Victoria The Gorge Waterway

Victoria, British Columbia

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Located in the heart of Victoria is the Gorge Waterway, a 6-mile-long natural saltwater canal that winds and bends through residential neighborhoods and empties into Victoria Harbor. The gorge was used for thousands of years by the Songhees First Nations people as a source to catch Coho salmon and herring. Under the south end of the Tillicum Bridge, a 4100-year-old midden of shells, charcoal, and scorched rock can be found. The Canal of Camosack as it was known in the 1800s is now called Tillicum Narrows. Here the shore narrows to a 45-foot-wide bottleneck forcing the tidal current to flush through at higher speeds. Current has been reported of ripping through there at 11 knots—enough to create a wild white-water rapid below the bridge. The rest of the Gorge is wider and very calm, ideal for novice paddlers or those seeking a casual, easy paddle.
Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, & Gulf Islands

by Rob Casey (The Mountaineers Books)

Located in the heart of Victoria is the Gorge Waterway, a 6-mile-long natural saltwater canal that winds and bends through residential neighborhoods and empties into Victoria Harbor. The gorge was used for thousands of years by the Songhees First Nations people as a source to catch Coho salmon and herring. Under the south end of the Tillicum Bridge, a 4100-year-old midden of shells, charcoal, and scorched rock can be found. The Canal of Camosack as it was known in the 1800s is now called Tillicum Narrows. Here the shore narrows to a 45-foot-wide bottleneck forcing the tidal current to flush through at higher speeds. Current has been reported of ripping through there at 11 knots—enough to create a wild white-water rapid below the bridge. The rest of the Gorge is wider and very calm, ideal for novice paddlers or those seeking a casual, easy paddle.

© 2012 Rob Casey/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Victoria
Distance: 6
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: Part Day.
Season: Spring to Fall
Local Maps: Noaa chart 18400 (1:200,000); Canadian Hydrographic Service chart 3412 Victoria Harbor (1:5,000); Victoria Harbor Traffic Scheme map; Victoria Harbor tide table.
Driving Directions: Directions to Victoria: The Gorge Waterway

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May 2018