimal parking fee that helps maintain these protected areas.
Boating, canoeing, kayaking and swimming is prohibited at the head of Finlayson Arm and in the Goldstream estuary. This tidal area is closed to protect the grounds for the fish, birds and bears.
Driving directions & Webcam
Goldstream Park is a natural gem full of old-growth trees, scenic hikes and reams of aquatic, bird and forest dwellers. It's one of the most popular parks in Victoria and is a protected oasis that shows what Vancouver Island was previously like. Check out other things to do in BC.
Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.