Last week, on a sunny afternoon, my husband suggested we take the girls up Mount Douglas. We’ve often driven to the top of the mountain, as it offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area and a great way to show off our beautiful city for out-of-town guests. We’ve often talked about hiking up it, too, as there’s a large network of trails, but this was the first time we actually did it.
Parking at the bottom of Mount Douglas, I strapped Jade into the baby carrier and we set off. Sunshine walked between my husband and I, holding our hands, while Lily ran ahead. The trail wound through towering spruce trees around the base of the mountain and then crossed the road and curved up towards the top. Lily began “rock climbing” over the boulders in the path, still chattering away about how much fun she was having. Sunshine said she was tired and needed a break, and we told her she could have one at the top. Jade was asleep.
Little boxes marked where to go next and the girls had fun finding each box and looking for the arrow showing us which direction to hike. Then, about halfway up Mount Douglas, we came out to a clearing of the trail and could look out over the ocean. “Wow!” said Sunshine, quite impressed by the view, and I smiled. Hiking is something I love doing, so it’s fun to be able to share it with my daughters.
We climbed over the boulders at the top, crossed the parking lot and went up to the observation area for a few minutes to look around. Mount Douglas is the highest point in the area, so we could see the university, downtown, the Olympic Mountains in Washington and Mount Baker, and the rolling hills up island.
Then we choose another trail going down the other side of Mount Douglas. The top of the trail was rocky and loose, causing us to go slowly and hold the girls hands so they wouldn’t slide. It was hot there, but once we got back down into the trees—and a less slippery trail—it was cool and shady again We saw a few trillium and heard a woodpecker banging on a tree. Even Lily was getting a little tired by the end of the hike, but she was still trotting along, helped by the hint of some water and Smarties waiting in the truck.
Watching them, I had to smile. It was so much fun hiking with kids, for whom this is all new and exciting. Each twist of the trail was interesting. Lily gave us running commentary on the hike while Sunshine asked numerous questions about what she saw.
This summer, they’re at the perfect age to do a lot of exploring. Sunshine and Lily can both hike for a good hour and a half or maybe more with a break, while Jade is still small enough to be easily carried. Here’s to more hiking adventures!
Do you have an outdoor hobby that you’ve gotten your kids involved with or are looking forward to doing this summer?
For more places to hike around Victoria, check out my list things to do on Vancouver Island.