Esquimalt Parks in British Columbia are varied and unique.
There are over 30 parks and green spaces in the township of Esquimalt, British Columbia.
Some are large open spaces, with scenic, expansive views of water. Other parks consist of hills and rocks you climb on with paths to reach amazing views of the neighbourhood and beyond.
Some parks are smaller, quaint neighborhood meeting places where everyone seems to know everyone else.
One thing you can be sure of, there are plenty of parks to walk to wherever you are located within Esquimalt.
Posted Notices and signage
When visiting Esquimalt Parks in BC, it is extremely important that you adhere to all posted notices and signage. There are unique ecosystems contained in many green spaces and parks, so there are areas you will not be able to access.
It’s also important to note that even where notices aren’t posted, climbing on rocks can be hazardous, especially (but not limited to) after a rain, which happens fairly often in Esquimalt, or after high tide when the rocks are wet.
Appropriate footwear while visiting parks
Your footwear is very important. Choose something comfortable, supportive and flexible (hiking boots or running shoes with good tread) so you can have a safe and fun experience. In our opinion, flip flops and/or sandals are not a wise decision when exploring varied landscapes in Esquimalt parks. On our walks we do see rescue attempts from authorities at times when someone has misjudged the severity of the landscape.
If you have a dog, and are wondering whether or not your dog is allowed (with or without leash) or allowed at all, click here.
Here’s our list of Esquimalt BC Parks and green spaces (in alphabetical order for ease of reference):
If you’re out and about and find any not listed here, please send us a note so we can add it to the list!
This park is located at 835 Colville Rd, Esquimalt (Colville Road at Carrie Street).
It’s a .4 hectare park located across the street from Esquimalt High School.
Anderson Park includes a small playground with swings, benches, picnic tables and a green space.
In addition, the Township of Esquimalt has partnered with the Esquimalt Community Garden Society and this park contains 34 garden plots. If you are a member of the community and are interested in a plot in this garden, you can apply at the Township of Esquimalt . There is a fee, and it’s possible there may be no availability at the time of your application, in which case you may request to be placed on a wait list. For visitors, it’s a lovely park to sit, relax and enjoy the gardens and greenery.
There is a small skate park on this site as well.
Arm Street Promenade (viewpoint)
This .5 hectare park is accessible on foot from Selkirk Avenue at the end of Arm Street, off Craigflower (behind Sunset Lodge).
There are a combination of stairs and ramps with benches to sit on, offering views of the Gorge Waterway. This is a lovely spot to relax and look out over the water. It’s peaceful and serene.
This park is located at the end of Barnard Avenue, off Esquimalt Road.
Technically, this park is mostly located in Victoria West, however a small part of it (about 500 square meters) is in Esquimalt, so we’re including it here.
We often walk through Barnard Park to access Westsong Walkway. There is ramped access to the Walkway through the East and West sides of the park.
This is a beautiful park, with a playground, tennis courts, walkway, and benches to sit and relax. There are picnic tables to sit and have lunch while enjoying lovely views of the ocean and harbour.
It’s a fairly active park, where you can at times see deer. The swings/ playground is also popular with those passing through. I’ve heard parents promising their children that after a walk, they can come back and play on the swings.
This park is located at 527 Fraser St, Esquimalt and is approximately 2 hectares.
Bullen Park has been the site in the community for many annual and ongoing events. This has sports fields used for a number of organized sporting events such as softball, soccer and rugby. Historically it has also been the site for other annual events such as Ribfest and Buccaneer Days which you can read about on our Top 14 Things to Do in Esquimalt BC post.
Captain Jacobsen Park
This park is located at 525 Head St #487, Esquimalt
Captain Jacobson Park offers a lovely stroll down a pathway to benches where you can sit and enjoy the marina and if you’re lucky see a swan or two. From here, there’s an “informal” path which will take you up and around to the West Bay marina, where you can find the Harbour Water Taxi to take you to Victoria if you wish. See our Top 14 Things to Do in Esquimalt guide for more information.
The park is found on the corner of Colville and Admirals roads.
It is a small .03 hectare park which offers mature trees and shrubs for shade on a warm day.
