Some trails are closed after excess rain caused flooding at Swan Lake.
IMPORTANT – TRAIL DETOUR DUE TO FLOODING! The Hedgerow Trail has been closed until further notice (Nelthorpe st to the Nature House parking lot). Please exercise caution when accessing the trails as the winter weather continues – gumboots may be required! pic.twitter.com/irwLB4MO6t
— Swan Lake Nature (@SwanLakeNature) January 7, 2020
Staff at the Swan Lake and Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary say the surrounding trails have been affected by the rainy weather. Several sections of the loop around the lake dip into the floodplain area so flooding isn’t uncommon, noted Jay Rastogi, site manager.
The Hedgerow Trail – which runs west to east between the Nature House parking lot and Nelthorpe Street – was shut down on Tuesday and will remain closed until further notice as the trail is under water.
An alternate route has been mapped for visitors who would have used the Hedgerow Trail. The detour takes users north from the parking lot to Nelthorpe Street and then back down to the trail on the other side of the flooded section.
Rastogi noted that water has also begun pooling on the section of the trail near Saanich Municipal Hall. If the rain continues, more sections of the trail could close temporarily.
The flooding happens annually, but Rastogi said staff noticed more water this year than in the past five or six years. He explained that the ground becomes saturated until it cannot absorb any more. The duration of the flooding varies depending on the forecast.
“The ducks don’t mind it,” he said with a chuckle. “They’ve been swimming where we usually walk.”
Staff at the Nature Sanctuary have set up chains across the path where the closures are located, but Rastogi noted the flooded areas are obvious. Park visitors are asked to exercise caution on the trails as winter weather could be detrimental to other parts of the Nature Sanctuary. Rubber boots and other rain gear are recommended.