Francis/King Regional Park - Victoria Hiking Trails
The wilderness hiking trails in Francis/King Regional Park take you past massive, old-growth Douglas Fir trees. Some estimated to be as old as 500 years and the Elsie King interpretive trail gives beautiful descriptions of the forest and creatures around you. The park is an educational walk through a remote and secluded feeling park just 20 minutes from downtown Victoria.
There are over 11 kilometres of trails in the park and the Panhandle trail connects to the adjacent, Thetis Lake Regional Park. The trail network extends quite far allowing you to roam far and wide or close and short.
Francis/King contains the massive old growth forest, Thetis the beautiful lakeside trails, and Mill Hill the wonderful mountain views out to the ocean around Victoria.
Francis/King Regional Park gets its odd, double name of "Francis/King" because Francis and King were in fact two surnames of two different people.
Both enabled the creation of the park and therefore the name of the park was clumsily created with both surnames. Take a look at the detailed history of the park including archaeological research in the area here.
James Francis bought the area where the park is on the east side of Munn Road in the 1840's.
The area on the west side of Munn road was named Freeman King Park after a popular early Victoria area conservationist.
The beautiful Elsie King Trail is an 800 metre long wheelchair accessible boardwalk with a self guided interpretive trail. There is also a nice nature centre near the parking lot open 12-4pm Saturday, Sunday and holiday Mondays.
Francis/King Regional Park - Directions
Francis/King Regional Park is only 11 kilometres from downtown Victoria and driving there should take only about 20 minutes. Leaving downtown Victoria take highway #1 west from Victoria, after about 7k turn right on Helmecken Rd, left on Burnside Rd, right on Prospect Lake Rd. Continue onto Munn Road and the entrance to Francis/King Regional Park. Other trails in the area include the popular Thetis Lake Regional Park and the quiet and hidden Mill Hill Regional Park.
More Trails Near Francis/King Regional Park
Thetis Lake Regional Park is an incredibly place to escape the world on a rainy day and a perfect place to enjoy the world a sunny day. The sandy beach is alive with activity in the summer and the seemingly endless forest trails are so numerous as to always be relaxing and serene. The always varying terrain make Thetis Lake always interesting place to walk around. Rocky cliffs, small island chains and sunny forest clearings keep you always interested in what is around the next bend. Thetis Lake Park is actually made up of several lakes. Lower Thetis Lake, Upper Thetis Lake, Prior Lake and further out, McKenzie Lake are all within this amazing park. A wide, spider web of hiking trails run in between and around these lakes in the midst of a beautiful and secluded forest. Trails also lead to more challenging trails to Scafe Hill and Stewart Mountain. Mill Hill Regional Park is a well hidden though wonderfully short hike to amazing views of Victoria, Esquimalt and the Western Communities. The hike is only 15 minutes to the summit with a branching trail that leads to Thetis Lake Park. This is a remarkably seldom hiked park in Victoria. It is rare to see anyone on the trail or at the beautiful summit. The views are amazing. What makes them even more amazing is that the views look as though you are on a much higher mountain than the small and short hike that brought you to this great summit. The hike is only 15 minutes to the summit with a branching trail that leads to the neighbouring Thetis Lake Regional Park. Goldstream Provincial Park and Mount Finlayson are beautiful and shouldn't be missed on a trip to Victoria. Huge coastal rainforest trees everywhere. An impressively golden river, an abandoned gold mine and one of the highest mountains in Victoria. As soon as you leave your car you can feel the wonderful forest alive around you. Goldstream Park is home to the annual salmon spawning run every fall and the rest of the year is just a wonderful world of centuries old Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedars. Trails run all over the park, but the Mount Finlayson trail takes you up to beautiful views of Victoria. is astonishingly beautiful and incredibly interesting as a tourist attraction in Victoria that most never see. This fact is amazing as it is wonderful and unquestionably, or at least arguably, as good or better than any other attraction around. And at $3.90, what a phenomenal deal. You can crawl all over all the real pre World War I era defensive structures and even play with and all but fire a genuine World War II Anti-Aircraft Gun... which astonishingly is in the parking lot. Fort Rodd Hill has so much to see it spills onto the parking lot. What unbelievable place! Witty's Lagoon Regional Park is a great network of trails and boardwalks that meander through an impressive Douglas-fir forest leading to the wonderful beach at Witty's Lagoon. The trails total over 5k, however, can be hiked in smaller sections. Many just head to the beach and lagoon and avoid the trails, but the trails are well worth a look. The trails run around the lagoon with great ocean and wildlife scenery. Sitting Lady Falls is wonderfully viewed from the very nice boardwalk. Expect to take two hours if you walk most of the trails and far more if you stay to explore the beach and lagoon. East Sooke Regional Park is a convenient and easily accessible way to experience the wild, west coast of Vancouver Island. Weather blasted rocky cliffs, sandy beaches and deep coastal forest trails run throughout the park.
Every few minutes along the coast you come to another startlingly desolate ocean vantage point. Everything about East Sooke Park is just great and should not be missed on a trip to Victoria anytime of the year. The sheer size of this park and number of trails, over 50 kilometres of them. The Coastal Trail, almost 12 kilometres long, stretches out linearly in an array of pocket beaches, rocky viewpoints and fantastically alive tide pools.