Denniston Park (viewpoint)
This park is located at 430 Grafton St, Esquimalt. We would say this is more of a “viewpoint” rather than a park. There are picnic tables to sit and relax at, however there aren’t any playgrounds, nor is there space for activities.
It’s a lovely place to sit, relax and view the ocean.
Esquimalt Adventure Water Park
This park is located at 527 Fraser Street, Esquimalt, next to the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.
There is a water park and a play park next to it designed for children and families. It’s a fun spot to enjoy summer when the temperature is warm. The children will get soaked in the water park! We recommend you bring a towel and change of clothing. There are change rooms/ bathrooms on site.
There is a space on the inner part of the fenced area which includes tables and benches for parents and families to sit while enjoying the park. There’s also a small green area intended for blankets to sit on for picnics.
Esquimalt Gorge Park
The Esquimalt Gorge Park is accessible from either Tillicum Road entrance or from Sioux Place near the playground. There’s a parking lot at Tillicum, and limited street parking around Sioux Place. If walking on the South side of Tillicum Road, you’ll take the curve under the bridge and follow the path.
Gorge Park is approximately 11.65 hectares with walkways, benches, tables and a playground. Situated within Gorge Park is the Gorge Waterway Nature House, definitely worth a visit if it’s open when you’re visiting the park.
Multi-Purpose Building – new addition coming soon
There are some improvements and additions currently underway at Gorge Park, including, as part of the McLoughlin Amenity Funding, the construction of a new community Multi Purpose Building.
The original Japanese garden and tea house was founded by Hayato Takata and Yoshitaro Kishida in 1907. It was designed by Isaburo Kishida, who was Yoshitaro’s father. Unfortunately, in 1941 when Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry were sent to internment camps, much of the gardens were destroyed.
The Japanese Gardens at Gorge Park, North America’s first, have begun to be restored over the past many years by the Township.
So far, the Township of Esquimalt has refurbished the garden’s ornamental stream with a traditional Japanese bridge over top of it. The installation of a traditional Japanese entry gate was also completed in 2009. In the near future, there will be a cherry tree forest planted on the site, which will be made up of Akebono cherry trees, weeping Japanese maples, Japanese maple and black pine.
There was a ceremonial planting which occurred in October, 2021 with the Takada family and Mayor, plus some council members in attendance.
There are some exciting developments occurring in Esquimalt Gorge Park over the next several months, and we look forward to celebrating community while attempting to honor and restore some of the rich and diverse history of Esquimalt.
Reversing Rapids/Falls at Tillicum Narrows
The Reversing Rapids/Falls at Tillicum Narrows are worth seeing if you’re visiting Gorge Park. You can read more about this in our Top 14 Things to do in Esquimalt BC post. You might get super lucky with your timing if you just happen to pass by the bridge at the right time.
Or, with a little groundwork and forethought, you can plan to see this unique phenomenon. You may choose to include the Gorge Tour on Water Taxi if you wish to view this from the water. You can also view the Reversing Falls from Gorge Park at the bridge location, as you enter from Tillicum Road. However you choose to view this, check a tide schedule beforehand. In order to get the best view possible, you’re watching for the largest drop from high to low tide.
For example, we visited Gorge Park and the site of the Tillicum Narrows at approximately 4:10 p.m. on 15 January, 2022. If you review the schedule noted, you will see that this was during the drop from high to low tide (Ebb Flow). The first two pictures reflect that. The third picture was taken at 11:29 a.m. 12 August 2018, from the water on a Gorge Boat Tour.
We’ve added a couple pictures from our latest visit to show the Max Ebb at -8.50 knots on 27th of January, 2022 at 4:28 p.m. The sights and sounds as you stand and watch the reversing rapids are awesome to experience.
Whatever you plan to do while visiting Gorge Park, you will enjoy the well maintained grounds, and strolling along the water.
This area is accessible off Craigflower at Forshaw Road.
There is a ramp for canoe/kayak launch along with a bench to enjoy the views over the Gorge waterway and Saanich walkway.
There is however no parking spaces at this location, so it’s mostly utilized by local residents and pedestrians.
Accessible from Lyall at the end of Foster Street.
This is a lovely spot to view the ocean, somewhat protected down below because of the rocks.
Highrock Park (also referred to as Cairn Park)
There are several access points to this park.
