The Galloping Goose Regional Trail is a multi-use trail that connects Victoria to Sooke, approximately fifty five kilometers distance. This old rail bed was initially used during the nineteen twenties for a passenger train. Although it is never far from busy streets, walking, hiking and cycling, as well as sections that include use by equestrians, along the trail removes one from the bustling cars with glimpses of squirrels, flowers, trees and beautiful lookout points. The trail starts in the Victoria West neighborhood of Victoria, B.C., and continues onto Saanich, View Royal, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and Sooke.
There are about four thousand and seventy seven meters to the Galloping Goose Trail in Langford, B.C. The trail enters the City of Langford near Country Terrace and parallels Atkins Road before it crosses over Mill Stream and continue into the Municipality of Colwood, B.C. This six hundred and fifty meter section is in a pastoral and rural area of the city as well as near the E&N Via railway track. Sections of the railway track are paralleled with a paved trail that is part of the Trans Canada Trail, which is also called the Great Trail; this section is also proposed for trail development as the GGT heads westward while the railway track heads northwest (see Trans Canada Trail – Langford). Himalayan blackberry bushes, Nootka rose shrubs, oceanspray plants and snow berry bushes are seen along the route. There are several large big leaf maple trees, Douglas fir and arbutus trees that provide shade while walking and cycling. A picturesque wooden bridge crosses over the ravine formed by Mill Stream and several large pipes just before the trail continues into Colwood. Millstream Creek Park One is near this section of the GGT.
The second section of the GGT enters Langford from Colwood near the junction of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway (VMP) with Kelly Road. A discrete crossing over Colwood Creek can be spotted as the creek parallels the parkway’s east side from Kelly Road to Meaford Avenue. VMP Park lies on the east side of the roadway. A short foot path from the park connects onto the Goose near Kelly Road and VMP. Once across VMP, the Galloping Goose Trail is quite a wide gravel route. It continues past residential homes and landscaped properties as it passes near the West Shore Town Center shopping area. The skate board park and old buildings of the Belmont High School can be seen to the north before crossing over Jacklin Road. This portion is slightly shaded by popular trees and small shrubs. Colwood Creek Park lies to the south and can be reach using a gravel footpath. There are firs, oaks and willows that border portions of the trail.
West of Jacklin Road, navigated using an offset cross walk a few meters along Jacklin Road, the GGT touches on the shore of Glen Lake near Glen Lake Park. This is great spot to go for a swim in the lake. As trail continues westward it is bordered by blackberry bushes, Scotch broom and tall grasses. At the junction of the Galloping Goose Trail with Glen Lake Road there is a proposal to connect north to Shawnigan Lake which could complete a section of the Trans Canada Trail. It is unclear whether this is in addition to the trail that is proposed along the railway beside Atkins Road.
Once past the lake shore the Galloping Goose Trail heads south paralleling Happy Valley Road and passes by the Luxton Fair Grounds. This section of the trail is bordered by the fences of residential homes and popular trees. The GGT continues into Metchosin just after Winter Road.
Geographic location N48° 27’ 2” W123°28’11” along Atkins Road
Galloping Goose Trail Langford can be reached from several locations in Langford, B.C. Exit the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream Road and turn south onto Veterans Memorial Parkway. Turn left onto Hoffman Avenue then right onto Winster Road and left onto Atkin Road. The trail is on the right side of Atkins Road near the railway crossing. There is limited parking along Atkins Road. Other options, in Langford, for accessing the Galloping Goose Trail are at Kelly Road and Veteran’s Memorial Parkway possibly leaving a vehicle at the West Shore Shopping Center parking lot; near the junction of Glen Lake Road with Sooke Road as well as at Winter Road and Happy Valley Road.
Trails BC and GGT websites as well as the 2004 Birder’s Guide: Lochside Regional and Galloping Goose Trail written by K. Taylor and published by Alabaster Publishing have further information about the trail.