The picturesque multi–use Lochside Regional Trail, formerly a railway line, stretches from Swartz Bay to Victoria, passed beaches, farmland, and wetlands, down country lanes and beside suburban backyards. The trail has a more civilized personality than its more rural cousin, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. While some parts of the Lochside Trail are off-road, and others downright pastoral, in some places trail visitors must share paved or gravel public roads with motor vehicles and farm vehicles.
You can cycle, stroll, run, or even ride a horse through the rural sections. Whether you’re commuting to work, meandering on a weekend afternoon or pacing yourself from the Switch Bridge to Swartz Bay, the trail is yours to enjoy and yours to protect.
The Lochside Trail intersects with the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, a 55-kilometre former railway line from Victoria to Sooke, and the first section of the Trans-Canada Trail.
Trail Rating: Accessible (paved sections) to Easy
Location: Saanich, Central Saanich, Sidney, North Saanich
Things to Do
The Lochside Regional Trail is both a popular commuting route and the perfect way to enjoy a lazy Sunday ride through the farmlands of the Saanich Peninsula. Stop at one of the nearby sandy beaches on the way, and enjoy ocean views from the trail itself as you approach Sidney.
Suggested Cycle Day Trips
From the Switch Bridge, take the Lochside Trail past Swan Lake and over the Blenkinsop Trestle to nearby Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park or Cordova Bay beach. 12km one way
From the Switch Bridge, follow the Lochside Trail through the farmland of the Saanich Peninsula to Sidney. Stop to explore Island View Beach Regional Park on the way. 29km one way
The Lochside Regional Trail traverses urban landscapes and working agricultural areas. Some sections follow or cross public roadways. Use caution and obey traffic rules on roads and at road crossings. Give way to farm vehicles using the trail.
How to Get to Lochside Trail
North from Downtown Victoria
Follow the Galloping Goose Regional Trail from Victoria to the Switch Bridge in Saanich. Turn right to follow the Lochside Trail north toward Sidney/Swartz Bay. There are several access points along the trail, including Lochside Park off Cordova Bay Road, Cy Hampson Park off Lochside Drive in Central Saanich and Tulista Park off Lochside Drive in Sidney.
South from Swartz Bay
Follow the signs for the Lochside Regional Trail.
Cyclists: after passing under the Landsend Road overpass, turn right at the bicycle lane, right at the overpass, then right onto the trail.
Foot passengers: turn left at the Landsend Road overpass, then right onto the trail.
BC Transit bus #70 from Victoria to Swartz Bay stops at various locations along the route of the Trail. Contact BC Transit for schedule information.
Please Help Conserve Our Parks
- Share the trail and keep right except to pass.
- When passing, alert other trail visitors and use caution, particularly around horses.
- Respect the trail environment and neighbouring lands.
- Yield to farm equipment.
- Control your speed and yield to pedestrians and horse riders.
- Keep your dog under control and on the trail.
- Pick up your dog’s droppings.
- Do not remove or disturb animals or plants, such as wildflowers.
- Leave no trace and carry out litter.
- Camping, open fires and alcohol are prohibited.