Conservation is a priority for people living in the Highlands, and no wonder! The natural beauty of this municipality can just about take your breath away. This is not serene pastoral countryside; it’s much more dramatic than that. Mountains, rocky windswept highlands with panoramic ocean views, steep sided inlets swooping up from rocky beaches, and small lakes nestled like jewels in the forest, this is the Highlands.
It’s a good thing that one third of the municipality is protected in parkland, otherwise proximity to Victoria might result in the loss of this valuable habitat. As it is, the wilderness will be preserved for everyone to enjoy, and the extensive network of trails ensures that anyone who wants to experience this west coast terrain, can. There are hikes for people of all abilities, including the wheelchair accessible Elsie King Trail in Francis/King Regional Park.
Gowlland Tod Provincial Park and the adjacent Mt. Work Regional Park offer an almost unending choice of hikes, some very gentle and others more challenging. The Summit Trail to the top of Mt. Work is a great day hike, and the reward an amazing view. Another astounding view can be found at Lone Tree Regional Park, also famous for the fabulous display of wildflowers in spring.
People who want to live close to nature, in a community that cares about preserving the environment rather than reshaping it to suit our own needs, will find a special place in the Highlands. And the best part is; you don’t need to go all Grizzly Adams and leave civilization far behind to do so!