Lochside Trail – Central Saanich is a multi-use trail that is used by cyclists, hikers, runners and dog walkers. The trail is a great pathway to use to explore the outdoors and to traverse the Saanich Peninsula. The trail is about thirty kilometers long with about seven kilometers that lie within the municipality of Central Saanich, one of the thirteen which form the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This trail starts near the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal and leads into Victoria. It passes through Sidney, North Saanich before reaching Central Saanich. And continues through Saanich where the Lochside Regional Trail connects with the Galloping Goose Trail near the Trans- Canada Highway Switch Bridge. This is a well-traveled trail that is used regularly by local residents as well as travelers from throughout the world
This section of the trail is about seven kilometers long and parallels the Lochside Drive to Mount Newton Cross Road. Fentress Lochside Green Space lies along the trail on the border of North Saanich with Central Saanich. There are many landscaped lawns and gardens along the route to Mount Newton Cross Road. At this point the trail continues through a small shopping area with restaurants, gas stations, motels and a pub. This service junction is a good place for a break and stroll along the trails in Saanichton Bay Park. There is an outdoor bicycle stop near Mount Newton Road.
This bicycle and pedestrian trail parallels Highway 17 passing under the large advertising signs that fill the roadsides in the Tsawout First Nation lands. The trail continues past the History Acres, with Saanich Historical Artifacts, then merges with Lochside Drive. At the junction with Island View Road the Lochside Trail continues through agricultural lands of the Martindale neighborhood. And continues along Lochside Road becoming more of rough gravel trail to Dooley Road. This section of the trail is rougher with parts along roadsides that are paved and sections that have gravel base. The landscape along the trail is mostly small shrubs and deciduous trees. Keep a lookout for horses along the section.
All the roads mentioned above allow access to the Lochside Regional Trail. There is limited parking in some areas. There are many bus options to access the trial from Lochside Drive near Mount Newton Cross Road. This is a highly enjoyable are to explore in your backyard as it leads through rural Central Saanich and Saanichton.
Geographical location N48º 35’ 38” W 123º 23’ 48” near Mount Newton Cross Road.
Lochside Trail – Central Saanich can be reached from the Patricia Bay Highway, Highway 17, which heads north from the Trans-Canada Highway Highway 1. There are several good places to connect to the trail: Dooley Road, Martindale Road, Island View Road, and Mount Newton Road.
Information on the Lochside Regional Trail can be found on the CRD website or through this link: https://www.crd.bc.ca/parks-recreation-culture/parks-trails/find-park-trail/lochside