Thursday, 26 July 2012

Victoria to Island View Beach- Farms, Sand and an Enormous Pig

It was a beautiful July summer day today, so I thought why not a ride to the beach? A great option is Island View Beach on the Saanich Peninsula. It is about a 45 km ride (including return) from downtown Victoria, travelling along the Galloping Goose trail and then transferring onto the Lochside Regional Trail. After crossing Mackenzie Avenue, the trail transforms from city to farm quite rapidly. You will ride over the Blenkinsop Trestle Bridge, so why not stop to check out the bird and wildlife. You quite often see locals riding horses along the trail in this area, so keep an eye out for that.

Blenkinsop Trestle Bridge 

The trail has many mature trees along it, a welcome shade on a hot day like today, and is mainly gravel pathways and also follows some side country and residential roads. The signs are fairly straightforward. The route is mostly flat except for a moderate hill right before the beach. Check out some of the quirky sights along the way.

Local homemade art on the side of the trail

You will ride by Matticks Farm, a collection of small stores that are worth a look if you want a break. It's also a good place to stop for a drink or ice cream. The trail goes right by a number of Saanich peninsula farms, so stay alert at the road crossings. Check out the farm with the giant pigs wallowing in their pens on the side of the trail.   This day was hot so the pigs were taking mud baths to cool down. 

Cooling off in the mud 
The trail comes to Mitchell Bros. farm stand, a store that has local farm produce. Turn right here onto Island View Road and continue up the hill and then down to Island View Beach. Picnic and enjoy!

Riding those country roads

Island View Beach at last!

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