- 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 colours and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead when possible.
- GPX-Garmin are GPX files that we have optimized for older Garmin units that only display tracks that contain 500 points or less (such as Garmin eTrex units).
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 Journey:
This loop is a 2-3 day, 196 km journey, though about 26 km of this includes distances travelled on 3 separate ferry rides - in total, the journey involves about 180 km of trails and roads. However, this route can be drastically shortened with a number of shortcuts if necessary.
To shorter the journey further by 32 km, one can cut across the Saanich peninsula from the Lochside Trail to the Brentwood Bay ferry, resulting in a 148 km journey - though this cuts the enjoyable trip into Victoria.
Another shortcut can be found north of the Kinsol Trestle on the Cowichan Valley Trail - at Deerholme, an old segment of rail line turns east towards Duncan. Parts of this rail trail can be followed but needs to be properly developed over future years. Connecting to Duncan's Friendship Trail, the route once again connects to the Cowichan Valley Trail north of Duncan. However, this shortcut removes a significant portion of very beautiful rail trail from the route, and misses the community of Lake Cowichan.
The route through Salt Spring Island is almost all on roads, but this route has been determined to be the quietest route across the island.
Ferries to/from the mainland can be found at Sidney's Swartz Bay, or alternatively, Salt Spring's Long Harbour.