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through quiet forests, rural landscapes and deserted backroads provide
a glorious mix of fitness and solitude. Recently named the Cycling
Capital of Canada, Victoria is home to several excellent routes.
From Victoria, strap your rented bicycle to a bus rack and head
out into the countryside, or pick up the Galloping
Goose Trail and pedal through fields of golden corn and dozens
of parks and forests. The Galloping Goose Trail runs from the Swartz
Bay Ferry Terminal to Victoria and then on to Sooke and Leechtown.
to find a campsite!
Touring Route, one of the region's designated cycling routes,
follows the coastline, granting gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean
and the Olympic Mountains leading through some of the city's most
beautiful residential areas. Beginning at the southwest corner of
Beacon Hill Park, travel east following
Dallas Road along the coastline, stopping at any of the numerous parking
areas to take in the views. Along the way, Dallas Road's name changes
to Beach Drive and continues into the Oak
Bay neighbourhood. At the Oak Bay Marina, watch the antics of
seals playing in the water and check out the yachts.
The next stop
is Willows Beach for a stroll along the shoreline. Carry on to the
exclusive neighbourhood of Uplands, the location of Uplands Park and
the Cattle Point lookout. Wandering through quiet residential neighbourhoods
and densely wooded estates, the Seaside Route heads towards Mount
Douglas Park and along suburban Royal Oak Drive to connect with
the Lochside Trail. This is where the route heads back towards downtown
Point View Point
Peninsula has some wonderful routes with names that say it all:
Strawberry Fields Forever, Lands End Loop, Best Beach Bike Route,
Cole Bay Sun and Surf, and Flatlands Farm Route.
is permitted in Goldstream Provincial Park
along the short trail that runs between the day-use parking lot
and the Freeman King Visitors Centre. Although brief, the trail
does lead through a breathtaking grove of broadleaf maple trees
that blaze in fall, as well as some large western red cedar that
thrive on the water from the nearby river.
Lake is another wonderful destination for a day ride - a paved
road circles the 20-km long lake. Stop at Shawnigan Lake Provincial
Park for a picnic or swim. To avoid the steep 1,155-ft climb over
the Malahat, cyclists can hop aboard the BC ferry that runs across
the Saanich Inlet from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay.
Follow the Wine Route markers in the Cowichan
Valley. Country roads meander through the valley and past several
vineyards and cideries, always popular way stations for weekend riders
on this 12-km route.
and the Railway Trail in Nanaimo
are two of the most popular cycle routes in the city of Nanaimo.
Bicycles are allowed on both the Kanaka Bay Trail and Mallard Lake
Trail in Newcastle Island Marine Park.
There are gentle, wide pathways shared with pedestrians. The entire
island is a park and can be reached by ferry from Nanaimo's inner
The Log Train
Trail in Port Alberni offers
25 km of trail for hikers and cyclists through the beautiful Alberni
Valley and leads to the McLean Mill Historic Site.
Discover the new wilderness bike path from Ucluelet
to Pacific Rim National Park. Watch the skies for eagles and the
waves for seals - they'll be watching you!
Every year, thousands of cyclists trek to the Gulf Islands in search
of secluded country roads and scenic off-road trails taking you
on a tour of natural beauty, leading you to hilltops for fabulous
views and down to the beach for an afternoon swim. Whether you rent
a bike or bring your own, the Gulf Islands provide a perfect destination
for cyclists seeking adventure. For inter-island travel to the Southern
Gulf Islands of Pender, Mayne, Saturna, Galiano and Saltspring
Island, board BC Ferries from either Crofton or Swartz Bay. Foot
passengers can take a day trip to a number of islands. Each of these
islands is a world unto itself, each with its own history, culture
and colourful characters.
Island is perhaps the most pleasant one to cycle. You can tour
the whole island in the course of an easygoing day, with stops around
its perimeter at Miners Bay, the Georgina Point Lighthouse, Campbell
Bay, Horton Bay, and the BC Ferries dock at Village Bay. As with
all islands, freshwater is a precious and often rare substance.
