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Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Blog, Canada, Cycling Routes, Pacific Northwest | 0 comments

Bikepacking on BC’s Saanich Peninsula

Do Lochside and Galloping Goose mean anything to you? If so, you’ve probably cycled the Saanich Peninsula on lower Vancouver Island. The trails get you around the Victoria area, up to Sidney and over to Sooke. We went up there recently and had a great time bikepacking.

The MV Coho, out of Port Angeles, gets you to Victoria in 90 minutes, or you can come down on the BC Ferries Tsawwassen ferry from Vancouver, also in 90 minutes, to Sidney. The Lochside Trail connects Sidney and Victoria. We camped at Sidney, explored around on our bikes on the way back, then went down the Galloping Goose trail a ways and bike-camped there as well.

We loved the two connecting trails. They are well-maintained, have great signage, and offer connections to the towns, ferries, and rural landscape on the Peninsula.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable mini-vacation by bike.

Here are some pictures of the trip:

Wooded Lochside

Lochside Trail is intermittently unpaved with a very nice hard-packed surface. And a wonderful tree canopy. And horses.

Softball break

A Lochside Trail stop included a bike repair stand, nearby water and restrooms…and softball!

Roughing it

We travel pretty light when bikepacking, but that doesn’t keep us from provisioning with cheese, bread and wine to accompany our freeze-dried dinner.

Wood trail signs

Most trail signs were what you’d expect: modern, painted metal. Nice to see these quaint wooden ones.

The Switch Bridge offers a bike-friendly water fountain and train-themed bike rack. This is where the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails meet.

The Switch Bridge offers a bike-friendly water fountain and train-themed bike rack. This is where the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails meet.

Selkirk Trestle

Wooden trestles were abundant on the trails. This is the Selkirk Trestle just out of downtown Victoria.

Fisgard Lighthouse

Susie eyes the Fisgard Lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill Historic Park from the road cutting across the Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood.

Bike rack at Six Mile Pub

The bike rack at Six Mile Pub notes that it’s “Proud to be a biker’s bar” and offers complimentary bike locks at the bar. The pub, off the Goose in the View Royal area, is the oldest in B.C.

The Empress Hotel

Wharf Street in front of the Empress Hotel has generous bike lanes.

Bike parking on the Coho

Bike parking on the MV Coho is conveniently located on the forward deck.

 

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