Category   Cycling / Biking- Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands B.C.
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Time to find a campsite!
Leisurely rides through quiet forests, rural landscapes and deserted backroads provide a glorious mix of fitness and solitude. Recently named the Cycling Capital of Canada, Victoria is home to several excellent routes. From Victoria, strap your rented bicycle to a bus rack and head out into the countryside, or pick up the Galloping Goose Trail and pedal through fields of golden corn and dozens of parks and forests. The Galloping Goose Trail runs from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Victoria and then on to Sooke and Leechtown.

The Seaside Touring Route, one of the region's designated cycling routes, follows the coastline, granting gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains leading through some of the city's most beautiful residential areas. Beginning at the southwest corner of Beacon Hill Park, travel east following Dallas Road along the coastline, stopping at any of the numerous parking areas to take in the views. Along the way, Dallas Road's name changes to Beach Drive and continues into the Oak Bay neighbourhood. At the Oak Bay Marina, watch the antics of seals playing in the water and check out the yachts.

Cattle Point View Point
The next stop is Willows Beach for a stroll along the shoreline. Carry on to the exclusive neighbourhood of Uplands, the location of Uplands Park and the Cattle Point lookout. Wandering through quiet residential neighbourhoods and densely wooded estates, the Seaside Route heads towards Mount Douglas Park and along suburban Royal Oak Drive to connect with the Lochside Trail. This is where the route heads back towards downtown Victoria.

The Saanich Peninsula has some wonderful routes with names that say it all: Strawberry Fields Forever, Lands End Loop, Best Beach Bike Route, Cole Bay Sun and Surf, and Flatlands Farm Route.

Limited cycling is permitted in Goldstream Provincial Park along the short trail that runs between the day-use parking lot and the Freeman King Visitors Centre. Although brief, the trail does lead through a breathtaking grove of broadleaf maple trees that blaze in fall, as well as some large western red cedar that thrive on the water from the nearby river.

Shawnigan Lake is another wonderful destination for a day ride - a paved road circles the 20-km long lake. Stop at Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park for a picnic or swim. To avoid the steep 1,155-ft climb over the Malahat, cyclists can hop aboard the BC ferry that runs across the Saanich Inlet from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay.

Follow the Wine Route markers in the Cowichan Valley. Country roads meander through the valley and past several vineyards and cideries, always popular way stations for weekend riders on this 12-km route.

The Parkway and the Railway Trail in Nanaimo are two of the most popular cycle routes in the city of Nanaimo. Bicycles are allowed on both the Kanaka Bay Trail and Mallard Lake Trail in Newcastle Island Marine Park. There are gentle, wide pathways shared with pedestrians. The entire island is a park and can be reached by ferry from Nanaimo's inner harbour.

The Log Train Trail in Port Alberni offers 25 km of trail for hikers and cyclists through the beautiful Alberni Valley and leads to the McLean Mill Historic Site.

Discover the new wilderness bike path from Ucluelet to Pacific Rim National Park. Watch the skies for eagles and the waves for seals - they'll be watching you!

Every year, thousands of cyclists trek to the Gulf Islands in search of secluded country roads and scenic off-road trails taking you on a tour of natural beauty, leading you to hilltops for fabulous views and down to the beach for an afternoon swim. Whether you rent a bike or bring your own, the Gulf Islands provide a perfect destination for cyclists seeking adventure. For inter-island travel to the Southern Gulf Islands of Pender, Mayne, Saturna, Galiano and Saltspring Island, board BC Ferries from either Crofton or Swartz Bay. Foot passengers can take a day trip to a number of islands. Each of these islands is a world unto itself, each with its own history, culture and colourful characters.

Mayne Island is perhaps the most pleasant one to cycle. You can tour the whole island in the course of an easygoing day, with stops around its perimeter at Miners Bay, the Georgina Point Lighthouse, Campbell Bay, Horton Bay, and the BC Ferries dock at Village Bay. As with all islands, freshwater is a precious and often rare substance. One of the few places to fill your water bottles is at Dinner Point Community Day Park, a short ride south of Village Bay. A detailed road map of the island is available at the information kiosk at the dock. If you want to stay overnight on the island, there are many bed and breakfasts as well as a private campground.

A ride around Gabriola Island is lengthy - the island is about 20 km long - but touches on a variety of good beaches, including Gabriola Sands Provincial Park, Sandwell and Drumbeg Provincial Parks, roadside picnic tables at Brickyard Beach, and the sheltered enclave at Silva Bay, a popular stopover for marine traffic in summer, and a good place to wet your whistle.

Pedalling Gabriola is a fairly straightforward endeavour: North and South Roads loop around opposite sides of the island and meet at Silva Bay. For a special insight into the aboriginal mythology of the Cowichan Nation, take time to view the petroglyphs carved in the rock face of a field behind Gabriola United Church on South Road. Follow a trail behind the church through the forest to an open field and begin exploring the rock face for ancient images.

