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The Great Victoria Walk

We started this walk in the spring of 1998. Our plan was to walk the 60km of the Galloping Goose Trail West. Then we walk the Swan Lake extension.

The trail start on the Esquimalt side of the Johnson St. bridge. If you are coming across the bridge walk to the right along the 'Ship Yards' row. You will walk through what was the old Canadian National Railway terminal site.

The trail then crosses the Gorge (the waterway that divides Esquimalt and Victoria West from Victoria and Sannich) at the Selkirk trestle. It then continues under the Gorge Road and Burnside Road on up to crossing the Trans Canada Highway near the Town and Country Shopping Center.

Crossing underneath the Galloping Goose at Burnside and the No 1 Highway is the Colquitz River Park.

When you get to the 6 Mile Road crossing you can get off the trail and go a few hundred yards north to Testis Lake Park. This park contains many trail, and some have spectacular views of greater Victoria and to the south the distant Olympic mountains in the United States, to the east to Mount Baker (a partly active volcano in the Coast Range), and north to the Canadian Coastal Range.

As you proceed west you will cross the Island Highway near the Juan de Fuca Recreation Center (here it is safer to go down to the light at the Bus Station. The trail then comes back to the Island Highway at the entrance to Hatley Castle (Royal Roads University). It is well worth your while to spend a day touring this park. Your can go through the gardens, and walk all the way down to the Esquimalt Lagoon Nature Park (although there is now direct access to the beach from here). See the peacocks, ducks and Canada geese; sometimes you may see the deer that roam the park.

We thought we where done then came in the mail a brochure "The Galloping Goose and Peninsula Trails Maps" from the Provincial Capital Commission to say now the trail was extended to Swartz Bay. They have added the Lockside Trail to the Galloping Goose which extends from the Swan Lake arm in Saanich, all the way though Central and North Saanich and going though Sydney.

Well you think you have finally finish the trail. Think again you have just walked the start of the Trans Canada Trail which is planned to extend from the West Coast to the East Coast of Canada. Good Luck!