Victoria On Foot: A Guide to Walking and Running Trails

Photo: chillbay

We know. You want to get out and explore the beautiful, outdoor paradise that is Vancouver Island, but you may not want to commit to a heart-pounding, day-long hike.

Have no fear. We’ve compiled a list of local routes that will appeal to you, whether you are a hardcore runner looking to tackle your next trail or a causal nature lover who likes your outdoor adventure at a slower pace (and maybe with a treat in hand, too).

Victoria On Foot: A Guide to Walking and Running Trails

By Alison Roach

  • UVic Ring Road

    By Alison Roach

    Take in the scenery of the [University of Victoria](http://www.uvic.ca/) by walking or running it's aptly named Ring Road, a circular route that takes you through the entire campus. Under two kilometers (or 1.2 miles), Ring Road is a largely flat and easy route that's made worthwhile by the collegiate ambience, beautifully landscaped surroundings and furry inhabitants—bunny sightings are par for the course.

  • UVic to Cadboro Bay

    By Alison Roach

    Want to experience the crisp atmosphere of post-secondary learning and a waterfront view? Modify the Ring Road route to take you through the university and down to the sandy beach of Cadboro Bay, which is southwest of the campus. Take [Alumni Chip Trail to where it connects with Henderson Chip](https://www.uvic.ca/home/about/campus-info/maps/maps/Jogging-map.pdf), then make your way south until you reach the water. This route takes about 45 minutes to an hour to walk, and includes trail, beach and wooden steps to climb. Feeling adventurous? Continue along Henderson Chip until it segues into the Mt. Tolmie path and be rewarded with a fabulous view at the summit.

  • Thetis Lake Regional Park

    By Alison Roach

    One of the largest natural reserves in the area, Thetis Lake Regional Park features several hikes of varying difficulty that circle the lakes and wind through a secluded forest. The Lower Thetis Lake is a popular route that takes about one hour to complete and is [easy to access](http://www.comfortcovecottage.ca/hiking/thetis-lake-park-victoria.shtml) from the parking lot. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit so you can take a dip in the lake after your journey is complete, and keep an eye out for the eagles.

  • Sooke Potholes

    By Alison Roach

    Nestled along the Sooke River is [Sooke Potholes Regional Park](http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/sooke_potholes/). Any one of the short trails will bring you to impressive viewpoints, but we recommend following the gravel path from parking lot #2. The trail heads down a steep hill, so be careful as you descend the rocky stairs. Steep as the hill may be, you’ll find it was worth the trek when you're greeted by the view of cascading waters that lead into the canyon below.

  • Beacon Hill Park

    By Alison Roach

    Behind the Legislative Assembly of BC is [Beacon Hill Park](http://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/departments/parks-rec-culture/parks/beacon-hill.html), a green space at the core of Victoria's urban downtown center. To take the longest route through Beacon Hill, follow Arbutus Way into the park and take Chestnut Row to Circle Drive, where you can circle around to come back north through Heywood Way and Bridge Way. The park includes various lakes, gardens, meadows and an outdoor performance pavilion, so take your time to explore.

  • Goldstream Provincial Park

    By Alison Roach

    Only 20 minutes from downtown Victoria, [Goldstream Provincial Park](http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/goldstream/goldstream_park_map.pdf) is 477 hectares of gorgeous coastal rainforest. The park is home to a huge salmon run, a railway trestle and the gold mine that gave the space its name. Park at the Visitor Centre for easy access to the short Bridge Trail, or take a longer trip on the Gold Mine Trail, which passes through the gold mine, the trestle and Niagara Falls (no, not that Niagara Falls—but still worth the view).

  • Island View Regional Park

    By Alison Roach

    If you dig trails that lead out of the city, check out [Island View Regional Park](https://www.crd.bc.ca/parks-recreation-culture/parks-trails/find-park-trail/island-view-beach), a two-kilometer (or 1.2-mile) round trip walk that meanders along the coastline. Head north from Island View Beach and make your way to one of the access trails. On the way back, walk along the inland trail through the salt marsh and back dunes. The entire trail circles the park, which looks over Haro Strait and is a hotspot for bird watchers and even paleontologists—the area has been the discovery site of many fossils of extinct animals.

  • Galloping Goose Trail

    By Jennifer Martin

    No list of Victoria trails is complete without the famed (and humorously named) Galloping Goose trail. Popular with hikers and bikers, this 55-kilometer (34-mile) trail runs between Victoria and the honest-to-goodness ghost town of [Leechtown](http://www.leechtownhistory.ca/) BC, just north of Sooke.

What are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to get outdoors and soak up the last rays of summer. Whether you’re looking to work up a sweat, or enjoy a casual walk in the fresh air, Victoria’s selection of scenic trails are sure to please.

Book Your Victoria Trip Now

Clipper Recommends:

  •  Scratch the famous Butchart Gardens off your bucket list and stroll along the numerous quiet, garden paths that wind through the 55-acre grounds and catch all the beautiful flowers while they are in full bloom!

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