What Bylaws Regulate Regional Parks?

Bylaw 3890 - Parks Services and Facilities Fees and Charges
A bylaw to amend bylaw no. 3675 which provides for park use permit fees and charges payable for regional parks services and facilities within the capital regional district.

Bylaw 4225 – Capital Regional District Parks Regulation Bylaw No. 1, 2018
A bylaw to regulate the use of regional parks and trails

Bylaw 1857 – Ticket Information Authorization
Fine schedule for Parks Regulation Bylaw No. 1, 2018 (Schedule 18, page 24)

Parks Statistics

CRD Regional Parks protects and manages more than 13,000 hectares of natural areas in 31 regional parks and three regional trails on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The parks system covers southern Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands.

In 2020, our parks received more than 8 million visits. Here are the visitation statistics to the most popular parks:

Regional Park/Trail 2020 Visits
Albert Head Lagoon 128,453
Bear Hill 17,078
Brooks Point 8,913
Coles Bay 51,410
Devonian 82,573
E&N Rail Trail 500,896
East Sooke 277,376
Elk/Beaver Lake 1,767,370
Francis/King 126,091
Galloping Goose 2,015,018
Gonzales Hill 62,233
Horth Hill 133,421
Island View Beach 558,616
Jordan River (Sandcut Beach) 37,551
Lochside 1,330,376
Lone Tree Hill 21,622
Matheson Lake 105,630
Mill Hill 56,242
Mount Parke 15,459
Mount Wells 46,573
Mount Work 282,384
Sea to Sea (Harbourview) 67,010
Sooke Hills Wilderness 12,907
Sooke Potholes 226,310
Thetis Lake 520,141
Witty's Lagoon 113,137
Total 8,564,790

Smoking in Parks

The CRD Clean Air Bylaw prohibits smoking in all regional parks and on regional trails.

Boating - Where can I boat in regional parks?

Boating is permitted in the following lakes, with some restrictions:
  • Beaver Lake: 10 horsepower maximum
  • Durrance Lake: electric motors only
  • Elk Lake: 10 horsepower maximum (over 10 horsepower in area marked by buoys only)
  • Matheson Lake: electric motors only
  • Prior Lake: no power boats
  • Thetis Lake: electric motors only

Brochures - Where can I find brochures on the regional parks and trails?

Downloadable maps and information can be found on each park's webpage. From Find a Park or Trail, click on the park that interests you. 

Camping - Can I camp in regional parks?

CRD Regional Parks operates three self-contained RV and tent campgrounds at Island View Beach Regional Park in Central Saanich, Jordan River Regional Park in Jordan River and Sooke Potholes Regional Park near Sooke.

All other regional parks and trails are day-use only. No overnight camping is permitted.

Cycling - Where can I cycle in regional parks and trails?

Cycling is permitted on the 3 CRD Regional Trails:

Cycling is also permitted in the following Regional Parks:

Cycling is not permitted on other trails or in other CRD parks. Please lock up your bikes and explore the parks on foot.

Dogs - Can I take my dog to regional parks and trails?

Yes. You are welcome to bring your dog to all regional parks and regional trails. For details on where dogs are required to be on leash, seasonal restrictions, and bylaws related to pets, visit the Pets in Parks page. Watch for park signs where specific dog regulations apply.

Education - What School Programs are Available?

The CRD offers a wide variety of nature programs to support your efforts in the classroom, and engage your students with the natural world. For more information and to see the available programs, visit the Park Interpretive School Programs page. 

Electric Bicycles - Can I ride my electric bicycle at regional parks and regional trails?

Yes. The CRD allows the use of electric bicycles on all regional trails and on designated cycling trails in some Regional Parks.

Electric bicycles must meet the BC Motor Vehicle Act definition of "motor-assisted cycle" and display the required sticker. For a detailed description, visit the ICBC website.

Fires - Can I have an open fire in a regional park?

No. Open fires are not allowed in regional parks. Check with your local municipality to find out where open fires are allowed in the Capital Region.

Geocaching - Can I geocache in regional parks?

Yes. CRD recognizes geocaching as a recreational activity in regional parks and trails.

Parking Fees - How much does parking cost in regional parks?

Parking is free in most regional parks and trails. Pay parking at Sooke Potholes and Thetis Lake Regional Parks is in effect for the summer season from May 1 to September 30. The cost of parking is $2.25 per day, or $20 for a season's pass. A seasonal parking pass is valid at both parks. The ticket dispensers accept loonies, toonies, quarters and credit cards. You may also purchase a ticket or seasonal pass using the Honk Mobile system. You can pay online or download the app. The parking pass uses a pay-by-plate system whereby the parking pass is associated with a specific vehicle. You do not need to display a pass in your vehicle. Find out more details at the Parking Fees web page.

Picnic Shelters - How do I get a permit for the group picnic facilities?

Reservations of group picnic shelters are available at Elk/Beaver Lake, East Sooke Park and Island View Beach. The CRD’s secure online reservation site allows you to reserve and pay immediately for a picnic shelter with no wait. Read more >>

Public Transit - Which regional parks are accessible by BC Public Transit?

Each park listing provides directions to the park by public transit where applicable. You can also download the information sheet listing all parks accessible by bus.

Water Quality - Where can I find information on the water quality of Regional Parks swimming beaches?

The Vancouver Island Health Authority is responsible for monitoring the quality of recreational water. They monitor the water quality at beaches in the summer months only and post the reports on the VIHA website.