I love nature and exploring new trails. Being outdoors has a healing energy and can provide great memories for you and your family.
Recently, I was lucky enough to explore Victoria, British Columbia and find out the best places to visit this Spring.
MOUNT DOUGLAS PARK
Whether you’re after a workout or some quiet reflection, head to Mount Douglas Park. A short drive from downtown, this urban hiking favourite offers more than 20 kilometres of woodsy trails — from easy walks to steep scrambles.
The road to the top (Churchill Drive) is closed to vehicles until noon, so the pavement walkers grinding it out have free rein. If you’re a cyclist, the 1.5 km ascent makes for a gnarly climb. On a clear day, expect sensational views of the Saanich Peninsula, Gulf and San Juan Islands and Cascade and Olympic Mountains from the summit lookout.
GOWLLAND TOD PROVINCIAL PARK & MCKENZIE BIGHT TRAIL
It’s tough to recommend only one trail in the Gowlland Tod Provincial Park system given there are 25 kilometres of magic to explore. Still, the McKenzie Bight Trail is a satisfying place to start. It will take you less than 30 minutes of downhill through lush forest to reach the Saanich Inlet. The tidal pools there are clear, almost tropical, and the rocky outcroppings are flanked by arbutus trees. It feels like one big expanse of sky and sea. Take a blanket and a picnic and lounge for the afternoon. Watch for eagles and marine life and the occasional boat slipping past.
If you’re hankering for a more serious hike, try the Timberman Trail to Jocelyn Hill for dramatic views of Finlayson Arm and the Malahat Drive — basically as far as the eye can see.
REGIONAL TRAIL SYSTEMS
Victoria earns the title of Canada’s cycling capital fair and square: as of 2011, more than twice as many Victorians biked to work than residents of any other city in Canada. Sure, our mild climate helps, but we also have some stellar trails that make biking a breeze.
From downtown, hop on the Galloping Goose Trail, a 55-kilometre-long repurposed rail line that will take you to great picnicking spots like Thetis Lake or Matheson Lake. If you’re up for a longer haul, pedal all the way to Sooke Potholes, where you can plunge into one of the deep rock pools carved into the Sooke River.
Alternatively, ride the Lochside Trail about 30 kilometres to Sidney, where you can reward yourself with lunch on the patio at Haro’s Restaurant + Bar. Bonus: as former rail lines, both trails are relatively flat. If going free-range seems a bit daunting, check out Bike Tours Victoria or The Pedaler tours.
The Pedaler’s Castles, Hoods & Legends is a two-hour journey through local neighbourhoods such as funky Fernwood and Cook Street Village. Along the way you’ll get to see iconic landmarks like Craigdarroch Castle and one of the tallest totem poles in the world. Other options include a rolling feast of Victoria’s culinary gems, a tour of craft breweries and an option to get dropped off at The Butchart Gardens and bike the 25 kilometres back into town.
For More Things To See and Do –
Watch the video below!
To take in some spectacular views and try a different way of traveling, Helijet has transportation from downtown Vancouver to Victoria daily.
Helijet has my favourite lounge! With snacks, coffee, tea and juices and the bathrooms have lovely amenities like toiletries for women to freshen up with.
The team at Helijet are always so kind and a delight to fly with. I can high recommend Helijet as a wonderful service and the best views of Victoria and the Vancouver harbour! Check out Stanley Park on the way over.
Stay tuned for my next travel blog where I talk about all the Best Family Travel Tips for Victoria and beyond!
Thank you for reading my blog.
Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest.
Let’s explore some wonderful places and have the very best 2018!
Visit Sacha daily at SachaD.com