Did you know...
Saanich, the largest of the four core municipalities in Victoria, is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
There is regular ferry service to Victoria/Saanich from Vancouver, Anacortes, Seattle and Port Angeles, Washington. And yes, you can take your bike on the ferry!
Cycling In Saanich
The Saanich Bicycle Touring Route/Seaside Touring Route circumnavigates the Municipality of Saanich. Wherever possible, it follows the Galloping Goose or Lochside Trails; elsewhere it uses rural or residential roads. The eastern section offers spectacular ocean views; the northern section passes Elk and Prospect Lakes, both with excellent swimming and picnic facilities; to the west are rural undeveloped forested areas and farms; the southern section follows the Galloping Goose trail which overlooks the Portage Inlet.
The total circle route is approximately 45 km, but cyclists preferring a shorter route may follow a smaller loop by taking any of the many other bicycle routes within Saanich. Bicycle symbols on a bright yellow back-ground clearly mark the route direction as it passes through Saanich.
The Galloping Goose Trail is an off-road multi-use regional trail system along an abandoned rail right of way. The trail serves a variety of users from all age groups, including walkers, cyclists, and roller bladers and accommodates strollers and wheel chairs
The Lochside Trail begins at the Switch bridge and travels north to Sidney and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.
The Bikeway Network Map shows the cycling network in Saanich. The network consists of the Regional trails, commuter routes, local connectors and touring routes. The locations of the installed infrastructure is available here.
Points of InterestMount Douglas summit, accessible via a paved, but steep, park road, is the highest point within Saanich. The lookout provides a 360o view over-looking downtown Victoria and the Olympic Mountains to the south, the San Juan Islands and Mt. Baker to the east and the North Shore Mountains behind Vancouver to the north. Mount Douglas Park beach is a long sandy beach.
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory offers panoramic views of southern Vancouver Island and also an opportunity to visit the telescope. It is a steady 5-6% climb to the summit.
Hartland Mountain Bike Park is accessed via Hartland Road in the Saanich northwest corner. Detailed information and maps for this superb mountain bike park are available at most bike shops.
The Seaside Touring Route offers spectacular ocean vistas all along the eastern section of the route. Watch for Saanich Park's beach access signs that often mark secluded coves and beaches. Especially look for Cadboro-Gyro Park Beach in Cadboro Bay, Hollydene Park and Arbutus Cove.
A short scenic side loop through Glencoe Cove-Kwatsech Park overlooks Glencoe Cove with an unobstructed panorama of Haro Straits and the San Juan Islands. If you venture into the park, please walk your bike and stay on the trail, many rare, protected plants grow here.
Other points of interest along the eastern section of the route are the University of Victoria and Mt. Tolmie lookout, possibly the best view of the entire Greater Victoria region. Mt Tolmie has annually won first place for best location in the region to “take-in a scenic vista” of the greater Victoria area as voted by readers of community newspapers.
For more cycle touring information, visit the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition touring web site.