Thursday, 9 August 2012

To the End of the Goose-Waterfront,Tall Trestles and Potholes

At the end of this long weekend, the weather cooled slightly from the heat of the past few days. Perfect temperature for a longer bike ride. I decided to try a ride right to the end of the Galloping Goose trail. I started from Roche Cove (km 35 of the trail) on Gillespie Road near Sooke. From there, follow the trail towards Sooke. There are a few hills at first and the path is wide and gravel.

The trail then winds its way along the waterfront of the Sooke Basin, and there are some benches if you want to stop and enjoy the view.

There is also the option to stop for a bite to eat or a drink at one of the pubs or restaurants in Sooke as you draw closer to town. This one is right off the Galloping Goose trail with a waterfront view. 
After you cross the main street, Sooke Road, you will start a gradual climb passing houses , with some road crossings to watch out for. The incline isn't too bad, and it was great for the way back as you could coast a bit downhill.  You will then come to the first of two tall trestles. Stop and enjoy the peaceful sound of the stream below. 
Charters Trestle
Todd Trestle

After passing the trestles, head towards Sooke Potholes Regional Park. This is a great place to stop and check out. Park and take a look at the view from the top or hike down the many trails to take a closer look at the Sooke River and the potholes and pools the water has carved out of the rock. It is a great place for swimming, although the water can be a little chilly to say the least! Find a spot on one of the rocks or there are also various beaches along the river. It's great on a hot day! 
Sooke Potholes

If you want to continue on to the end of the Galloping Goose trail, keep heading past the Potholes. It's about another 6 km to the end from here. You will wind along the Sooke River, with more viewpoints of the water. At the end of the trail , you will come to a big red gate which is the water reservoir and access is restricted. However, in the field just previous to this is some information on the former gold rush town, Leechtown, that used to be nearby (the site is now on private property and cannot be accessed). Leechtown, at its peak around 1865, had a population of several thousand people, but after the gold boom, the population left and it is just a ghost town now, with little left to show its existence there. It is still interesting to learn about the history of that different time. 

The end of the Galloping Goose is at km 56, so having cycled 21 km so far it was time to turn back and do it all again. 42 km return, like a marathon! But my legs still felt good since the trail is not too steep, just a steady pedal.

Happy Riding!

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