The Great Trail, originally called the Trans Canada Trail, is a multi-use recreational pathway that connects the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Oceans. Twenty three thousand kilometers of walkways connect all the provinces and territories in Canada. This is a community based project and the portion of the route within and maintained by the City of Langford will eventually form six thousand meters of the Great Trail. A six hundred meter section of the Galloping Goose Trail – Langford forms part of the Great Trail in Langford. The Great Trail-Langford has several sections that are complete as well as a few that are in the proposal stages. The trails make up the Vancouver Island Spine Trails. Although it is never far from busy streets, walking, hiking and cycling along the trail removes one from the bustling cars with glimpses of squirrels, flowers, trees and beautiful lookout points.
Part of the following is also seen on the blog for the Galloping Goose Trail – Langford since several sections of the GG trail are part of the Grat Trail. As well, the E&N Rail Trail is an alternative name for parts of the trail that parallel the railway track through Langford and neighboring communities.
The Grat Trail – Langford is part of the multi-use trail which follows either the Galloping Goose Trail or parallels the VIA railway track. This section of the Great Trail is also referred to as the Humpback Connector. The Great Trail, which is also known as the Galloping Goose Trail, enters the City of Langford near Country Terrace and parallels Atkins Road before it crosses over Mill Stream into 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. 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/GT.
The second section of the GGT/GT lies between Hoffman and Jacklin Road along Station Avenue. Parts of the trail are composed of raised brick and concrete sidewalk that includes the railway stop near Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. There are several street trees and landscaped areas along the trail. This section of the trail is within a few hundred meters of small shops and coffee houses.
West of Jacklin Road, The Trans Canada Trail is partly on roadways as it departs from the Galloping Goose Trail. As the Great Trail nears the shore of Langford Lake another trail, Ed Nixon Trail can be used as a walkway. There is great spot to go for a swim in the lake. The route continues up the hill past Belmont High School and a residential area. It crosses over Langford Parkway to follow along Meridian Drive then Irwin Road. The Great Trail crosses over Humpback Road. There are two small gravel parking areas shared with Mt Wells Regional Park at this point. This section of the Great Trail is initially near shops and warehouses. As the trail continues westward there are blackberry bushes as well as Scotch broom, and tall grasses. Douglas fir, cedar and smaller shrubs are found along the Nixon Trail.
At the junction of the Galloping Goose Trail with Glen Lake Road there is a proposal to connect north to the proposed Trans Canada Trail. The trail will eventually lead to Shawnigan Lake and Nanaimo. It is unclear whether this is in addition to the trail that is proposed along the railway beside Atkins Road.
Geographic location N48° 27’ 2” W123°28’11” along Atkins Road
Trans Canada Trail – Langford can be reached from several locations in Langford, B.C. Exit the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1, onto Millstream Road and turn south to reach 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. Alternatively the trail can accessed from along Station Avenue between Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and Jacklin Road.