The Lochside Regional Trail is located in the Capital Regional District
(CRD) on Vancouver Island. The 29 km (18 miles) long, multi-use
trail starts past the 5 km mark of the Galloping Goose Trail just
over the north side of the Switch Bridge near the Uptown development
The Lochside Regional Trail uses a combination of gravel and pavement
over an old rail bed, once the property of Canadian National Railways
dating back to 1917. The Lochside Spur originally linked Victoria
with Bazan Bay, with an additional spur linking Patricia Bay located
on the east side of Saanich Inlet facing the Malahat. Today the
Lochside Trail goes through Saanich,
Saanich and the Town
of Sidney, eventually to the BC Ferries Terminal at Swartz Bay.
You can walk, cycle, roller blade, skateboard or even horseback
ride certain sections of the old rail right-of-way. The route is
generally flat all the way and is made up of a combination of travelling
through both residential areas on Lochside Drive and agricultural
lands on gravel sections. The Lochside Regional Trail goes past
Swan and Blenkinsop Lakes and, at times, visitors can enjoy several
ocean viewpoints towards the Gulf Islands from Bazan and Cordova
The trail starts at the old railway wye on the Galloping Goose Regional
Trail, then takes an easterly direction under overpasses for Blanshard
Street and Vernon Avenue. From here it travels next to the Saanich
Municipal Buildings and to Swan Lake. This section of the trail
offers beautiful views of Swan Lake and the nearby Christmas Hill
Once at the 5 km marker of the trail, it then crosses over Saanich
Road to the Swan Trestle which goes over a large wetland on the
way to Quadra Street. After Quadra Street, the trail uses access
through the Borden Mercantile property behind the Saanich Centre
coming out on McKenzie Avenue.
The trail then crosses McKenzie Avenue to Borden Street, then east
on Cedar Hill Cross Road to Lochside Drive. The trail now follows
Lochside Drive past Don Mann Excavating and junctions to either
the Blenkinsop Greenway cycling trail to the east by going through
farmers' fields or the Lochside Trail rail right-of-way to the north.
One of the highlights of the Lochside Regional Trail has to be the
Blenkinsop Trestle just north of the Blenkinsop Greenway junction.
The trestle uses pilings from the original rail bridge and allows
the trail to span over Blenkinsop Lake. A good spot to stop on the
trestle is by 'Roy,' a bronze statue, dedicated to the farmers of
the Blenkinsop Valley and enjoy the view of the lake with Mount
Douglas in the background.
After Blenkinsop Trestle the trail, heading north, goes through
a section of wetlands and farm areas well noted for birdwatching
potential. A large number of species of birds can be found here,
including sightings of raptors catching prey and the rare sighting
of owls during the early day resting period. If you are interested
in hiking, you can break off Lochside Trail at Lohbrunner Road East
and cross Blenkinsop Road for the walk up and through Mount Douglas
The Lochside Regional Trail, after Lohbrunner Road East, travels
next to the agricultural land through groves of trees, which during
the summer time, form tunnels of shady tree boughs over the route
for the next few kilometres. Eventually the trail hits pavement
on Lochside Drive and crosses Royal Oak Drive entering the Broadmead
and Cordova Bay
For the next 3-4 km (2-3 miles), the trail follows Lochside Drive,
past McMinn Park through the residential area of Broadmead and then
the Cordova Bay neighbourhood. Both areas are well known for their
beautiful designer style and custom homes, many of them affording
wonderful easterly vistas of the ocean off Cordova Bay with San
Juan Island in the background.
Through Cordova Bay, the trail continues on Lochside Drive, then
crosses Cordova Bay Road at Mattick's Farm. Here you can find a
washroom, coffee and some fresh fruit to snack on. Once past Mattick's
Farm, the trail goes past Lochside Park and then changes to gravel,
eventually coming into a more rural setting with equestrian centres
and hobby farms found around the area.
The trail leaves Saanich
and enters Central
Saanich at Dooley Road and continues to go through larger fields
with more agricultural presence with more farm equipment and livestock
present. Once past Martindale Road, you'll go by Michell Airpark,
the site of a model airplane field organized by the VRCMS and home
to the 'World's Largest Little Airshow' held in August.
- Victoria R/C Modelers Society
The Lochside Regional Trail then crosses Island View Road at Michell's
Farm Market and you then come to the Saanich Historical Artifacts
Society Heritage Acres property. From here the trail goes in between
Hwy 17 and then, at the 20 km marker, the traditional land of the
Tsawout Band Saanich First Nations, where there are a number of
billboard advertising signs.
Once at Mt. Newton Cross Road, you can find Esso and Shell Service
stations, the Waddling Dog Pub and, if you are hungry or require
refreshments or a washroom, a McDonalds Restaurant. The trail then
follows pavement along Lochside Drive through residential neighbourhoods
Saanich. It then enters North
Saanich with views of Bazan Bay and travels next to waterfront
at Cy Hampson Park.
The trail continues to follow Lochside Road past McTavish Road,
then along the waterfront to Tulista Park in Sidney.
At Tulista Park, you can find some public washrooms and areas for
resting and enjoying the view of Sidney
Island Marine Park and, depending on schedule times, the ferry
MV Chelan at the Washington State Ferry Terminal.
After Tulista Park, the Lochside Regional Trail goes along Fifth
Street to Ocean Avenue then back towards the ocean, past the ferry
terminal, then along First Street to Beacon Avenue in Sidney.
On Beacon you can find a number of cafés, coffee shops and
pubs including a Starbucks,
the restaurant at the Alpine Marine Adventure Centre and, a favourite,
the Beacon Landing Pub.
the route follows pavement west on Beacon Avenue to Fifth Street,
north to Malaview Avenue, west to Resthaven Drive, and then along
McDonald Park Road into North
Saanich to the Pat Bay Highway, then go right on the highway
or the adjacent bike path along Swartz Bay Road to the BC Ferries'
facility, both having views of the various Tsehum (Shoal) Harbour
marinas along the way.
Cycling the Trail
the trail with other users and notify people when passing;
passing use caution, especially around horses and dogs;
the neighbours, the trail goes through both residential subdivisions
equipment is often present, so please yield;
sure you are in complete control, especially speeding, going through
intersections, also please yield to horseback riders and pedestrians;
reflective devices and lights during poor light conditions and
watch out for deer at dusk and dawn.
Information on Lochside Trail
Start of Lochside
Regional Trail at Wye
'Roy' and Mount
in Central Saanich
from Tulista Park
in North Saanich