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Uplands Park

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Exploring Uplands Park: A Garry Oak Meadow in Oak Bay



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Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: Uplands Park, Oak Bay

Uplands Park can be found in Oak Bay, a suburb of Greater Victoria. The park offers a wonderful combination of undeveloped natural Garry Oak meadows and a rugged coastline. Visitors can enjoy the charm of Cattle Point with its maritime history and panoramic views, pay their respects at the solemn Oak Bay War Memorial, and explore the trails that wind through the unique ecosystem. If you’re looking for a quiet, natural area to visit, Uplands Park is definitely worth considering.

The park is divided into three sections. Cattle Point is the only area with parking, benches, and a boat launch. To access the war memorial, you need to cross the road. Behind the sculpture, there is an undeveloped park with forests, meadows, and rocky outcrops. The main entrance to the park is further down Beach Drive, across from Scenic Drive.

Cattle Point in Uplands Park

Cattle Point, a prominent feature of Uplands Park, now offers picturesque views, this area once served as a landing point for cattle being shipped to the island between 1860 and 1910. Cattle from the mainland were pushed overboard from paddle steamers to swim ashore where they were rounded up by cowboys who lived here, giving it its distinctive name. 

Thank goodness this area is now just known for the water access through the views and the boat ramp as it’s a popular launching point for kayaks and small boats, inviting explorers to take to the waters and experience the stunning coastline from a different perspective.

Photographers and nature lovers alike are drawn to Cattle Point for its breathtaking scenic views. The area offers expansive vistas of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. During sunrise and sunset, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colours, offering spectacular photo opportunities. It’s also a well-known place for star gazing.

Oak Bay War Memorial

Situated within the serene environment of Uplands Park, the Oak Bay War Memorial stands as a reminder of the region’s historical depth and the sacrifices made by its community members. 

The sculpture is made of concrete, with a granite/concrete facing. It stands nine feet tall on a rock outcropping, facing the water, with the Garry Oaks of Uplands Park in the background. The central figure, Mother Peace, stands with her arms protecting the 97 names of Oak Bay’s 1939-1945 war dead. The inscription reads:

“Roll of Honour” “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Upland Park Amenities

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You can find benches and a couple of picnic tables plus a porta-potty.

Dogs – In Uplands Park dogs can be off-leash from January to March and July to December. Dogs must be under full control from April to June.

Cattle Point Area dogs and cats are not permitted to run at large at any time, in accordance with the federal migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations.

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Garry Oak Medows

Uplands Park is an excellent place to lose yourself in nature. You can stroll through the meadows and explore the well-travelled trails surrounded by Garry Oak trees and rock outcrops. Despite being just across the road from the busy city life, the park offers a peaceful and serene environment. Spring is the best time to visit when you can witness the wildflowers bloom in beautiful shades of purple.

The walking trails of Uplands Park are the heart of this natural paradise. The undeveloped 74-acre park offers a network of paths that meander through one of Canada’s greatest concentrations of rare plant species.

Uplands Park features a variety of trails, each with its unique charm. The well-used informal paths guide visitors through Garry oak meadows and along rocky outcrops, and in spring, you will find natural flower beds as the purple hus of camas cover the landscape.

Willows Beach

Though Willows Beach isn’t directly within Uplands Park, it’s just a brief stroll away. This nearby beach offers an expansive sandy shoreline, convenient restroom facilities, and various dining choices. A leisurely walk along Willows Beach provides a perfect conclusion to your day’s adventures.

Gear Tips For Vancouver Island

When you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure on Vancouver Island, the key is to dress in layers, no matter the season. The island’s weather can throw curveballs, with conditions varying significantly from the sheltered forests to the breezy coastlines.

For those cool winter escapades, your go-to should include quality rain gear, topped off with a cozy beanie or toque, and a pair of light gloves to keep the chill at bay.

Summer explorers, don’t be fooled by the warmer temps; that same waterproof shell that kept you dry in the winter will be your best friend against the cool ocean breezes.

Remember, the right clothing and gear can make or break your outdoor experience on Vancouver Island, ensuring you enjoy every moment, come rain or shine.

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Adventure Medical Kit
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Original Author:

Modified: January 3, 2024
Last Visit: May 4, 2023

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