Alternate Route to the Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail) between Victoria and Tsawwassen: Lochside Trail, 28 km

Map Legend & Disclaimer

Note that you can click on each object on the map to obtain details about it.

Trans Canada Trail Legend:

Trans Canada Trail Pavilion
Multi-Use Route (Cycling & Walking)
Hiking Only Route (No Cycling)
Equestrian Route (May Allow Cyclists/Walkers)
Paddling/Water Route
Temporary Bypass or Unofficial TCT Route
Trans Canada Trail Closed
Obstacle or Warning (click it for details)

Alternate Route Legend:

Alternate Route for Cyclists & Walkers
Alternate Route for Hiking
Alternate Route for Equestrians
Connection Point to the Trans Canada Trail

Google Maps Legend:

Map menu to access highlights, campsites, grocery stores, parking areas, toilets and more!
Click the grey star at the top of the map to favourite it in Google Maps, so you can pull it up later in your Google Maps app's "My Places".

Disclaimer: This trail information is subject to changes. While reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information on this site is correct, Trails BC makes no warranty about the accuracy of this information and accepts no liability for any inconvenience or any direct or consequential loss arising from reliance upon this information. Be sure to check our Latest Trail Closures before heading out and read our full disclaimer!.

Please contact Trails BC if you require in-depth trail knowledge or have suggestions or corrections. Support us by becoming a member or donating funds!

GPS Downloads

  • 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 colour and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead of GPX if possible.

The files below include data for only this specific area. For all of our Trans Canada Trail data for the entire province (including features, campsites and alternate routes), download our BC.kmz master file (1.2 MB)

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 Route: 

This route is a suitable alternate to travelling the Trans Canada Trail north on Vancouver Island to reach the lower mainland (Vancouver area) via the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen ferry. Our Southwest region maps provide information on routes connecting from the Tsawassan ferry terminal.

Also, the southern half of this route provides a bypass of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail which connects the TCT between Victoria and the Cowichan Valley. Although the Sooke Hill Wilderness Trail is an operational section of Trans Canada Trail, its grades do make it a difficult route for touring cyclists. We suggest bypassing it; our preferred route is the Interurban Route but the Lochside route may be slightly simpler route to follow. Please note the connection from the Lochside to the Brentwood Bay ferry travels along East Saanich Road and Stelly's Cross Road which can host moderately busy traffic at times. The map shows a connection route from the Lochside Trail to the Brentwood Bay ferry. For directions from Brentwood Bay to the Trans Canada Trail at Shawnigan Lake, refer to our Malahat Bypass page.

Connection Points to the TCT: 

In the south, this alternate route leaves the Trans Canada Trail at the point where the Lochside Trail separates from the Galloping Goose (at the north end of the Trans Canada Highway overpass known as the "Switch Bridge"). This is located directly adjacent to the Uptown shopping mall. Northbound travellers should take the trail on the right - signs will direct you towards "Swartz Bay".

In the north, this alternate route terminates at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, so there is no connection point to the Trans Canada Trail per se; although one can take the ferry to Tsawwassen and use our alternate routes to connect to the TCT in Langley or in downtown Vancouver:

Trail Highlights and Developments: 

This picturesque 29 kilometre multi–use trail, formerly a railway line, stretches from Swartz Bay to Victoria, past beaches, farmland, and wetlands, down country lanes and beside suburban backyards. The trail has a more civilized personality than its more rural cousin, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. While some parts of the Lochside Trail are off-road and others downright pastoral, in some places trail visitors must share paved or gravel public roads with motor vehicles and farm vehicles.

You can cycle, stroll, run, or even ride a horse through the rural sections. Whether you're commuting to work, meandering on a weekend afternoon or pacing yourself from the Switch Bridge to Swartz Bay, the trail is yours to enjoy and yours to protect.

The former railway which once called the Lochside home was known as the Canadian Northern Pacific (By 1918 Canadian National) Railway. Starting from Victoria, the railway travelled north along the peninsula to Patricia Bay - therefore the northern segment of the trail is not technically rail trail. The railway was abandoned and sat for many years until the trail was opened in 2001.

For those travelling on foot, you may wish to take a short detour in Sidney to follow the walking trail along the waterfront.

The Lochside Trail intersects with the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and Trans Canada Trail just north of Victoria.

Island View Regional Park is a great spot for a picnic and makes an ideal resting point as it is roughly near the halfway mark between Victoria and Sidney. Turn east when you reach Island View Road. Alternatively, stop for a lunch break at Michell's Farm located at the insection of the Lochside Trail at Island View Road.

Public Washrooms

An outhouse is located at Island View Road, which is basically the halfway mark between Victoria and Sidney.

Shopping & Provisions

Mattick's Farm is a popular stopping point north of Victoria, found at the Cordova Bay Golf Club - which is about 5 km north of Royal Oak Drive.

There is a small fruit and veggie market located at the corner of Island View Road and the Lochside, located roughly halfway between Victoria and Sidney.

Printable Maps & Directions (PDF)

Report a Trail Closure


Trail maintenance issues are the responsibility of the Trail Steward, which is either the trail owner or a group given authorization to perform maintenance work. Trails BC is a trail steward for a very limited number of trail segments on the Trans Canada Trail; unfortunately, if a major trail issue occurs along the Trans Canada Trail, there is often very little we can do about it - but we can try to pass on the information to the trail steward, if one exists.

Information such as a precise location (GPS waypoint), photo, as well as your contact information is extremely helpful to ensure the problem is accurately reported.

AGAIN, DO NOT USE THIS FORM TO SUBMIT NOTICES ABOUT TRAILS THAT ARE NOT PART OF THE TRANS CANADA TRAIL. We will simply delete the submission and it will not be posted or passed on to anyone. If you need to report a closure on such a trail, please determine the trail owner or operator and send a notice to them.

Would it be unwise to continue through the closure or blockage? You may add more detail in your report.
Please enter your trail closure report. Include a GPS location or a detailed description of its precise location.
JPG format only, 3 MB max. You must click "upload" after selecting file.
If the blockage/closure can be bypassed, please include your recommended route to do so!