Victoria Area (Pacific Trailhead to Malahat)

Map Legend & Disclaimer

Note that you can click on each object on the map to obtain details about it.

Trans Canada Trail Legend:

Trans Canada Trail Pavilion
Multi-Use Route (Cycling & Walking)
Hiking Only Route (No Cycling)
Equestrian Route (May Allow Cyclists/Walkers)
Paddling/Water Route
Temporary Bypass or Unofficial TCT Route
Trans Canada Trail Closed
Obstacle or Warning (click it for details)

Alternate Route Legend:

Alternate Route for Cyclists & Walkers
Alternate Route for Hiking
Alternate Route for Equestrians
Connection Point to the Trans Canada Trail

Google Maps Legend:

Map menu to access highlights, campsites, grocery stores, parking areas, toilets and more!
Click the grey star at the top of the map to favourite it in Google Maps, so you can pull it up later in your Google Maps app's "My Places".

Disclaimer: This trail information is subject to changes. While reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information on this site is correct, Trails BC makes no warranty about the accuracy of this information and accepts no liability for any inconvenience or any direct or consequential loss arising from reliance upon this information. Be sure to check our Latest Trail Closures before heading out and read our full disclaimer!.

Please contact Trails BC if you require in-depth trail knowledge or have suggestions or corrections. Support us by becoming a member or donating funds!

GPS Downloads

  • KML/KMZ files can be opened in Google Earth, and many smartphone apps.
  • GPX files can be opened by most GPS software apps when KMZ cannot. Note, GPX files do not contain custom colours and icons that we use on our maps; all tracks and icons will appear the same colour and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead of GPX if possible.

The files below include data for only this specific area. For all of our Trans Canada Trail data for the entire province (including features, campsites and alternate routes), download our BC.kmz master file (1.2 MB)

Visit our GPS & Navigation page for instructions of how to use your smartphone as a GPS device (even when outside of data coverage) or how to import data to your Garmin unit.

About the Route: 

Victoria is the largest city on Vancouver Island and is the capital of British Columbia. The region includes many municipalities that have grown together into an area known as Greater Victoria. Victoria is a popular tourist spot, famous for its "British" character, gardens, and moderate climate. A must see for new visitors to the city is the Royal BC Musem. Much of the Trans Canada Trail in the Victoria area follows established regional trails, mostly on the famous Galloping Goose rail trail.

  • Clover Point - the proposed Pacific Trailhead
  • Near Clover Point
  • Inner Harbour
  • Selkirk Trestle on the Galloping Goose
  • Switch Bridge north of downtown
  • Galloping Goose trail near Thetis Lake
  • Galloping Goose near Aldeane Road
  • Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail along the E&N railway
  • Suspension Bridge on the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail
  • Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail (in the Watershed)
  • Sooke HIlls Wilderness Trail (north of the Watershed near CVRD boundary)

Trail Highlights and Developments: 

The western (or "Pacific") terminus of the Trans Canada Trail is situated at Clover Point where one can dip their feet into the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean - a quintessential moment for anyone beginning or finishing their journey! Clover Point is located on the Victoria waterfront near Beacon Hill Park.

From Clover Point to the Johnson Street Bridge, the route is mostly developed, but trail improvements will continue during and beyond 2017, such as the construction of footbridges at Heron Cove and Raymur Point (close to Fisherman's Wharf) and improvements to the sidewalks and foot trails. This trail development is called the "David Foster Way". In early 2016, city council voted for this route to be pedestrian-only, which would help alleviate some of the costs associated with developing the trail. Please note, since the David Foster Pathway is a pedestrian-only route, touring cyclists are encouraged to cycle along adjacent roadways from Clover Point to the Johnson Street Bridge instead. However, the pathway between Fisherman's Wharf and Johnson Street Bridge would be a shame to miss; you can certainly walk your bicycle along this portion. The section in front of the Empress Hotel can be extremely busy during the summer, so cyclists pushing loaded bicycles may want to skip this section.

Most of the Trans Canada Trail in the Victoria area follows the Galloping Goose Trail, a regional rail trail that starts at the west end of the Johnson Street Bridge. The trail travels north to the Switch Bridge, which allows trail users to cross the Trans Canada Highway. At the north end of the Switch Bridge, the trail meets the Lochside Trail, another regional trail which leads to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, connecting to the Southern Gulf Islands other trails on the mainland. The Trans Canada Trail continues west along the Galloping Goose Trail to Langford.

