Lochside/Galloping Goose Switch Bridge to Jacklin Road (13.5km)

Urban paved and gravel trail along a highway, progressing to a lightly forested route.

Footpath and Cycle Route cyclisthiker

The Trail

This trail section is a partially urban paved foot path which follows the Galloping Goose Regional Trail from just outside the City of Victoria to Jacklin Rd in Langford. The trail is fairly easy to follow, with clear signage throughout the route. The trail is paved up to the intersection with Wale Rd in Langford. Here the trail continues off of Sooke Rd as a well-maintained, compact gravel path that is stable for cycles.  From the Galloping Goose Switch Bridge until just before the Thetis Lake turn-off, the trail follows closely to the highway. The highway noise can be quite intense at some points, especially at the road crossings at McKenzie Ave and Tillicum Rd. Once the trail passes under the highway, the road noise becomes less intense and it becomes a more scenic forested route. At the turn-off at Sooke Rd, the trail turns to gravel and becomes more separated from urban development except for a notable road crossing at Veteran’s Memorial Parkway.

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The trail follows alongside the highway separated from the road to the left with some greenery.

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After the trail crosses under the highway, the road noise becomes much quieter and the trail is more secluded.

The trail is well marked throughout with signs indicating road crossings as well as signs indicating the direction of the trail as it continues past major roads.  There are a couple of wooden bridges along this trail, some of which cross over roads and others which cross water. All of the bridges are passable and very well-maintained. Most are wooden and so can be less stable on a bicycle than the paved path, however they are still very easy to cycle.  Access points are available throughout the trail, mostly at the numerous road crossings at major roads such as McKenzie Ave, Tillicum Rd, Sooke Rd, and as well as on quieter residential roads.

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After Sooke Road, the trail continues as gravel. It is well maintained and stable for bicycles.

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Playground on the trail near Victoria General Hospital.

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The trail is well marked with signs indicating road crossing as well as signs showing the direction of the trail as it continues past major roads.

The playground on the trail near Victoria General Hospital is a nice lunch stop. There are a couple picnic tables and benches in a grassy area. There is no camping along the trail. The nearest campsites are available at Thetis Lake Campground. This can be accessed quite easily off the trail, with a clear sign indicating the turn-off for the park.

Food and amenities are available at Uptown Shopping Center at the beginning of this section and then again along the trail at multiple road crossings. There is a shopping complex at the road crossing with Veteran’s Memorial Parkway which has a Superstore and Walmart as well as multiple other outlets. Water is also available at multiple points along the trail. Water sources can be accessed at public service centers such as Uptown Shopping Center and the shopping complex at Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. There are also water fountains available at the switch bridge at the beginning, at Atkins Crossing just after crossing under the highway, and just before crossing Sooke Rd. Camping is available outside the park at Thetis Lake campground.

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A wooden bridge crossing over Helmcken Road.

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Atkins bench, water fountain and washrooms.

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Water fountain just before Sooke Road.

 

Driving Directions to and GPS Coordinates of the Trail Head

48 27.39N 123 22.67W

From Parliament Buildings in Downtown Victoria:

1. Head East on Belleville St;

2.  Turn left onto Blanshard St (Patricia Bay Highway)

3. Turn left on Ravine Ave.

4. Turn right on Carey Rd.

5. Turn left on to Cadillac Ave.

6. Turn left onto Harriet Rd.

7. Turn left onto Crease Ave and head to the end of the street, where the switch bridge and water fountain can be accessed.

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Water fountain and rest station just beside the switch bridge and at the start of this section of trail. Parking is available across the road at Uptown Shopping Center and Recyclistas Bike Shop to the left of the photo.

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Sign for Thetis Lake Regional Park. Camping is available at this park.

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A Garry Oak alongside the trail near the end of this trail section near Jacklin Road.

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Invasive Scotch Broom (yellow flowered shrub on right) is pictured next to the Garry Oak trees.

Parking

Free parking is available on the street next to Recyclistas bike shop as well as at Uptown Shopping Center just across the road. There is a four hour limit on parking at Uptown Shopping Center.

 

Endpoint of the Trail

48 26.16N 123 30.85W

Native and Invasive Species along the trail

Along the trail there is abundant vegetation, including both native and invasive plant species. One such native species is the Garry Oak Tree. This tree is native in a region from Southern California to Southwestern British Columbia. There are ecological restoration and management programs in place in Victoria to protect this native tree and its associated ecosystem. Scotch Broom, on the other hand, is an invasive species which is abundant in the Capital Region. It was introduced to the region as a garden ornamental in 1850 and has become a dominant species in Garry Oak ecosystems since. There are also ecological management projects in the Capital Region which aim to remove  Scotch Broom.

Other Web Links for info on this area:

Galloping Goose website: http://www.gallopinggoosetrail.com/

Garry Oak Ecosystems: http://www.goert.ca/about/index.php

As Recorded by Ellie McLeod

April 2017

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