McDonald Park is a very attractive, wooded campground facility located a short distance from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, just off Highway 17 on the Saanich Peninsula. The park conveniently serves travellers inbound or outbound from Vancouver’s Tsawwassen Terminal.
Although you’ll find a lot of marine traffic swirling around the area during the day, in the evening the pulse slows to a sleep-inducing rhythm, especially once the last ferries have sailed or docked for the night.
The 20-hectare McDonald Park has a campground that is tucked in between the Pat Bay Highway (Hwy 17) and the shoreline of Canoe Bay. Although the location doesn’t guarantee complete privacy, it admirably suits most travellers’ purposes. With its eastern exposure, you’re sure to be roused by sunrise.
There are 50 vehicle accessible sites and 6 walk-in sites. Facilities at the park include pit toilets, water and picnic tables. The park is accessible for the disabled. Campsite reservations can be made through the Parks Canada Reservation Service (www.pccamping.ca/parkscanada/) or by phone at 1-877-737-3783. Note that the park can be fully booked during the summer season.
Recreational activities in the park are limited, but access to nearby Sidney is easy. A pleasant ferry ride to Sidney Spit Marine Park provides numerous outdoor natural attractions.
McDonald Park is located north of Victoria on Southern Vancouver Island. McDonald Park is a part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, one of Canada’s newest national parks. The park protects a portion of British Columbia’s beautiful southern Gulf Islands – a landscape of rocky headlands, forested hills and shorelines studded with colourful tidepools. The park resembles a patchwork quilt of protected lands scattered over 15 larger islands, and many smaller islets and reefs.
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