Ogden Point to Lochside Trails (7.6km)

Urban paved trail with abundant services and multi and varied cultural and historical sites of Victoria.  

Footpath and cycle hikercyclist

The Trail

This trail section is an urban paved footpath through Downtown Victoria, continuing over the Johnson St Bridge to Esquimalt and then back over through Victoria. There are multiple routes through the Downtown Victoria section. On the Esquimalt side of the bridge, the trail connects with the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.

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Galloping Goose Trail on Esquimalt Side with pedestrian path on the right and cycle path on the left.

This is a designated bike and pedestrian path mostly separated from major roads. For a large portion of the trail, on the Esquimalt side, there is a  separate designated path for pedestrians and cyclists. The trail leaves Esquimalt and crosses the Gorge over the Selkirk Trestle and continues north towards the Switch Bridge. For this entire portion of the trail, you remain within the City of Victoria, within walking distance to many urban services and amenities. Past Esquimalt, the trail runs through an urban industrial area, although much of the trail is tree-lined and there is significant greenery.

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The urban industrial area from Esquimalt to the Switch Bridge with trail signage.

There are two water crossings in this section of the trail. The first is the Johnson Street Bridge over to Esquimalt. This bridge has an easily accessible sidewalk. The second water crossing occurs at the Selkirk Trestle over the Gorge. There is also a highway crossing at the Switch Bridge as the trail crosses the Trans-Canada highway.

Access points are available throughout the downtown portion of the trail from Ogden Point, across the Johnson St Bridge and until the start of the Galloping Goose trail. Once on the Galloping Goose, there are access points at all of the major streets crossing the trail.

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Selkirk Trestle over the Gorge

The entire trail is paved and is designated for pedestrian and cyclist traffic, apart from the wooden trestle over the gorge, which is well-maintained and has very stable footing. There are markers along the Galloping Goose trail making it very easy to follow (see trail marker in photo above).

There are many supply points along this section of the trail, including grocery stores and other outlets at Uptown Mall at the end-point. This is an urban trail,  so there is no camping along the trail. The nearest campsite to this section of the trail is Thetis Lake campground. At the Switch Bridge, there are numerous benches, a map, and a water fountain with potable water. Water can also be found at restaurants or urban shopping centers along this route.

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View of Johnson Street Bridge from Wharf Street

GPS Coordinates and Driving Directions to Trail Head

48° 24.906N 123° 23.029W at the Breakwater Cafe 

From Parliament Buildings in Downtown Victoria:

  1. Drive to the end of Government St.
  2. Turn right on Dallas Road
  3. Turn left into Ogden Point parking lot

Parking: Free parking is available along Dallas Road near Ogden Point. There is also some paid parking available at Ogden Point, with one lot beside the Breakwater Cafe and another near the Helijet terminal.

Endpoint of the Trail

Intersection of Lochside Trails with Galloping Goose

48° 27.23N 123° 22.40W

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Turn off to Lochside Trails to the right and continue on Galloping Goose to the left.

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Road Crossing Leading up to the Switch Bridge.

Historical Significance of this Section

This section of the trail lies on unceded Coast Salish territory. In 1844, the Songhees people lived on the west shore of the inner harbor, just south of where the Galloping Goose Regional Trail now lies. At one point, long houses of the Songhees covered the shoreline from where the Johnson St. Bridge is now to Songhees Point. This area became a reserve in 1853 and continued to be a major Songhees village until 1911, when the land was purchased by the government as a part of the controversial Douglas Treaties.

This section also passes through the downtown Victoria area which was once a part of Fort Victoria, a fur-trading post of the Hudsons Bay Company. The parliament buildings, which house the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia were designed by Francis Rattenbury and built from 1893-1897 are shown in the photo file.

The Galloping Goose trail was created in 1987 along the old route of the Canadian National Railway from Victoria to the abandoned ghost town, Leechtown, where it connects to the old Sooke Water Flowline. It is disputed whether the trail is named after the old passenger car that once ran along this rail line. Parts of the Galloping Goose near the Esquimalt area run along a similar path to old water mains which use to run from the Sooke Reservoir to the city.

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Informational sign about the Galloping Goose Trail at the Switch Bridge Rest area

Other Web Links for info on this area:

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

History of Fort Victoria:

http://www.hbcheritage.ca/hbcheritage/history/places/stores/victoria

British Columbia Parliament Buildings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Columbia_Parliament_Buildings

 

 

 

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Totem Pole and informational sign about First Nations History.

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Example of a Sooke Water Distribution Line

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Parliament Buildings of B.C.

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As Recorded by Ellie McLeod

April 2017

 

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