The route in Langford utilizes urban trails to the West Hills housing development, reaching the Humpback Reservoir, then begins its climb over the Malahat following the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail, which opened in late June 2017. The route passes Goldstream Provincial Park and finally reaches the boundary with the Cowichan Valley Regional District. Important to note for touring cyclists; the route over the Malahat can be a very tough climb in either direction. Those carrying heavy panniers or towing a trailer may want to use our Malahat Bypass Route.

The Trans Canada Trail proudly shares its entire route within the Victoria area with the Vancouver Island Spine Trail, which when completed will form a 700 km trail (mainly hiking) north along the island all the way to Cape Scott!

About the Gaps: 

Two footbridges along the David Foster Harbour Pathway in the Inner Harbour are planned for the future - so are considered "gaps" in the Trail route. For more information, visit the City of Victoria's page for details.

The portion of the TCT between Langford and the Cowichan Valley is NOW OPEN AND OPERATIONAL, closing a significant gap in the Trail.

Trail Operator: 

The trail route in the city of Victoria is managed by the City of Victoria. From the Johnson Street Bridge to the Selkirk Trestle, the operator is the city of Victoria. From the Selkirk Trestle to Langford on the Galloping Goose, the trail operator is the Capital Regional District. Technically, the Galloping Goose is owned by the Ministry of Transportation and leased to the CRD. The short portion in Langford between the Goose and Humpback Reservoir is operated by the city of Langford. The Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail is operated by the CRD.

Trail Stewards and Volunteers: 

No volunteer trail stewards are in place along this section of the Trans Canada Trail. All maintenance issues should be brought to the attention of the City of Victoria or the Capital Regional District. If you see any issues along the trail, snap a photo and provide a detailed description of the location (or better, provide GPS coordinates). Trails BC appreciates being kept aware of any issues along the trail route as well.

Other Regional Trail Groups: 

Parking & Staging Areas

Free overnight parking can be a bit difficult to find, but many parkades are located in the downtown core. For day parking, plenty of parking can be found along Dallas Road. Staging areas can be found along the Galloping Goose, such as at Atkins, Roche Cove and Sooke River Road.

Public Washrooms

Washrooms are available along the city route. Once on the Galloping Goose, toilets are located at some of the staging areas. Please refer to our maps.

Accommodations

It may be difficult to locate camping within the city, but some RV sites exist outside the core. A little known fact is that tent camping is permitted in Beacon Hill Park from dusk to dawn but is really meant for those without the means to afford other shelter. Bed and Breakfasts, AirBnB and hotels are located throughout the city.

Shopping & Provisions

All provisions can be located in Victoria, including many outdoor recreation and cycling shops. Repairs are available throughout the city. Langford is also a good area to locate supplies.

Transportation

The Greyhound terminal is located behind the Empress Hotel at the corner of Douglas (Trans Canada Hwy) and Belleville. Harbour Air provides a quick transport to Vancouver and other locations throughout the island - from its convenient location in the Inner Harbour. The regional airport is located north, a short trip off the Lochside Trail.

Printable Maps & Directions (PDF)

Directions: Northbound

VICTORIA TO LANGFORD/MALAHAT:

Start at Clover Point, the southernmost point of the mainland within the city of Victoria. There is a suitable paved ramp which allows visitors to dip their feet in the ocean. Leaving Clover Point,  pedestrians can use the paved walking trail travelling west along the escarpment, which runs for about 3 km to Ogden Point and the cruise ship terminal. Cyclists are not permitted to use this trail, so simply follow Dallas Road.

At Ogden Point, the proposed route follows the future David Foster Pathway, which winds its way along the shoreline all the way to Johnson Street Bridge. From Ogden Point, simply follow Dallas Road north to Fishermans Wharf Park, where the footpath truly begins. To keep the directions simple, simply stay as close to the shoreline as possible, and you will eventually round Laurel Point, pass the Black Ball ferry terminal and step down onto the Inner Harbour Basin walkway. The trail continues north, around Ship Point, past the seaplane docks and ending just short of the Johnson Street Bridge - cross the bridge to Victoria West. Cyclists are not permitted to ride along these pathways, but certainly can walk their bikes aong the whole route. Otherwise, follow the paved streets that run parallel to the route.

