A bike trip that does not guarantee the sight of Canada’s favorite bird frolicking
By C J Sommerfeld, Contributor
Cycling from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to the Sooke Potholes is the easiest bike trip you will ever do. Let me enlighten you with two words: No incline. Now is that not a cyclist’s dream? Even the average Joe can relish cycling with minimal gear changes.
The entirety of the trip from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to the Sooke Potholes is about 70 kilometres. Some people cycle the entirety of it in one day—but I say stop and smell the roses. This bike trip is best when you take a few days to complete it.
There are a plethora of campgrounds and bed and breakfasts speckled along the way, so you will never have to worry about where you are going to rest your head. Similarly, there are serve-yourself fruit and veggie stands to satisfy your lust to buy local—and not go hungry!
The trail begins directly across the street from the ferry terminal (how convenient!). An abundance of signs direct cyclists to the side of the highway marked Lochside Regional Trail. This bike lane segues cyclists from the ferry terminal to Victoria. While the first 10 kilometres of the trail run parallel with the highway, the trail soon snakes through pumpkin patches, cattle farms, squash crops, and so much more farm goodness.
During this stretch of the trail there is an onslaught of smells. From manure to flowering fruits, it will supply a fun game of “What’s this smell?” with your cycle buddies. Many of the farms have a tourist-friendly component where you can pick a pumpkin or do yoga with a goat.
Following the “What’s this smell?” portion of the bike trail you will be led through urban streets, which wind in and out of residential neighborhoods and wooded areas. However, after 42 kilometres the Lochside Regional Trail intersects with the Galloping Goose Trail, beginning a new adventure through more wooded areas and more farms.
Throughout the expedition, you are encompassed in beautiful views, deer, and old farm machinery. However, when you reach the end you are supplied with the most scenic part of all—swimming holes that dwarf Lynn Canyon, also known as the Sooke Potholes. Conveniently, there is yet another campground, offering riverfront views and a place to rest your over-exerted legs.
This cycle is great for all, so what are you waiting for? This is all the more reason to get one last cycle trip in before the summer tapers off and life begins to look like an infinite loop of BlackBoard Learn and PowerPoint slides.