Foot paths from surrounding neighbourhoods lead into the park.
You can enter from Cairn Road off Old Esquimalt Road, Highrock Place off Rockheights Avenue, or from Matheson Avenue off Rockheights Avenue.
Highrock Park has also been referred to as Cairn Park, as there was a cairn built on the summit to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the incorporation of the Township of Esquimalt.
High Rock Park is a 7.1 hectare park which features glaciated knolls, plus native plants such as sword ferns, blue camas. There are Gary Oaks, Arbutus and Douglas fir trees.
You will feel very close to nature in this park, and you also may enjoy bird watching, hiking or simply walking your dog.
Highrock Park is the highest point in Esquimalt, at 71 metres in elevation. From this viewpoint , you will have 360 degree views of the Capital Region District, downtown Victoria, the Sooke Hills as well as the Olympic Mountains on a clear day. The top of the Cairn has a ring with arrows identifying what you can see.
This offers a small green space, located on Bewdley Avenue off Lampson Street.
Ken Hill Freeman Park
This park can be accessed off Lyall and Grafton Streets.
We often stop by this park on our walk along Lyall Street towards the base. It has a pergola with a picnic bench underneath to allow for a pleasant rest while out walking.
At the end of Kinver Street, off Munro. You can launch your kayak or canoe from here, and at low tide, you may even be able to walk to nearby Fleming Beach.
This sports field and park is located off Lampson Street , by the intersection of Lampson and Colville. The Park currently contains two baseball diamonds, washrooms, playground with picnic tables and benches, so you might enjoy having lunch here while the children play.
Lugrin Place is located off Lockley Rd and Lugrin Place. This park serves as a small neighborhood playground.
Macaulay Point Park & Fleming Beach / Buxton Green
Macaulay Point Park can be accessed either through Fleming Beach off Munro Street, or via Clifton Terrace. There is parking at Fleming Beach entrance, though you will be sharing this lot with the Esquimalt Anglers Association, and it can get very busy. Be respectful of residents if parking on the residential streets nearby.
Buxton Green is also accessible from this entrance.
This is a one hectare green and includes a walkway next to Fleming Beach. The walkway rises to a viewpoint.
To relax and enjoy the views and while watching marine traffic, there are picnic tables and benches on the green. Another great spot to have a picnic lunch!
Fleming Beach and Boat Ramp
This is a .9 hectare site which includes trees, shrubs and perennials, plus a small sandy beach. Rock faces and cliffs form part of this park.
This is home to the Esquimalt Anglers Association who developed the boat ramp, club house and boat launch still existing there today.
There are two boat ramps available to assist during busy periods.
You can often see rock climbers utilizing the steep rocks here.
Macaulay Point Park
This is a 7.6 hectare park and is popular with birdwatchers, hikers and dog walkers.
This park contains rare and endangered plant species which are protected under Canada’s Species At Risk Act. Accordingly, visitors are required to stay on designated paths to help protect this fragile area. Owners must also ensure their dogs stay on noted paths and not wander onto these protected areas.
Walking along the breakwater can offer lovely views of the ocean. Paul enjoys this walk on stormy days, when the water is more active, but Gail prefers walking on the breakwater on sunny and calm days.
As you walk through the park, in addition to the many trails and impressive views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, you will find information and reference to Fort Macaulay. This is a coastal defence fortress built in 1895 by the Royal Engineers. Many of the original buildings and structures on the site remain largely intact.
Bunkers, lookouts and defensive berms provide a historical account of this unique place. As you walk through, take time to read the informative signage which provides amazing details so you may better understand the history of this park.
Before colonization, Macaulay Point Park was called Mukwuks, and the park lies on the traditional unceded territory of the Lekwungen First Nations.
Please note; much of the text below is taken from the information signage on site, so as to ensure accuracy of information here.
An important new addition at Macaulay Point Park
The “Kinship” display was created by Esquimalt Nation artist Darlene Gait. Material used is said to have healing properties, and this piece was designed at a time in our world when healing is a priority. Esquimalt First Nation is represented by the wolf. For generations, the wolf and the raven have worked together to ensure a successful hunt, representing the power of unity.
Looking at the ocean through this piece at various times of the day and through different types of weather, allows for an absolutely stunning and unique view!