On the west side of the Johnson Street Bridge (the big bridge that crosses the Harbour), the road is known as Esquimalt Road, and slopes downhill towards traffic lights. Turn right onto Harbour Road, which runs north and offers generous sidewalks and bike lanes. You will pass shipyards on the right and new commericial and residential developments on the left, called Dockside Green. Harbour Road runs for 500 metres in a straight line before turning left to meet Tyee Rd; at this turn, the trail leaves Harbour Road (across from the cafe), heading north on the Galloping Goose trail. This trailhead is marked by a large totem pole and a "trail counter" (counting the number of trail users).

The Galloping Goose continue north. It is a former railway, named for the gasoline powered locomotives that once ran along it. Generally, walkers should stay on the brick path on the east (water side), and bikers should use the blacktop path on the west, until the trail paths converge at the Selkirk Trestle. Check out the Trans Canada Trail pavilion on the left! Proceed over Selkirk Trestle. Following the trail north for the next 2.3 kilometres is simple and straightforward.

It is useful to note, that as a former rail line, the trail never makes any abrupt turns or steep climbs/descents. In the very few places it does, it only serves as a short bypass around obstacles, such as roads or developments which interrupted the railway right of way. So if you do suddenly find yourself headed in a completely new direction, or heading up a steep hill, you've probably lost the trail; retrace your steps to point where you lost the trail and consider "which way would a train go?".

At the 8 kilometre mark from Clover Point, the TCT climbs over the Trans Canada Highway on the "switch bridge". On the other side, the trail splits. To the left, the Galloping Goose runs west alongside the highway on its way to Langford and eventually Sooke. To the right, the Lochside (another rail trail) runs through a tunnel, past Swan Lake, and continues north to Sidney, the airport and the Swartz Bay ferry terminal. Go LEFT to Langford/Sooke! Within 100 metres, you should find yourself on the trail beside the highway.

For those following the TCT to the Cowichan Valley, please note: The trail route over the Malahat involves a lot of climbing. It is a very physically demanding route that will be challenging to those cyclists towing trailers or hauling panniers. Consider leaving the official route in 1 kilometre at Interurban Road / the Colquitz River trail. Refer to our Malahat Bypass route page if you think this might be a good idea. The bypass route is a little complicated to follow but very flat and pleasant.

The TCT runs along the Galloping Goose for another 12.6 km, and continues to be quite straightforward. There are two tricky places, however. The first will occur 9 km from the Switch Bridge, when the trail reaches Wale Rd. Although you can see the path continuing on the other side of the road, a sign instructs you to turn left. The reason for this is because shortly ahead, the Galloping Goose crosses the very busy Old Island Highway. At some point in the future, a bridge will be constructed to allow users to continue straight ahead - but for the time being, the crossing is uncontrolled and hazardous - so turn left onto Wale. At the lights (Old Island Hwy), cross the highway on the crosswalk. Do not proceed straight along Ocean Boulevard! Turn right and proceed on the wide sidewalk on the left side of the highway for 100 metres. There, you will see the Galloping Goose continuing on your left side. From here, the surface is unpaved, finely crushed gravel.

After another 3 kilometres, the trail reaches the intersection of the Veteran's Memorial Highway and Kelly Road. Here, the route leaves the Galloping Goose.

The route crosses the Parkway and travels along Kelly Road (aka Jenkins Road) for about 700 metres. Walkers can use the pathway on the north side of the road. Cyclists can use a bike lane on the road itself. At the intersection of Jacklin, turn right for about 100 metres, then turn left at Rex Road. There is a paved trail that runs beside Rex - use the trail to travel west for about 1 km. At the end of the trail, continue uphill on Glen Lake Road. Where the road begins to turn left, turn right, entering the pathway between Belmont Secondary (on your left) and the soccer field (on your right). Continue on the pathway, which climbs uphill to a crest, then runs down a switchback and meets the Westshore Parkway. Turn left and follow the pathway; a nice park with playground will be on your left side. After 200 metres, cross the parkway - a trail running behind the houses runs perpendicular to the Westshore Parkway along a river in the forest. The trail crosses the river and continues on the opposite side, emerging at a derelict booth used for the campground that was once located here. Turn right onto a driveway, and left onto the road - this is Irwin Road - headed 800 metres towards the Humpback Reservoir. The Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail starts between the two parking areas - it will slip through the closed gate as this area is closed to vehicles. An info kiosk marks the start of the trail.

