This is a walking, biking and riding trail that often parallels the roads of North Saanich, Sidney, Central Saanich, Saanich and Victoria. Starting from the Swartz Bay BC Ferry Terminal, it is about thirty-three kilometers to Victoria. This journey takes an average cyclist about 2 hours to reach Victoria. At the junction with Douglas Street, the Lochside Trail changes its name to the Galloping Goose Trail which continues through Saanich, Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and onto Sooke. The entire route is over fifty-five kilometers one way and provides an excellent way to see these communities.
Geographic coordinates N48° 40’ 60” W123° 24’ 43” near Lands End and Dolphin roads.
The three kilometer section from the ferry, within North Saanich, to Sidney is picturesque. The Lochside Trail starts just after passing under the Lands End Road overpass. This over pass is close to the ferry terminal. Cyclists exit to the right before the merge lane from Lands End Road and take the trail on the meridian. There is an information map to review before going up the trail to the bridge. This allows cyclists to safely avoiding the traffic on Pat Bay Highway (#17). The bridge leads to the traffic lights forming the junction of Lands End Road with Kitti Wake Place and Dolphin Road. When returning to the ferry, follow the signs along Dolphin Road to reach the cyclist entrance. To head to Sidney continue along Lands End Road to Kitti Wake Place then turn right. Once on Curteis Road, stay right to ease onto Swartz Bay Road. This road terminates to become the Lochside Trail.
As you travel along the paved trail you’ll see and smell the muddy tidal flats of Tsehum Harbour Lagoon. This mud estuary is a protected area and is excellent to see a variety of wildlife including Great blue herons, diving and bottom feeding birds, otters and the occasional seal. The boat marinas provide some marvelous photo opportunities. This section parallels the Pat Bay Highway to the overpass of Wain Road and McDonald Park Road. There is an information display board near the corner, which is part for the Tsehum Harbour Lagoon Park.
Lochside Trail continues along McDonald Park Road. This relatively quiet road passes McDonald Park and campground, Nymph Point Park, Blue Heron Park, Parkland Secondary School Green Space and Lillian Hoffar Park. There are glimpses of water and yachts at along the way. At the junction with Resthaven Drive, the trail continues into Sidney paralleling McDonald Park Road to the highway.
Once you pass though the section of the Lochside Trail in Sidney there is another short section that continues through the District of North Saanich. Lochside Drive and Lochside Trail parallel each other for the next three kilometers along the waterfront of Bazan Bay. This bay is part of the Salish Sea with the islands of Sidney and James in the forefront. These green spaces and parks along the Bazan Bay shore at can be used for beach access: Reay Estuary, Driftwood Beach, Bazan Bay Road, Cy Hampson Park, Amity Drive and Wardle Road.
For maps of the Lochside and Galloping Goose Trail, see the CRD brochure.