Trail: Westwood Lake and Morrell’s Nature Sanctuary
Distance Walked: 13.94 km
Walking Time: 3hrs 7m
Trail Rating: Easy
Westwood Lake Park:
Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Benson, Westwood Lake is a popular spot to stroll, hike, run, (mountain) bike and swim. The main beach is Nanaimo’s only lifeguard-patrolled freshwater swimming area. Dogs can be walked on-leash. There is also a separate off-leash dog walking area.
The main 6-kilometre trail around the lake is picturesque and well-maintained with wooden bridges, boardwalks and wood chips. The trail is wide, giving passersby ample room to manoeuver. Numerous other paths cross through the main trail. This makes it easy to choose a quieter, more wilderness-based, or more challenging route. Combining Westwood Lake and Westwood Ridge Loops (10.5 km) or looping Westwood Lake and Witchcraft Lake (11.6 km) are two such options.
Westwood lake is man-made. In 1864, William Westwood purchased 650 acres of East Wellington land (currently Westwood Lake) for $1 an acre. After William’s death in 1872, his widow sold 600 acres of this land, for $150,000, to a local power company that constructed a dam. The dam flooded part of the property, providing a reserve water supply. In the 1950s, this property, now Westwood Lake, became a public recreational site. Did you catch my central theme (both here and on my Day 3 post)? Never underestimate the power of a woman!
Westwood Lake Park and Trails form a true recreational jewel, providing something for everyone. By veering off into Morrell’s Nature Sanctuary (header photo, and photo below) it is easy to stay close to the lake trail, yet away from any crowds. On our visit today, most walkers and runners were decked out in red and white. They merrily exchanged warm greetings with each other — which I will now pass on to you.
Happy Canada Day to you and your family!!
Thank you for following along.