The trail is a wide gravel service road, leading to a gate, crosses a road, then a well surfaced, but steep, trail climbs up over a hump, then back down to run alongside the E&N railway. The trail turns left and leads down to a suspension bridge over the river. On the other side, the route turns right on a service road - and uses this road virtually all the way to the northern boundary of the watershed. It is a long steady climb, though the first long hill is definitely the worst (for now).

At the top of the road, a gate leads into a clearcut, and the trail descends - and ascends - and descends over and over again until it reaches "Trail Way" (a paved road with a gate). Here the trail splits; a hiking route crosses the road, takes a left, then an immediate right on a utility road. Within a few metres, the route leaves the road, climbing up a hill to the right. It continues to climb up to the height of land, then gradually turns east and drops down to Goldstream Heights - a total distance of about 1 km. For cyclists, when you reach Trail Way, turn right, heading east to the intersection of Goldstream Heights Road and turn left, taking the main road north - a long uphill climb. At the intersection of Finlayson View Road, the two trails merge and the paved multi-use trail continues north - on the west side (and parallel) to Finlayson View Road. Within 300 metres, you will reach the CVRD boundary.

Directions: Southbound

MALAHAT TO VICTORIA:

The route over the Malahat involves a lot of up and down. We have a bypass route that utilizes quiet roads, pathways and a short ferry ride - we do not recommend following the Trans Canada Highway for safety reasons. For more information, please contact Trails BC for our recommendations and advice for making the trip safe and straightforward. The bypass route runs from roughly the Kinsol Trestle to the Galloping Goose just north of downtown Victoria; it lops off a lot of the Trans Canada Trail but is much easier for those hauling trailers or panniers.

The Trans Canada Trail route enters the Capital Regional District from the Cowichan Valley Regional District roughly at the height of the Malahat (mountain pass). From the boundary marker, the trail continues south for about 300 metres, then encounters the intersection of Finlayson View Road and Goldstream Heights Road. From here, the trail splits; a hiking trail begins on the opposite side of the road, climbing west, up to a lookout point, then south to Trail Way (another paved road), a total distance of 1 km. The biking route instead follows Goldstream Heights Road south, downhill, then turns right (west) on Trail Way for about 150 metres. The two trail merge and travel south for about 2 km, climbing uphill (frankly there is a lot of uphill AND downhill) to the boundary of the CRD Watershed - marked by a gate. From here, the route whisks users downhill - a fast descent - on a quiet service road. A red gate marks the end of the service road at the bottom - users should turn left onto a wooded trail that crosses a suspension bridge, and meets another service road and the E & N railway. The trail is easy to follow - it climbs over a large hill, then descends to Humpback Reservoir. Once outside the Watershed property, the trail route is signed by the city of Langford; it follows Irwin Road south for about 800 metres, then turns right, then a quick left into a disused campground. The trail eventually emerges from the forest at the Westshore Parkway. Cross the parkway and turn left (north) for 200 metres (a park will be on your right). Turning right will take you up a pathway and short switchback uphill to a trail that runs parallel to Langford Lake Road, in a east direction. Continue through Belmont Secondary School, connecting to Glen Lake Road, downhill to a crosswalk, crossing left onto the paved trail. After about 1 km, the trail reachs Jacklin Road - turn right, reaching Jenkins. Turn left onto Jenkins. The walking route follows a sidewalk along the north side of Jenkins. Cyclists should probably use the bike lanes on the road. Continue along Jenkins (becomes Kelly) for about 700 metres to Veteran's Memorial Parkway. The Galloping Goose to Victoria can be found on the NE corner of this intersection, travelling east.

From here, the route is straightforward along a finely crushed gravel trail. The "Goose" is a fomer railway, named after the gasoline powered locomotives which once ran along it. It is useful to note, that as a former rail line, the trail never makes any abrupt turns or steep climbs/descents. In the very few places it does, it only serves as a short bypass around obstacles, such as roads or developments which interrupted the railway right of way. So if you do suddenly find yourself headed in a completely new direction, or heading up a steep hill, you've probably lost the trail; retrace your steps to point where you lost the trail and consider "which way would a train go?".

After about 3.5 km from Veteran's Parkway, the trail crosses the Old Island Highway, past Royal Roads University, runs under a wooden bridge, and once again arrives to the busy Old Island Highway. Although the trail is visible on the opposite side, signage will direct you to turn right and follow the sidewalk along the highway. This is a temporary bypass because the highway crossing is uncontrolled and hazardous. At the first set of lights (Ocean Blvd on the right, Wale Rd on the left), cross Ocean Blvd, then turn left and cross the highway using the crosswalks. Follow Wale Rd for 250 metres, where the trail will continue to your right at the crosswalk (Nob Hill Road). From here, the Goose is almost entirely paved all the way to downtown Victoria.

