The western portion of the Trans Canada Trail begins in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. From there, it travels north to Nanaimo, where it connects to the mainland by ferry at Departure Bay. The trail passes through scenic forest, mountain, coastal and rural areas, and visits several communities along its 200 kilometre route.
Many portions of the Trans Canada Trail on Vancouver Island are built on abandoned railway lines where the grades are gentle and many of the famous wooden trestle bridges have been upgraded for trail use. The trail surface is normally packed or paved. The trail is used by pedestrians, cyclists, and horseback riders. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on trails that are designated as Trans Canada Trail, though road connections are shared with vehicles.