GG stands for “Galloping Goose” and it is a multi-use trail that runs from Victoria to the location a on old mining town called Leechwood. The amazing thing about this trail is that it traverses so many different landscapes and environments and we loved the short stretch that we did.
We started at a point west of Victoria that would give us a 60 km there and back cycle and avoid the more urban section. We did not get our full 60 km completed but more on that later.
This is a rail trail and it takes its name from a gas-powered passenger rail service from the 1920’s. Being a rail trail meant the grades were easy except for some short steep down and ups over some bridges. But overall pretty easy going.
What we loved was the variety. The first part was a pleasant ride through the towering trees as we have done before. But these were a mix of the tall firs and deciduous trees. They were as tall as the firs and nothing that we see in Ontario. We made note to return in the fall. We will not see the brilliant colors we are used to, I am sure, but it will be lovely. Today we enjoyed the shades of green, a sun-dappled trail and brilliant blue skies above. It was picture perfect conditions and weather.
As we continued we enjoyed beautiful water views of Sooke Inlet. It is a huge bay off the Juan de Fuca Strait. The water was visible through the trees and we found a great place to stop for lunch.
These water views peeked at us for several km as we made our way along the shores of the inlet.
The trail then turned more inland and did a slow climb up along the Sooke River. The scenery was gorgeous. Huge rock faces along the trail, vistas to mountains nearby and lot of trees, ferns and lush vegetation along the way. It was beautiful. We were jazzed that we could see so much in such a short distance.
At about 22km from our start we were stopped short in our tracks. The ‘signature’ trestle rail bridge that is just before the Pothole Provincial Park was closed for reconstruction. There was no bypass trail. The only option was to backtrack a few km where the trail intersected with the road and continue on the road. The road lacked a wide shoulder so we opted to leave it for another time. We continued back to the car enjoying the scenery from the other direction just as much as our ride up. It was a great ride. Probably the most memorable one we have done so far in the island. We loved the variety, the views and the weather helped too! We will be back.
The icing on the cake was stoping at the viewpoint at the Malahat summit. The air was clear and the views to the Saanich Inlet, Saanich Peninsula and beyond was breathtaking. We could easily see Mt Baker (see arrow below; zoom in to see clearly) in the US, easily visible with its snow covered peak. It was a great way to cap off the day!