One of the best ways to stay active, socialize and explore our parks and neighborhoods is on Saanich’s free Trails & Treks community walks. Whether it’s a Sunday afternoon walk through Knockan Hill Park, a Monday easy walk around the Royal Oak precinct, or a morning walk and talk across Ten Mile Point, these programs are favorites of many participants – and for good reason!
As they have grown in popularity over the years, new programs have been added to the schedule – a way of encouraging people of all ages and abilities to stay active.
The latest addition to the free lineup is walking around the park, led by walk leader Penny Stevens.
Open to everyone—from walkers to those using mobility aids like scooters—the Walk and Roll runs every Monday from 11 a.m. to noon, at a different Saanich park each week, from spring to fall. Penny will lead the way, but the pace and distance is up to each person, they can go around the park as many times as they want, or take an hour to do it all.
These parks were specifically chosen for their wide, accessible surfaces and multiple rest benches, and participants are welcome to bring canes, canes, walkers, wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
“I’ll go for walks with people, and if someone wants to sit back and catch up with us on the next loop, that’s fine,” Penny said. “Saanich Park is for everyone, and we want people of all walking abilities to feel comfortable in the park.”
The pandemic has shown many people the importance of staying connected with friends and community, and the value of engaging with the natural world around us.
“The opportunities are really meaningful,” Penny said. “It’s great to see people walking, talking and smiling in the parks and on the trails.”
Walkers often share the impact of their walk with a leader to stay active and engaged. She noted that many have formed friendships and now take walks at other times of the week as well.
Find free Trails & Treks classes for you:
- walk around the park – Monday, 11am to noon. Led by leader Penny, these walks visit local parks and allow those using walkers, canes, scooters or wheelchairs to set their own pace. All are welcome! (Saanich Recreation also offers registered programs such as Walkers with Walkers at the Cedar Hill Rec Center—learn more about using walkers to strengthen your body, build stamina, and traverse terrain safely.)
- Walking and talking– Leaders Diana (Tuesday) and John (Thursday) Tuesday and Thursday 9:30am to 11am. Enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery, friendly chat and exercise as we take different walks in the Saanich parks and trails. The walk is mainly along gravel or gravel roads, but there may be some steep sections. Sorry, dogs are not allowed.
- easy walk – Every Monday from 1:30 to 2:30 pm (9:30 to 10:30 am in July and August). Led by Penny, these one-hour, slower-paced social walks visit parks and interesting neighborhoods on sidewalks and groomed trails. Routes avoid steep hills and busy trails as much as possible, and most routes start near bus stops. Please wear supportive shoes. Please don’t have dogs.
- Sunday Hike – Once a month from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Walkers of all ages are invited to explore the beauty and diversity of Saanich Park with leader Penny. Please wear sturdy shoes as the walking route sometimes includes steep, rough trails. Bring drinking water.
For more information, call the Saanich Community Services Center 250-475-5422 Or visit Saanich.ca and search for “Trails & Treks” for schedules and information.