Lake Cowichan to Sooke…

Click for larger interactive map...

Click for larger interactive map…

Description

This segment of the route takes you from Lake Cowichan to the Sooke Potholes Campground.  The route is ~120kms long and is ~30kms of dirt rail grade trail on the Trans Canada Trail, less than 1km of paved roads and the remainder are logging roads in various states of disrepair.

The ride on this segment starts fairly easy on the TCT with only a few short mild climbs to deal with. Once on the logging roads near Koksilah River Provincial Park there is a significant climb to get up onto the higher elevation middle portion of the route and then a rolling section of logging road before a decsent down the backside of the mountain. The route turns back upwards to get to Leechtown where you can ford the Sooke River relatively easily. From the east side of the Sooke River the route goes south down the Galloping Goose MUP to the Sooke Potholes Campground.

In wet weather the surface of the dirt portion of the route can be slippery and muddy – fenders would be a good idea.

The TCT portion of the ride is gentle and scenic with limited pedestrian and bike traffic unless it’s weekend. The logging roads near the Koksilah Park are well used. The roads on the mountain were not being used at the time of my ride, but as you got closer to Sooke there were signs of active logging. The logging road towards Leechtown was not being used at the time of my ride. The logging road is rough with potholes and rocks as well as deep sections of gravel.

You can read my ride report here and check out photos of this segment here.

Distance/Time

For most riders this 120km segment will take more than a day in the saddle. There are many options for stealth camping along the route.

GPS Track

You can view an interactive route map and download a GPS track here.

Resupply

  • Lake Cowichan has a large grocery store, liquor store as well as pubs and restaurants.
  • there are hotel accommodations and campground in and around Lake Cowichan
  • you can get water all along the route from rivers and creeks
  • once you leave Lake Cowichan do not plan on any resupply for ~115kms if you divert to Sooke and ~155kms if you keep going towards Victoria
  • you can divert to Sooke for groceries, restaurants and accommodation
  • Sooke Mountain Cycle is an excellent bike shop in Sooke that can provide parts and service

Camping

  • there are campgrounds around Lake Cowichan as well as many stealth camping opportunities
  • you can stealth camp along most of the route
  • there are campground at the Koksilah Park and at the Sooke Potholes.
  • there are campgrounds and motels if you divert to Sooke

Connections

  • you can divert to Sooke instead of riding north to Leechtown and getting on the Galloping Goose MUP
  • from Sooke you can take a bus to Victoria, join Hwy 14 and ride west along the coast or ride Hwy 14 east and join the Goose MUP

Mountain Biking

  • there is great mountain biking around Sooke and you can get trail information at Sooke Mountain Cycle

Other Points of Interest/Routes

  • from Sooke you could ride west along the coast on Hwy 14 towards Port Renfrew for scenic views and several nice Provincial Parks
  • from Port Renfrew you can ride north and east along Pacific Marine Rd. back to Lake Cowichan
Koksilah River...

Koksilah River…

Ride Reports

Sooke to Victoria…

Click for interactive map...

Click for interactive map…

Description

This segment of the route takes you from the Sooke Potholes Campground down the Galloping Goose MUP into Victoria. The map and GPS track linked to above take you all but the last few kms into Victoria. The trail is ~52kms long and is ~46kms of dirt rail grade with the last 6kms being paved rail grade.

The ride on this segment is fairly easy with only a few short steep climbs to deal with. In wet weather the surface of the dirt portion of the trail can be slippery and muddy – fenders would be a good idea.

The Goose is a pretty MUP that’s quiet and enjoyable to ride. Road crossings and biker/ped traffic will pick up close to Victoria – especially during rush hour on weekdays.

You can read my ride report here and check out photos of this segment here.

Distance/Time

For most riders this 52km segment will take half a day.

GPS Track

You can view an interactive route map and download a GPS track here.

Resupply

  • the best water along the route is from the Sooke River so fill up before you start
  • you can divert to Sooke for groceries, restaurants and accommodation
  • Sooke Mountain Cycle is an excellent bike shop in Sooke that can provide parts and service
  • 17 Mile House Pub is about 15kms from the Sooke Potholes Campground. Get off at Gillespie Rd and follow it to Hwy 14 where you take a right and proceed 30om east to the pub.
  • At ~39kms from the Sooke Potholes Campground you’ll pass the Westshore Town Centre which is a large mall with all services.
  • Victoria has a number of excellent bike shops [ie. The Fairfield Bicycle Shop]
  • You can get general outdoor gear and some bike items at Mountain Equipment Coop.

Camping

  • this segment starts at the Sooke Potholes Campground
  • you can stealth camp along much of the route until you get close to Victoria
  • there is a hostel in downtown Victoria for low cost accomodatino

Connections

  • ~5kms from Victoria [~47kms from campground] you’ll reach the intersection of the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails. You can take the Lochside Trail north to the Victoria Airport, the city of Sidney or the Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal with service to Vancouver and some islands.
  • In Victoria you can take a passenger & bike only ferry to downtown Seattle.
  • You can also take a car/passenger ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles WA.

Mountain Biking

  • there is great mountain biking around Sooke and you can get trail information at Sooke Mountain Cycle
  • just north of Victoria is the Hartland Mountain Bike Park that has an extensive and well developed trail system

Other Points of Interest

  • from Sooke you could ride west along the coast on Hwy 14 towards Port Renfrew for scenic views and several nice Provincial Parks

Other Routes

  • you could ride Hwy 14 instead of the Goose where it drops down towards Rocky Point Rd. This would save some time/KMs if you are in a rush.
  • you can take a city bus from Sooke to Victoria and they have bike racks.
  • other than those two options I would just ride the Goose.
Bridge on the Goose...

Bridge on the Goose…

Ride Reports