South Island trail extensions connect hiking route from Victoria to Nanaimo

South Island trail extensions connect hiking route from Victoria to Nanaimo

Hikers will be lacing up this summer to explore Vancouver Island’s newest trail. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Outdoor enthusiasts now have a new Vancouver Island trail to add to their summer bucket list. 

“This truly is a great Canadian project,” Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said. 

The joint-community initiative includes the unveiling of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail on Friday. 

“It’s a 13-kilometre journey through absolute heaven,” Mike Hicks of the Capital Region District’s Parks Committee said. 

The trail links an area of the Sooke Wilderness Regional Park Reserve that has been off limits to the public for 15 years.

“It was that assembly of private land, public land and donated lands through previous developments that was quite a challenge,” Ian Morrison of the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Electoral Area Services Committee said. 

The Cowichan Valley Trail has also been extended by nine kilometres south of Shawnigan Lake, bridging a gap on the Island’s portion of “The Great Trail.”

The new route will now allow hikers to trek from Victoria all the way to Nanaimo.  

“I’ve just started exploring it,” Desjardins said. “It’s wide, accessible and such a wonderful trail.”

The Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail boasts spectacular views and a 41-metre suspension bridge above the Goldstream River. 

“This trail will be one of the premier cycling and hiking trails in Canada” Hicks said.  


Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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