Urban Oases of Victoria - Macaulay Point Park
Hidden along the waterfront of Esquimalt is one of my favourite little parks, Macaulay Point. If you read my post on Fort Rodd Hill, you would have seen that Victoria was at one time a very fortified city, with ocean aimed guns pointing out in many directions. One of the largest batteries after Fort Rodd Hill, was Fort Macaulay.
Though not as preserved as Fort Rodd Hill, Macaulay Point is in some ways even more wonderful because it is a little more run down and overgrown. You have to use your imagination a little more with each of the little bits.
When you first arrive you will see a large parking lot that is mostly used to park trucks and trailers after launching a boat. There is a small protected harbour along with some offices for the boat launch. The park begins just past the boat launch, on the left hand side.
When you first get here you will usually be confronted with a couple of people rock climbing the cliff. It seems popular, but I personally have a hard time watching it. The park continues around a small picnic area and than curves around and above the marina. the path then t-bones at the ocean with a beautiful view looking across to Albert Head and Colwood. From here you can either walk out on the jetty or into the rest of the park.
There are a couple of loops you can do through the park, one longer one and one a bit shorter. On the last time we were there, we did the shorter loop which when you get to fork between either following the water's edge or heading up over a berm, you take the latter. Once you are at the top you will see that this is a huge gun placement (no more gun of course).
As you walk down into a trench behind the guns it becomes easier to imagine the place as a Fort, but still the beautiful flowers and paths make it seem like it was hundreds of years ago. Further in there is a small collection of old buildings and a tunnel leading up to a lookout over the water.
There is a little side path that heads down towards the Inner Harbour though is stops somewhere on the Navy Base. Still it has some nice views of downtown and James Bay.
If you are looking for a little place to get away from the city, breathe in some sea air and see a little history, Macaulay Point Park is the perfect place, especially as the weather gets a little nicer!