Signs of Early Spring on Vancouver Island

When it comes to spring in Canada, the west coast is always ahead of the game. In late February, all over Vancouver Island, tiny little buds on the trees appear, snow starts to melt and the days start getting sunnier but in March, the explosion of spring really begins. If you love spring as much as we do, there are lots of great ways to celebrate the changing season, the warmer weather and the stunning natural beauty all over the city. We’ve rounded up our favourite signs of spring on Vancouver Island, where you can find them and how to enjoy this gorgeous time of year!

Cherry Blossoms

If you’re right in Victoria at The Reef Executive Condo, Landmark Executive Sub Penthouse or Seaglass Suite in March, you won’t be able to help but notice the gorgeous explosion of pink blossoms on the trees all over the city. These trees are unique to Victoria and have come to be the backdrop of spring in the city thanks to many donations of these beautiful trees from the Japanese Canadian community over the years. The best way to experience this stunning phenomenon is to take walks along tree-lined streets all over the city. Later this month, there will be an in-depth look at where to go and the best routes around the city to make the most of these gorgeous trees so check back in soon! And if you want to go solo, check out this interactive cherry blossom map to make your own routes! 

Butchart Gardens

When it comes to spring flowers, there may not be a better place to experience the breadth and beauty of spring blossoms than the world famous Butchart Gardens. Nestled right along the shore of the Saanich Inlet near Oceanside Lodge on Saanich Inlet, Pendray House or Patricia Bay Beach House this quarry-turned-floral-paradise has been one of the main attractions of the South Island since its inception over 100 years ago. Here, guests can wander through five, enormous themed gardens and see the splendour that our west coast climate can support in the early stages of spring. 

First Swallows of the Year

In early spring on Vancouver Island, one of the first swallow species to arrive is the Violet Green Swallow who feed exclusively in flight on specific insects. If you’re an avid hiker, you can find these beautiful, colourful swallows near rivers and mountain lakes where they can find the highest concentration of hatching insects during early spring. If you’re looking for these birds, head out to Matheson Lake near Arbutus Hill, or search along the trails near Marble Bay Lakefront House in the Lake Cowichan and Cowichan River area and if you’re up in Kye Bay Beach House, you’ll find these little guys as you walk the trail around Comox Lake. Look for the classic split swallow tail and their distinctive purple, green feathers that flash in the sunshine – these beautiful birds are a sure sign that spring is truly around the corner. 

Turtles in Beacon Hill Park

If you want to know whether it’s going to be a warm spring day while at Beacon Hill View Condo or James Bay Studio Stay don’t look at your app, just head across the street to Goodacre Lake in Beacon Hill Park – if the turtles are out, you know that it’s going to be gorgeous. These red-eared sliders are not native to the area but are a staple in the fauna that you can find in Beacon Hill Park and have called this lake home for many, many years.

Herons Return

As the weather gets warmer, you’ll be able to see one of the local colonies of Blue Herons returning to Beacon Hill Park. From March to May, these gorgeous water birds breed and build nests in the trees around Goodacre Lake in Beacon Hill Park. This colony started as just two birds in the early 1980s and today is a huge colony that migrates and nests together! 

Baby Animals

Ok so March is usually a little early to see many baby animals but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Over the last few years, March has been unusually warm and with the warm spring days come the fluffiest little baby animals! Beacon Hill Park petting zoo is a great place to find these little puff balls but if you want to head out into the wild, take a hike through Beacon Hill Park, or take a few steps from Harbourview Executive at the Reef and walk along the Dallas Road. If you’re staying at Cowichan Valley Wine Country Retreat or Beachside Living at Cherry Point the Cowichan Valley trail is a gorgeous hike and an excellent place to search for some baby ducks and geese near waterways.

Longer Days

Even before daylight savings comes on March 13th, there is no doubt that the days are getting longer, a sure sign that the winter months are behind us and we can start getting ready for warmer, sunnier days. During the longer daylight hours, there are a few activities that you can enjoy for longer and take advantage of the calm before the heat of late spring and early summer bring crowds and noise. Bundle up and go to an empty beach like Ross Bay near Barkley Manor Executive or the beach steps away from Bazan Bay Beach House and enjoy the cool breezes and calm waters. Early spring is a great time to book one of the many fishing charters all over the Island, whether you’re looking for lake fishing while at Lake Cowichan emr, ocean or river fishing near Pacific Coast Beach House in Sooke or Kye Bay Beach House in Comox Valley the experts on Vancouver Island are there to help you have a great time! Whale watching in late March or early April is an excellent experience and if you want to go on a road trip up to the Cowichan Valley wine country, the spring is an ideal time to beat the crowds and enjoy some sunny days in the vineyard.

Warmer Weather

As the days get longer and the sun comes out more frequently, the temperatures also start to rise. This is an excellent time to head out and explore Vancouver Island’s incredible natural beauty on foot, on wheels or even by water. Love to hike? Early spring is a wonderful time to get out there on the trails and see the beautiful wildflowers of spring, the ferns unfurl and birds come back from their southern migration. This is also a great time of year to head out on a cycling adventure! The weather isn’t too hot to make the exertion uncomfortable but the conditions are ideal for a great ride. Head out on the Galloping Goose from The Corazon in downtown Victoria or hop on near Arbutus Hill in Metchosin and enjoy this extensive trail that runs from downtown Victoria to Sooke. Staying in an EMR Sidney property? Cycle the Lochside trail that leads from Swartz Bay all the way to downtown Victoria or if you’re in the Cowichan Valley staying at Beachside Cottage on Saanich Inlet or Malahat Mountain House, the Cowichan Valley trail is an excellent way to spend the day on your bike! If you’re eager to get out on the water, the early spring is one of the best times to explore the shores of Vancouver Island. Yes, the water is still cold and you’ll have to prepare for cooler temperatures, but it’s nothing like prepping for winter kayaking and unlike the summertime, there is little competition if you’re looking to rent a kayak or book lessons or tours. Plus, in early spring, the waters are calm and clear, perfect for exploring the beauty of the west coast.