The bench was created by Dylan Thomas, a Coast Salish artist, and is to honour the long lineage of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt Nation) Chiefs and leaders of the past, present and future, and to symbolize the important history and knowledge they carry into the future.
The Pacific Peace House Post
Included is the installation is the Pacific Peace House Post. This is a symbolic house post carved by local Lekwungen and Solomon Islands carvers Bradley Dick and Ake Lianga.
The Pacific Peace House Post overlooks the waters at Macaulay Point and stands as a symbol of peace and connection between Pacific peoples.
Matson Conservation area
This area is located along the Westsong Walkway, close to the WestBay Marina.
The 2.4 acre property in Esquimalt contains the harbour’s last area of rare and endangered Garry oak ecosystems. The property has more than a hundred oak trees – some of them centuries old. This area is not to be trampled on by you or your dog, and entry is prohibited to the general public, except by way of the elevated staircase. The staircase is six stories tall, and provides a unique view passing through the Matson lands.
Also, if you’re careful, quiet and watchful, you might even see Blue herons, Bewick’s wren, downy woodpeckers, hummingbirds, purple martin swallows or even deer or racoons.
This is also a favorite work out space for many fitness conscious individuals. The staircase can get busy, so please be respectful of others passing up or down.
This is located at the end of McNaughton Street, off Tillicum Road
This area is a lovely place to sit and enjoy the views of the Gorge waterway.
This park is located at 1200 Esquimalt Rd.
This .9 hectare park was designated a Heritage Site in 1995.
It was established in 1924 to commemorate Canadian soldiers killed in World War 1.
You will see the cenotaph and guns, the rock and mortar gate posts along Esquimalt Road. As you walk through the park, you will see memorials throughout. There are also mature and large trees lining the walkways with benches and tables to relax in the shade.
There is a small playground in this park in one of the corners for the children to enjoy.
Rembrance Day ceremonies are held annually at the Cenotaph.
This viewpoint is accessible at the end of Nelson off Lyall Street.
There’s a staircase down to a quiet seating area and the views are beautiful.
This park is located at 540 Paradise St, Esquimalt.
This is a small community play park with a picnic table in the back, and also a bench at the entrance to the park.
Phil Ross Park
Phil Ross Park is accessible by foot from Old Esquimalt Road or Fernhill Road.
The path actually connects these two areas.
It’s a .2 hectare open space providing a winding path through a mature grove of Garry oak and fir trees. There are a couple of benches to rest and enjoy the terrain.
This park is found on the corner of Canteen and Esquimalt roads.
The park includes a variety of interesting trees, including Lawson cypress.
Rockcrest is accessible by foot from Rockcrest Place or Highrock Avenue.
This 1 hectare park is the smallest natural area in Esquimalt.
Saxe Point Park
Saxe Point can be accessed at the end of Fraser Street. There are also foot paths off Munro and Bewdley streets.
This park consists of 7.5 hectares.
While walking through the many trails in this park you will enjoy spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and Strait of Juan de Fuca. We’ve seen some amazing sunsets while at Saxe Point Park.
There are plenty of park and picnic benches to sit and visit with others, have a picnic lunch or simply enjoy the views. Also, we have a favorite bench and if you visit often enough, our guess is you will too!
The Wedding area
There are often weddings occurring at this park in the spring and summer months. A wonderful option for those planning to get married. There’s a beautiful treed and green area, with a fantastic backdrop for pictures. You’ll also have onlookers passing by (not too closely) to share your big day!
You would need to book the space in advance by contacting the Township of Esquimalt directly.
You will enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens throughout Saxe Point Park.
There are washrooms and a directory/map which will show you the many different areas you can visit while your there.
There is a pebbled beach area where people often take their dogs. It’s a bit sheltered down there so a good place to get out of the wind as well.
This viewpoint is located at the end of Sturdee off Lyall Street.
This is a lovely place to enjoy the rocks and ocean.
Accessible off Craigflower onto Yarrow Place
This has a curved pathway with benches at this small park/beach area. This area could also be used to launch a canoe or kayak.
Wurtele Park is accessible by foot from Wurtele Place or Lockley Road.
No matter what google maps tells you, you cannot access this space directly from the E&N Trail!