Eventually, you'll find yourself traveling adjacent to the Trans Canada Highway, crossing major roads such as McKenzie and Tillicum. Within 1 km of crossing Tillicum, the trail will veer to the left away from the highway and split. Straight ahead is the Lochside Trail, another rail trail which runs north to Sidney, the airport and the Swartz Bay ferry terminal. Quite often people will accidently continue this direction through the tunnel, so no need for embarrassment if you need to turn around and go back - the correct direction at the split is to go RIGHT towards downtown Victoria. You'll immediately climb a short hill and go over the highway on the "Switch Bridge".

The next 2 km from the bridge is a pleasant urban trail experience, and cross the Selkirk Trestle. The trail splits, so veer left to stay on the main trail, passing the Trans Canada Trail Pavilion (on your right side). Continue on the trail as it follows the shoreline. Walkers are encouraged to travel on the left (water) side, bikers on the right to alleviate conflicts due to high trail use at rush hour. The Galloping Goose ceases to be a dedicated trail when it reaches the trailhead at Harbour Road, marked by a totem pole. This can be a confusing area for new trail users - turn left onto Harbour Road, continuing south, using the bike lane or sidewalk, following the waterfront - with shipyards on your left, and new developments popping up on your right.

You will reach the traffic lights at Esquimalt Road. This whole area is being revamped with the construction of the Johnson Street Bridge between now and 2018. Turn left to follow Esquimalt Road which crosses the current bridge. Bicyclists must use the roadway, but the drivers must allow you full use of the lane. Important: walkers should walk along the south sidewalk on Esquimalt! The north side of the bridge has no sidewalk!

You will now find yourself in downtown Victoria. Walkers and bicyclists' routes are split from now on. Walkers should turn right on Wharf St, but immediately after passing two small abandoned buildings (Northern Junk), clamber down stairs through a small grass square to the Harbour Pathway. The walkway and boardwalks meander along the harbour quays all the way to the Parliament buildings. Passing below the tourist info centre, the path runs south to Belleville St (note the Legislature Buildings ahead).

Bicyclists cannot ride on the pathway so from the Johnson Street Bridge should continue south on Wharf St, which eventually combines with Government Street - or simply walk your bike along the trail.

The Trans Canada Trail (walking route) follows the Inner Harbour Pathway in front of the Empress Hotel, then turns west, past the Black Ball ferry terminal, as well as Laurel Point, Fisherman's Wharf, and swinging south towards Ogden Point along Dallas Road. From Ogden Point, a generous sidewalk and walking trail follows the shoreline east towards Clover Point, running over 3 km of fantastic scenery. Again, cyclists must ride on the roadways or walk their bikes along the trail. Once around Holland Point and Finlayson Point, you'll see Clover Point proudly jutting out into the ocean. Upon arriving to Clover Point (the parking area), a paved ramp allows visitors to access the shoreline where you can dip your toes or your bike tire!

Report a Trail Closure

ONLY USE THIS FORM TO REPORT CLOSURES ON THE TRANS CANADA TRAIL / THE GREAT TRAIL.

Trail maintenance issues are the responsibility of the Trail Steward, which is either the trail owner or a group given authorization to perform maintenance work. Trails BC is a trail steward for a very limited number of trail segments on the Trans Canada Trail; unfortunately, if a major trail issue occurs along the Trans Canada Trail, there is often very little we can do about it - but we can try to pass on the information to the trail steward, if one exists.

Information such as a precise location (GPS waypoint), photo, as well as your contact information is extremely helpful to ensure the problem is accurately reported.

AGAIN, DO NOT USE THIS FORM TO SUBMIT NOTICES ABOUT TRAILS THAT ARE NOT PART OF THE TRANS CANADA TRAIL. We will simply delete the submission and it will not be posted or passed on to anyone. If you need to report a closure on such a trail, please determine the trail owner or operator and send a notice to them.

Would it be unwise to continue through the closure or blockage? You may add more detail in your report.
Please enter your trail closure report. Include a GPS location or a detailed description of its precise location.
JPG format only, 3 MB max. You must click "upload" after selecting file.
If the blockage/closure can be bypassed, please include your recommended route to do so!