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Thetis Lake

When Victorians speak of Thetis Lake, they typically mean Thetis Lake Regional Park, which includes beaches, a picnic area, a couple of lakes (Lower and Upper Thetis) and a network of excellent hiking trails. If you go during the summer months, don’t let the crowded beaches fool you. After a ten-or-fifteen minute walk beyond the sunbathers, you’d almost think you were in a wilderness park.

Getting there: Trail details and directions can be found on the well-organized and very informative CRD (Capital Regional District) website: http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/thetis/index.htm, where you’ll also learn that this area was established as Canada’s first nature sanctuary in 1958.

The Lower Thetis loop takes about 45 minutes; the Upper and Lower loops takes about an hour-and-a-half, depending on how fast you walk and how often you stop. It’s not a strenuous hike by any means, but is typically rated moderate rather than easy. And it is gorgeous.