Known as a habitat for owls, eagles, frogs, newts, deer, woodpeckers, and many other locals, Fork Lake is the perfect place for people of all ages and abilities to connect with the natural world.
The lake is mostly surrounded by private land and residences, but the northwest corner borders Mount Work Regional Park and serves as the trailhead for the Summit Trail, which leads to the summit of Mount Work. You can catch a glimpse of the lake while in the park, but access to the water is quite limited and requires wading through thick bushes and shoreline vegetation.
While you are there, don’t miss the magical 630-metre accessible loop trail, which leads through tall evergreens and rich undergrowth. This little-known loop is an absolute delight for walkers of all ages and abilities.
Pay special attention to the ground on your visit to Fork Lake, where you’ll find a fascinating variety of mushrooms, ferns, mosses, and woodland flowers on the forest floor. Stay on the trails (and keep your dog on the trails too) so you don’t disturb these delicate locals.
A 2006 report published by the BC Lake Stewardship Society found two species of pondlilies (Nuphar), two species of pondweeds (Potamogeton), and coontail (Ceratophyllum) in Fork Lake.
Creeks & Watershed
Fork Lake is part of the Craigflower Creek Watershed. Water from Fork Lake flows eastward, joins Craigflower Creek via a smaller creek, and then passes through Pike Lake before making its way to Portage Inlet.
Close to Fork Lake, but not within park boundaries, is the Fork Lake Ditch. It was built in the early 1900s and is considered a symbol of the pioneer drive to not only survive, but to move beyond subsistence.
The ditch was dug and blasted by a team led by Frank Gregory, an early property owner. Gregory had decided that by lowering the level of the water at Fork Lake he would be able to create more land for grazing for his livestock – and he was right.
The ditch allowed water from Fork Lake to drain into Fizzle Lake (on the south side of Munn Road) and reduced the depth of Fork Lake by nearly three meters, thereby providing 1.7 acres of new land for his livestock. Knowledge of this impressive feat leaves one to wonder about the original shape and size of Fork Lake.
For trail maps, access information, and much more, get your copy of the Lakes of Victoria, BC guidebook.