Wake Lake exists due to a depression formed in the landscape likely caused by a large piece of ice which broke off the toe of the glacier as it receded. As the ice block melted, a depression formed called a kettle. Wake Lake developed as a kettle formation where water accumulated through mainly rainfall small amounts of groundwater, and with poor or very slow drainage. Over time this closed wetland accumulated organic debris and evolved to a fen and now is on its way towards a bog. Wake Lake is classified as an immature cranberry bog containing many plants that are adapted to wet, acidic, and nutrient-poor soils. The southeast edge of the lake has a floating mat of sphagnum moss and vegetation, which is characteristic of a bog wetland. Small herbaceous plants such as Chamisso’s cotton-grass, white bog orchid, and bunchberry can be found growing throughout the sphagnum mat. Deeper areas support reeds, cattails, and yellow pond lily. The transition to the riparian area is marked by the occurrence of dense woody shrubs such as hard hack and Nootka rose. Large conifers such as Douglas-fir and western redcedar and deciduous trees such as bigleaf maple and red alder comprise the forest around the lake.
Recent surveys have revealed that seven of the nine native amphibian species found on Vancouver Island use the habitat in and around Wake Lake to meet some of their life history needs. These species include: Pacific Chorus Frog, Red-legged Frog, Western Toad, Northwestern Salamander, Western Redback Salamander, Ensatina, and Roughskin Newt. In Canada, both the Western Toad and the Red-legged Frog are listed as species of Special Concern.
4465 Barnjum Road, Sahtlam. From the Trans-Canada Highway turn west/left on to Trunk Road. Trunk Road will turn into Government Street. Follow this road to the “roundabout” turning west on Gibbins Road. Follow Gibbins Road and it will turn into Barnjum Road. Park is on the right just before Riverbottom Road.