Matheson Lake is a beautiful lake, set amongst the hills of the Metchosin region, that has a scenic hiking trail that loops around the lake. The lake and beach area are popular in the summer months for swimming and fishing and long hikes can be combined with the trails in the neighbouring Roche Cove Regional Park. The Galloping Goose trail passes right next to Matheson Lake, offering a nice place for cyclists to stop and enjoy.
The 3.8km loop around the lake does have some challenging sections along the western section of the route that climbs up and down over rocky sections. These areas can be slippery depending on the time of seasons, so use care when passing through this area.
From the parking lot, walk down the trail towards the beach area and walk to the beach for a view of the lake. Return to the trail and pass the outhouses, following the trail. There are plenty of beautiful views from the rocks that jut out into the lake along this section of the trail. While this section might not be well marked, continue to follow the path near the lake is it makes its way over the rocky areas and eventually crosses a wooden bridge.
The Matheson Lake trail continues along the lake offering scenic views between sections of forested trail. Eventually, the trail joins with the wide Galloping Goose Trail. Walk a short distance along the Galloping Goose Trail and watch for a trail to the left that returns to a route following the lake side. After a few more views, the trail reaches a junction. Go left at the junction and leave the views of Matheson Lake as you loop around the far end of the lake.
At a second junction marking a point to Roche Cove Regional Park, go left and cross the small wooden bridge before heading up a steep series of hills. This section of the trail is the most challenging as you will have to make your way up and over some narrow rocky sections which can be slippery and not wide enough for two or more people to pass each other. Watch your step through this area and take your time.
The rocky section begins to ease and the trail passes through a forested area, not offering too many clear views of the lake. Pass a junction and continue along the lake loop as you begin to pick up the pace through a relatively flat section of trail, quickly making your way back towards the parking lot.
From downtown Victoria, drive along Douglas Street heading northbound as Douglas turns into Highway #1. Take Exit #10: View Royal / Colwood and stay in the left lane as you exit and pass underneath the highway. Continue driving straight along Island Highway as it eventually turns into Sooke Road.
At the intersection of Sooke Road and Metchosin Road, turn left onto Metchosin Road and follow it as it passes through a residential neighbourhood before heading down a hill with a view of Juan de Fuca Strait to the left.
After driving about 8km along Metchosin Road, turn right onto Happy Valley Road at a 3-way stop. At the next street, turn left onto Rocky Point Road and follow it for about 5km until you reach Matheson Lake Park Road. Turn right onto Matheson Lake Park Road and enter the park area.
Dogs are allowed on the trail at Matheson Lake Regional Park but must be kept under control at all times. From June 1 to September 15, dogs must be on a leash when passing through the beach area at Matheson Lake and cannot stay. Please make sure to pick up after your dog.
There are outhouses located near the beach area at Matheson Lake. There are no other toilet facilities along the trails around the lake. There are outhouses at the parking lot for Roche Cove Regional Park about 2km away along the Galloping Goose Trail.