Premier Listings for John Dean Park
John Dean Park is located on Mount Newton, on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island. The mountain and the surrounding area feature prominently in the culture of the native people, and early descriptions of the mountain mention large rings of white stones placed there by the Saanich people.
Lau Welnew, as Mount Newton is known to the First Nations of the Saanich Peninsula, was the high point of land that enabled them to survive the Great Flood. Here Saanich ancestors were able to anchor their canoe using a giant cedar rope until the floodwaters subsided.
Lau Welnew was the first land available as the floodwaters receded. It is said that the fortunate may still be able to see the remains of the giant cedar anchor rope at the top of Mount Newton..if you know where to look.
The original 32.4-hectare property, donated by John Dean in 1921, was the first donated provincial park in British Columbia. Subsequent private and provincial donations have increased the park size to its present day 155 hectares. The names of the trails in the park commemorate the generosity of the peninsula residents that made the park possible.
There is great hiking here for those who admire old-growth forests. At the heart of this park are some of the largest Douglas fir trees that remain on the south coast of Vancouver Island, as well as a mix of grand fir, western red, cedar, Garry oak, and arbutus. Garry oak is the only oak native to the island.
A lily pond is found just off the picnic area, a good place to have a snack before exploring farther in the park.
Five hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty and length cross the south and east face of Mount Newton. Explore here in spring to see a vivid display of wildflowers native to British Columbia, including drifts of blue camas lilies, which carpet the understorey, as well as red Indian paintbrush and white erythroniums.
Wildlife flock to the food-rich forest, and from the top of Mount Newton, you can watch as ravens, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, and turkey vultures put on a colourful display of soaring techniques. The summit of Mount Newton is renowned as the place to watch some of the best sunsets in British Columbia.
Camping and open fires are not permitted in John Dean Provincial Park. Picnic tables and toilets are located near the parking lot.
John Dean Provincial Park is located north of Victoria on Southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The park is is accessed off East Saanich Road and Dean Park Road in North Saanich.
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