Things to Do in Victoria, Canada

Things to Do in Victoria, Canada
Noted as a thriving tourist destination and the capital of British Columbia, Victoria is located along at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Featuring a Mediterranean climate, the mild seasons combined with a diverse landscape make Victoria a haven for outdoor adventure. From hiking in nearby parks to surfing in the Pacific Ocean, Victoria boasts a balance of adventure travel and cultural experiences for explorers from across the world.

Hiking in East Sooke Park

Bordering the Juan de Fuce Strait, East Sooke Park is a spacious nature reserve located just 40 minutes from downtown Victoria. Surrounded on three sides by water, the eastern side is detached from the Sooke Basin by a narrow channel near Wiffen Spit. The dense forests and wild shorelines of East Sooke Park offer boundless opportunities for hiking. Coppermine Trail, considered a moderate to difficult trail is one of the most popular trails within the park. Taking about two hours to travel round-trip, the trail travels through low lying marsh and climbs the side of Mt. Maguire. Hikers will find many abandoned mines located throughout the trail and experience spectacular views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and neighboring Olympic Mountains.

Surfing in Tofino

Storms generated from the Gulf of Alaska during the months of late September through March produce waves that attract surfers from around the world. With an average ocean temperature of 50 degrees F throughout the year, surfers in Tofino wear wetsuits year round. Ocean adventurers looking to take their first surf lesson will find a number of surf schools within Tofino that feature introductory lessons and familiarization with the local breaks.

Hike Mill Hill Park

Situated only 15 minutes northwest of Victoria, Mill Hill Park is a regional park that welcomes day hiking and picnicking. Resolute hikers can journey to the summit of Mill Hill on the Calypso Trail, which travels through old growth douglas fir forests and reap the rewards of a spectacular view at the top. On a clear day, hikers can capture a spectacular view of the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Summit Mount Finlayson

Standing at approximately 1,312 feet, the one-mile trail to the summit of Mount Finlayson can be quite deceiving. Considered a class three scramble through many parts of the trail, the ascent can be arduous, but the rewarding view is nothing short of astounding. Triumphant hikers will see the towering Olympic Peaks to the south, the Cascade volcanoes to the west, and Victoria's Inner Harbor nestled in the foreground. Mount Finlayson is a popular hike for both British Columbia natives and visitors. Frequented by locals as a conditioning hike, the trail to the summit features sections of slick rock and opportunities for more technical scrambling if so desired.

Bike the Galloping Goose Trail

Approximately 34 miles in length, the Galloping Goose Trail is a decommissioned railroad bed converted into a trail as of 1987. Running from Victoria to Leechtown, a ghost town just north of Sooke, bicyclists will ride through lush forests, past the Sooke River and can picnic at Lake Matheson. Named after the local rail passenger service, the Galloping Goose, this modern rail trail forms a part of the Trans-Canada Trail and also intersects Lochside Regional Trail. Explorers riding the Galloping Goose Trail can make a multi-day trip out of the adventure by incorporating a number of accommodations found within Sooke and Victoria.

Article Written By Patricia Poulin

Patricia Poulin is a freelance writer based out of the western slope of Colorado. Poulin's travels and insight have chronicled in print media resources, such as "Inside Outside" and "Breathe" magazine. She is also a regular contributor for other various publications including "USA Today." Poulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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