What Bylaws Regulate Regional Parks?

Bylaw 3682 Parks Regulation
A bylaw to regulate the use of regional parks and trails.

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 1857 Ticket Information Authorization
A bylaw that authorizes Capital Regional District Bylaw Enforcement Officers to issue tickets for fines for offences against bylaws. See Schedule 18, page 25.

Parks Statistics

CRD Regional Parks protects and manages more than 13,000 hectares of spectacular and easily accessible natural areas in 33 regional parks and trails in the Capital Regional District.

The parks system covers southern Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands.

In 2016, our parks received more than 6 million visits. Here are the visitation statistics to the most popular parks:

Regional Park/Trail 2016 Visits
Albert Head Lagoon 89,028
Brooks Point 7,659
Coles Bay 31,147
Devonian 59,013
E&N Rail Trail 303,621
East Sooke 184,176
Elk/Beaver Lake 1,462,933
Francis/King 80,207
Galloping Goose 1,909,389
Gonzales Hill 49,060
Horth Hill 74,069
Island View Beach 406,928
Jordan River (Sandcut Beach) 22,398
Lochside 1,182,548
Lone Tree Hill 12,389
Matheson Lake 66,486
Mill Hill 41,500
Mount Parke 12,107
Mount Wells 42,532
Mount Work 185,419
Sea to Sea (Harbourview) 36,672
Sooke Potholes 160,694
Thetis Lake 441,740
Witty's Lagoon 88,421
Total 6,950,136

Smoking in Parks

Effective April 1, 2015 there will be more outdoor clean air spaces available for everyone in the Capital Regional District.

Smoking tobacco is prohibited in all regional parks, beaches that are a part of a regional park, playgrounds, playing fields, public squares, bus stops and bus shelters.

What is considered a park? A park means land acquired, reserved or dedicated as a regional park or community park in accordance with the Local Government Act or Community Charter.

Is smoking allowed in the parking lot of a park? No. However, it is permitted inside a vehicle in a parking lot unless it has a youth under the age of 16 in the vehicle.

Is smoking allowed in a regional park campground? CRD Clean Air Bylaw prohibits smoking anywhere in parks except in private vehicles.

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?

Our most popular brochures can be downloaded from this web site. From Find a Park or Trail, click on the park that interests you.

All CRD Parks publications are also available at our office: 490 Atkins Avenue in Langford. Office hours are Monday –- Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

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 in 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?

For details, visit the Cycling & Walking Routes page. Cyclists are welcome on CRD Parks' two connected regional trails, built on former railway lines. The 55-kilometre Galloping Goose Regional Trail connects downtown Victoria with Sooke. The 29-kilometre Lochside Regional Trail begins in Saanich and ends at the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay.

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

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

Visitors are welcome to bring their dogs to regional parks and trails, as long as the dogs are under control. Owners are required to pick up their pet waste.

Dogs are allowed to pass through but not stay in designated beach and picnic areas during the summer (June 1 - September 15). They are required to be on a leash while passing through.

Dogs are required to be on leash on:

Dogs are not permitted at Ayum Creek Regional Park Reserve.

For more details, visits the Pets in Parks page. Watch for signs on trails and in parks where specific dog regulations apply.

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.

  • See FAQ “Cycling - Where can I cycle in regional parks and trails?”

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. At Sooke Potholes and Thetis Lake regional parks only, pay parking is in effect from May 1 to September 30.

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. To reserve a shelter, call Parks Headquarters at 250.478.3344.  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.