Of all the southern islands, Galiano Island has the most well-organized mountain-biking trail system. While exploring the rugged, spiny island visit Bluffs Park, the site of some spectacular views and the beginning of a network of trails and roads around Mount Galiano.

Sechelt Peninsula, Sunshine Coast: Although shoulders on the winding highway can be narrow, cyclists will find that Highway 101 is a challenging but often scenic route. Avoid peak traffic times, such as the surge that follows the arrival of a BC Ferry, and you'll have long stretches of the highway to yourself, particularly as you pedal north of Sechelt.

One consideration: You don't have to cycle Hwy 101 all the way, all the time. There are a few backroads, such as Lower Roberts Creek Road, that travel in roughly the same direction while providing a more tranquil ambience. Lower Roberts Creek Road loops away from Hwy 101 north of Gibsons and rejoins it north of Roberts Creek, for a total distance of 8 kms.

Hwy 101 rises and falls as it parallels the coastline for much of its length. One of the steepest hills is on the north side of Sechelt. Redroofs Road is a delightful 10 km side road that loop-dee-loops along the coast off Hwy 101. The southern entrance to Redroofs is located about 7 kms north of Sechelt. The northern entrance is just north of Trout Lake. Note: In recognition of cyclists, Porpoise Bay Provincial Park in Sechelt has 6 ride-in campsites.

Malaspina Peninsula, Sunshine Coast: Just as a backroad took cyclists away from Hwy 101 around Roberts Creek on the southern half of the route, so too does a series of roads that leads from Hwy 101 at the south end of Powell River through Paradise Valley, a lush agricultural area. As Hwy 101 approaches Myrtle Point, follow Centennial Drive to Padgett Road, which eventually links with Duncan Street. Head west on Duncan to reach Marine Avenue (Hwy 101), which parallels Powell River's inner harbour.

Cyclists heading north of Powell River as Hwy 101 covers the 23 kms to Lund will be confronted with one major hill. The highway makes a wide switch back as it climbs above the dam on Powell River. Catch your breath at the dam, from where you get a picturesque view of the boathouses on Powell Lake. Once you reach the Native community of Sliammon, the road levels for the remainder of the journey.

An easygoing, ultra scenic cycling path runs along the Willingdon Beach Trail. This route was originally a railway bed but has now been converted into a simple network for walking and cycling. The trail begins in the Powell River Municipal Park beside Willingdon Beach, just north of the central harbour.

Inland Lake is tucked into the hillside behind Powell River. It is the site of an ambitious program to make the municipal park located here as friendly and usable to people in wheelchairs as to those on foot. A wide, limestone pathway encircles Inland Lake and provides an excellent 13-km cycle route, with the gentlest of grades. You'll enjoy it so much you might want to do it twice.

Note that helmets are mandatory
on public roads in British Columbia.
  Cycle Trek, Victoria Listing Details 
Daily departures for "First Class" local, guided and self-guided sightseeing cycling trips; full and half-day trips available. Upon your arrival in Victoria you will be outfitted with a state of the art hybrid or mountain bike tailored to your adventure. Cycle Victoria City, the Lochside Trail, Seaside Touring Route, Butchart Gardens route, Saanich Peninsula and Cowichan Valley Winery Tours, the Pacific Marine Circle 5-Day Tour, or the Gulf Islands Grand 8-Day Tour.
  Duck Creek Farm, Saltspring Island Listing Details 
Duck Creek Farm is a unique camping experience on a 13-acre organic farm in the heart of beautiful Salt Spring Island. We have vegetable gardens, fruit trees, greenhouses, sheep, a pond for swimming, and five acres of forested land. Duck Creek Farm is a Conservation Partner with The Land Conservancy. The farm offers a relaxing pastoral retreat with nature. We have bicycle campsites (no cars) in the grassy open on the edge of the woods or in the forest; a private farm-stay caravan for two or a furnished 20 teepee in the woods. We are moments from all attractions, minutes from the Crofton/Vesuvius ferry, a short walk to St. Mary Lake and a few kilometers from the centre of Ganges, the main shopping area.
  Steveston Seabreeze Adventures, Richmond Listing Details 
Steveston Seabreeze Adventures offers exciting westcoast ecotours from historic Steveston, 30 minutes south of Vancouver - you don't have to go to Vancouver Island to see the whales! Travel the scenic Fraser River and tranquil Gulf Islands; Go whale watching, wildlife viewing and bird watching around beautiful Vancouver; embark on a guided fishing adventure; or rent a bike and discover by bicycle tour the magical beauty of historic Steveston fishing village. Book your whale watching or Eco Tour today.
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