One of the few places to fill your water bottles is at Dinner Point
Community Day Park, a short ride south of Village Bay. A detailed
road map of the island is available at the information kiosk at
the dock. If you want to stay overnight on the island, there are
many bed and breakfasts as well as a private campground.
ride around Gabriola Island
is lengthy - the island is about 20 km long - but touches on a variety
of good beaches, including Gabriola Sands Provincial Park, Sandwell
and Drumbeg Provincial Parks, roadside picnic tables at Brickyard
Beach, and the sheltered enclave at Silva Bay, a popular stopover
for marine traffic in summer, and a good place to wet your whistle.
Pedalling Gabriola is a fairly straightforward endeavour: North
and South Roads loop around opposite sides of the island and meet
at Silva Bay. For a special insight into the aboriginal mythology
of the Cowichan Nation, take time to view the petroglyphs carved
in the rock face of a field behind Gabriola United Church on South
Road. Follow a trail behind the church through the forest to an
open field and begin exploring the rock face for ancient images.
Of all the southern islands, Galiano
Island has the most well-organized mountain-biking trail system.
While exploring the rugged, spiny island visit Bluffs Park, the
site of some spectacular views and the beginning of a network of
trails and roads around Mount Galiano.
Sechelt Peninsula, Sunshine Coast: Although shoulders on
the winding highway can be narrow, cyclists will find that Highway
101 is a challenging but often scenic route. Avoid peak traffic
times, such as the surge that follows the arrival of a BC Ferry,
and you'll have long stretches of the highway to yourself, particularly
as you pedal north of Sechelt.
One consideration: You don't have to cycle Hwy 101 all the way,
all the time. There are a few backroads, such as Lower Roberts Creek
Road, that travel in roughly the same direction while providing
a more tranquil ambience. Lower Roberts Creek Road loops away from
Hwy 101 north of Gibsons
and rejoins it north of Roberts Creek, for a total distance of 8
Hwy 101 rises and falls as it parallels the coastline for much of
its length. One of the steepest hills is on the north side of Sechelt.
Redroofs Road is a delightful 10 km side road that loop-dee-loops
along the coast off Hwy 101. The southern entrance to Redroofs is
located about 7 kms north of Sechelt. The northern entrance is just
north of Trout Lake. Note: In recognition of cyclists, Porpoise
Bay Provincial Park in Sechelt has 6 ride-in campsites.
Malaspina Peninsula, Sunshine Coast: Just as a backroad took
cyclists away from Hwy 101 around Roberts Creek on the southern
half of the route, so too does a series of roads that leads from
Hwy 101 at the south end of Powell
River through Paradise Valley, a lush agricultural area. As
Hwy 101 approaches Myrtle Point, follow Centennial Drive to Padgett
Road, which eventually links with Duncan Street. Head west on Duncan
to reach Marine Avenue (Hwy 101), which parallels Powell River's
Cyclists heading north of Powell River as Hwy 101 covers the 23
kms to Lund will be confronted
with one major hill. The highway makes a wide switch back as it
climbs above the dam on Powell River. Catch your breath at the dam,
from where you get a picturesque view of the boathouses on Powell
Lake. Once you reach the Native community of Sliammon,
the road levels for the remainder of the journey.
An easygoing, ultra scenic cycling path runs along the Willingdon
Beach Trail. This route was originally a railway bed but has now
been converted into a simple network for walking and cycling. The
trail begins in the Powell River Municipal Park beside Willingdon
Beach, just north of the central harbour.
Inland Lake is tucked into the hillside behind Powell River. It
is the site of an ambitious program to make the municipal park located
here as friendly and usable to people in wheelchairs as to those
on foot. A wide, limestone pathway encircles Inland Lake and provides
an excellent 13-km cycle route, with the gentlest of grades. You'll
enjoy it so much you might want to do it twice.
that helmets are mandatory
on public roads in British Columbia.