A few weeks back, my wife and I hiked around Matheson Lake nestled among the hills of Metchosin, southwest of Victoria. As usual, my camera came along. Being late in the season with many leaves off the trees, I wasn’t expecting much, but wow! was I ever surprised! The shrubs around the shore were ablaze with colour and the lake acted as an almost perfect mirror. Everywhere I looked, there was one stunning visual after another.
This picturesque lake and a portion of the surrounding forest received protection as a Capital Regional District Park in 1994.
To get to it, follow the Trans-Canada Highway from Victoria, and take the Colwood exit. Follow the Old Island Highway, which turns into Sooke Road. From Sooke Road, turn left on Happy Valley Road, then right on Rocky Point Road, and right again on Matheson Lake Park Road, which leads to the park entrance. Allow approximately 35 – 45 minutes driving time from Victoria, depending on traffic on the Old Island Highway which can become congested during rush hours.
The trail that loops around the lake is approximately 4 kms long and takes about an hour and half to hike at a moderate pace. Along the west side of the lake, the trail climbs up and over some rock outcrops that can be challenging. As a result, the trail is ranked as moderate to intermediate in terms of difficulty.