Referred to as a “precious jewel” in a 1979 edition of the Victoria Times, Matheson Lake is a wonderful place found at the base of a steep coastal mountain, surrounded by mid-growth forest with plenty of trails to explore nearby.
With easy access from the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, a sand beach, facilities, and plenty of fishing opportunities, it will take many visits to truly know the nature of this magical place.
Bring a blanket for the beach or find a pleasant viewpoint along the northern side of the lakeside trail.
Creeks & Watershed
Matheson Lake is the only lake in the Wildwood Creek watershed. Water originating in Pickles Creek to the northwest of the lake joins Wildwood Creek, then flows into Matheson Lake. The primary outflow is at the far west corner of the lake, where Wildwood Creek takes water to Roche Cove. Cripple Creek is close by to the southeast of the lake but is part of a different watershed.
At some point you may wonder about the unique shape of Matheson Lake. A large arm stretches out west and has a very different feel than the rest of the lake, with steep slopes along its shoreline.
Looking at a map of the larger area provides some clues: Roche Cove to the northwest stretches towards this arm of Matheson Lake from the Sooke Basin, and to the southeast Pedder Bay also makes a big reach towards Matheson Lake. Indeed, in the 1860s Matheson Lake was modified in an attempt to create a deep water canal between Pedder Bay, Matheson Lake, and Roche Cove, which would have made East Sooke an island.
For trail maps, access information, and much more, get your copy of the Lakes of Victoria, BC guidebook.