The West Shore community of Langford on the southern tip of Vancouver Island is named after Edward Langford, a respected regional farm operator in the mid 1800s.
Captain Edward Edwards Langford arrived aboard the Hudson’s Bay ship the Tory on May 14th, 1851. He was the bailiff of Esquimalt or Colwood Farm, and resided there until his return to his native England in 1861.
Situated between Colwood and the Malahat, and incorporating the head of Finlayson Arm and Mount Finlayson, Langford offers an accessible diversity of beautiful parks and lakes and limitless recreational activities.
Langford is one of the West Shore municipalities of Colwood, Metchosin, View Royal and the Highlands, located to the west of Victoria. This region is known as the Western Communities, or West Shore, and stretches from Esquimalt Harbour to Rocky Point, along the shoreline of Juan de Fuca Strait.
Langford today is one of Victoria’s fastest growing “bedroom” communities.
Goldstream Provincial Park offers a truly spectacular sight during the annual salmon run in the fall (late October to the end of November), which can be viewed from bridges and pathways alongside the meandering river that flows into Finlayson Arm. In Goldstream Park you’ll find five interconnecting nature walks and trails. The natural beauty of the environment, including a lush ancient forest and a little waterfall on Niagara Creek, makes this a special place to explore.
You can easily spend an hour strolling through the impressive old-growth rain forest that thrives here. Black cottonwood and broadleaf maple border the trail to the visitors centre, where fascinating natural history displays are on view. Western red cedar, some as much as 600 years old, shade the trails beside the picnic ground.
The easy Gold Mine Trail leads north to Niagara Creek. Highlights include evidence of old-time resource extraction, a tall falls that depending on the season may or may not have any water in it, and a short side trip to view an impressive wooden railway trestle still in use by the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway. The day liner passes over the trestle twice daily, Monday to Saturday, so if you’re here by 8:30am or 5:15pm you stand a good chance of seeing it whisk by.
Whether you enjoy hiking, cycling, roller blading, horseback riding, or just going for a stroll, the Galloping Goose Trail is the place to be. The 100km multi-use trail links the communities of View Royal, Colwood, Metchosin, and Sooke.
Climb Mt. Finlayson (1,375 feet/413 m) for superb views of Finlayson Arm and the surrounding Victoria area. The trailhead is located on the east side of Mount Finlayson Road, just past the Goldstream Park day-use parking lot and the bridge over the Goldstream River. The strenuous 3-mile (5-km return) trail to the top of Mount Finlayson may not be lengthy but it is steep and rugged. Cautions when hiking this trail include sticking to the marked trail at all times, wearing appropriate clothing (including sturdy footwear), and packing lots of water on warm days.
Golf: Langford boasts the spectacular new Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club. Nearby Victoria offers 8 championship golf courses in close proximity, including Cordova Bay Golf Club, Olympic View Golf Club, Gorge Vale Golf Club, and Royal Colwood Golf Club. Oak Bay has the Uplands Golf Course and Victoria Golf Club.
Victoria Golf Vacations.
Vancouver Island Golf Vacations.
Hiking: Six main hiking trails run the length of Goldstream Park. With the exception of the Prospectors Trail (moderate; 6 miles/10 km return), all of the trails run along the upland region of the park to the west of Hwy 1. The trailhead for all hiking routes is located in the campground area of the park. The Prospectors Trail links the campground area to the day-use area of the park. The Arbutus Ridge Trail (moderate; 6 miles/10 km return) begins from campsite #40 and climbs uphill through the drier upland regions of the park, where a profusion of wildflowers accompanies hikers from April to June, the finest season to enjoy this hike. The Upper Goldstream Trail (easy; 2.5 miles/4 km return) passes through some the largest groves of trees in the park as it heads to Goldstream Falls. The trailhead is beside the campground gatehouse, where trail maps are also located.
The Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, situated on 98 acres in neighbouring Colwood, offers the sports enthusiast a variety of activities, including 9 holes of golf on a scenic course, skating, curling, tennis, lacrosse, baseball, lawn bowling, swimming, or jogging on two beautiful chip trails (1 km and 2.75 km).
Visit Western Speedway, an action-packed race program – stock car and late model events, demolition derbies, trophy dashes, heat races and even drag races.
All Fun Recreational Park: Waterslide complex, mini golf course, driving range, 2 go-kart tracks, batting cages, arcade, concession, gift shop and you’ve got something for everyone!
West Shore Skatepark is great for beginner skaters as well as providing challenges for experienced riders. Currently, the park contains 1/4 pipes, flat banks, stepups, ledges, hips, a funbox, rails, a hubba ledge, rollers and more providing a great flowing street inspired park.
Visit Langford’s largest and greatest Family Fun Park at The Eagle Ridge Community Centre. The multi-themed Mini-Golf course and PlayZone are a perfect idea for a fun and exciting day.
The annual Luxton Pro Rodeo features saddle and bareback bronc riding, bull riding, tie down and team roping, steer wrestling, ladies barrels, specialty acts, mutton bustin’, and mutton scramble.
Enjoy a short walk to the summit at Mill Hill Regional Park for a panoramic view of Victoria, Esquimalt Harbour and the Sooke Hills. From April through July, the park is ablaze with delicate wildflowers, boasting showy displays of common camas, white fawn lilies, tiger lilies and calypso orchids.
Millstream flows through Langford before emptying into Esquimalt Harbour. The stream was originally named Rowe Stream after an officer on the Royal Navy ship that first charted Esquimalt Harbour in the mid-1840s. The Hudson’s Bay Company established the first company sawmill on Vancouver Island at Rowe Stream in 1846, and built the trail that eventually became the Island Highway. The mill, with a grist mill for grinding flour added in 1847, supplied materials for the company’s Fort Victoria. The stream lacked sufficient water to drive the mills during the summer months and the mills closed down around 1860.
Francis/King Regional Park offers 6 miles (11 km) of secluded trails where the forest buffers the hum from the nearby Island Highway. The park is the ideal recreational spot for anyone using a wheelchair, walker or cane – check out the gentle Elsie King Trail with its convenient and pleasant cedar boardwalk. Francis/King Regional Park is located on Munn Road in nearby Saanich. Follow Hwy 1 to Helmcken Road. Turn north on Helmcken, west on W Burnside, then north on Prospect Lake Road to Munn Road.
At Thetis Lake Regional Park in neighbouring View Royal, sandy beaches front the park’s two heavily indented lakes, providing a great swimming beach and a family playground. Paddlers with hand-carried boats can launch from the main beach and explore the more remote beaches and many bays and islets that characterize Thetis Lake. A narrow channel connects the two halves of the lake system, just wide enough for a canoe or kayak. Several well-marked, forested hiking trails attract hikers to the park. Note that the beach is reached by following West Park Lane.
East of Langford is the Western Communities town of Colwood, originally one of four large farms established by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1850’s to supply the steadily increasing population of Fort Victoria. Colwood is now itself a thriving satellite city in the largely residential area of the Western Communities.
North of Langford is Highlands, a beautiful rural district of lakes and parkland in the Greater Victoria region of Vancouver Island, bordering on the eastern shore of Finlayson Arm.