Viewed 772 times, downloaded 5 times
near Swartz Bay, British Columbia (Canada)
Parking at Tsawassen Terminal $16 for 24 hours. Bike with rider on Ferry $18 one way. On arrival at Swartz Bay Terminal, bikes leave ferry first, must walk the first 50-100m with disembarking pedestrians.This track starts at a quick pace up to the exit to the Lochside trail, this gets one onto the quiet track before the worst of the ferry traffic is going. It you prefer not to rush and still avoid noise and exhaust, pull over in rest area on right 100 m from ferry ramp, you can go up an elevator and start from the upper parking lot. On highway, at top of first gentle incline, pass under the Land's End Road overpass, then watch for the Lochside Trail sign on right and turn onto a narrow paved path that goes around a 180 degree corner (hard to see this) and then cross above the highway on the Lands End Road overpass. The Lochside Trail easy to follow from there, with frequent signage. It's mostly motor vehicle free, or on low traffic country roads and farm lanes.
Lochside trail is a mix of paved and light gravel, with a few gentle hill sections. There are also road or street sections along the waterfront south of Sidney, around the Monkey Tree Pub in North Victoria, and in Esquimalt. These are busier, however they are easy cycling with broad, well maintained, clearly marked bike shoulders.
The track passes a farm market about half-way, and passes the Matock's Farm Shops and Adrianne's teahouse on outskirts of Victoria, a very popular bicycle stop.
Trail ends in Esquimalt, and the final approach to Victoria crosses the Johnson Street (light blue) lift-bridge. This is narrow single lane with a slow grated surface (alternatively can walk bike on sidewalk to bypass this short bridge section). Approaches to bridge under renovation in March 2016.
Downtown Victoria is relatively bicycle friendly, and car traffic is usually slow and courteous.
Paved bike trail and local country lanes with no vehicle traffic. Passes the Town of Sidney. This segment ends at a Farm Market, good stop for refreshment. Popular at Haloween.
Mix of country lanes, light gravel bike paths, and paved bike paths. Several long wooden causeways with cross-boards cross lakes and ravines, the longest one crosses "the Gorge" near Esquimalt, a senic part of Victoria Harbour.
The north part of this segment is reminiscent of the southern English farming countryside. The tea house at Mattocks Farm is a popular stop for bicycles; this is where the rural trails transition to city trails.