9/15/2011

Devonian Regional Park, Metchosin

Douglas-fir forest at the start of the 0.9 km trail to Parry Bay

Devonian Regional Park is a 40 acre forested park stretching from William Head Road in Metchosin to Parry Bay on Juan de Fuca Strait. Established in 1980, the park preserves two different forest types and provides access to the ocean and a long cobble beach.

Trails run along shady Sherwood Creek Ravine

A 0.9 km trail leads through the first forest type comprised of Douglas-fir, Grand fir, Western red-cedar and Western hemlock. The trail winds through this mixed forest that grows on both sides of the small ravine formed by Sherwood Creek. Watch for the occasional Pacific yew, a tree with medicinal qualities, and very tough wood.

Sherwood Creek trickling in late summer






Along the ravine trail the forest is dotted with several exceptional Douglas-firs. Their thick, deeply furrowed trunks show the hard-won wrinkles of sturdy centenarians. They have been filtering the water that runs in the creek, and providing habitat for red-backed voles for centuries.








Another gnarly Douglas-fir centenarian
 Although much land has been cleared for farming in Metchosin over the past 150 years, Devonian Park will preserve a bit of the original forest cover, and these amazing larger trees which are becoming rarer all the time. Now development for residential properties is one of the biggest threats to the remaining forest on surrounding private lands.

Huge Douglas-fir growing near small bridge over Sherwood Creek

Closer to the ocean the trail passes through the second forest type in Devonian Park. On the more exposed, dryer steep rocky slopes toward the beach, Garry oak/Arbutus forest dominates.

The driftwood-strewn beach at Parry Bay, Devonian Park, CRD photo
In the Coastal Dry Douglas-fir ecozone, Douglas-fir, Garry oak, and Arbutus are companion trees that create a stunning and ecologically diverse forest. Metchosin, and Devonian Regional Park, are good places to witness such diversity and beauty.

Getting There

Driving - From Sooke Road, turn left on Metchosin Road, which turns into William Head Road at the Happy Valley Road junction. Follow William Head Road to the park entrance on the left. Allow approximately 40 minutes driving time from Victoria.

Public Transportation - Take BC Transit bus #50 from Victoria to the Langford Exchange. Transfer to #54 or #55 to William Head Road at Lombard Drive. The bus stop is at the park entrance.



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