Top 4 Day Hikes from Victoria BC

Hey Brun Lovers!

If you haven’t met me yet my name is Jade and in my spare time I love to get outside and explore. One of my favorite ways to do that is to hike. At a young age my mom always instilled in me the “buddy system” and to this day I still cannot bring myself to head out on my own knowing that my safety could be an issue (also, it’s more fun with a friend and my buddy brings snacks). This being said, I always go with a friend who happens to have children and therefore our hours of availability are 9-2:30 (school time), which limits where we can go and what we can do. Over the years I have found some gems of hikes that are easy to do when you only have limited time but give large reward with their views or highlights along the trail. As I am asked quite often which hikes are my favorite I would love to pass some along to you. These are four hikes I like to recommend that have a varied difficulty range and length but can all be done within school hours.

Hopefully at least one of these hikes are new to you and give you the chance to get outside for a few hours and see our beautiful island. There is so much to see just outside of Victoria and I always hear people say they don’t have time. If you have a few extra hours you most definitely can make some of these hikes work for you!

Jade

1. Old Baldy Mountain  Old Baldy Mountain is a super easy hike with a beautiful view but it has a bit of a drive to get to it. This hike starts right near Shawnigan Lake (turn left from Mill Bay onto Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road, left onto Sylvester Rd, right onto Baldy Mountain Rd, left onto Hawking Rd, there is usually cars at the edge of the road to determine the start of the hike and there are two starting spots that are basically the same level of difficulty and distance). This is a short 2.4km hike that takes about 30- 40 minutes depending on your fitness level and sports beautiful views of the lake and a homemade swing with a sentimental story. The hike is quite steep gaining 208m of elevation within the short distance but it is worth the view.

1. Old Baldy Mountain

Old Baldy Mountain is a super easy hike with a beautiful view but it has a bit of a drive to get to it. This hike starts right near Shawnigan Lake (turn left from Mill Bay onto Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road, left onto Sylvester Rd, right onto Baldy Mountain Rd, left onto Hawking Rd, there is usually cars at the edge of the road to determine the start of the hike and there are two starting spots that are basically the same level of difficulty and distance). This is a short 2.4km hike that takes about 30- 40 minutes depending on your fitness level and sports beautiful views of the lake and a homemade swing with a sentimental story. The hike is quite steep gaining 208m of elevation within the short distance but it is worth the view.

2. Mount Stewart and Scafe Hill   This small hilled duo is a 3.9km hike that is located at the backside of Thetis Lake. If you’re a dog walker you probably already know this trail which summits two small peaks and a good mix of shade and sunny spots. The lookouts are quite beautiful and there’s lots of different plant life that you can admire along the trail. It’s just right for getting your heart rate up a bit but not pushing yourself too hard. The whole loop takes under two hours and since the start of the trail is not too far out of town this is an easy one to do in limited time. If you’re really limited on time there are quite a few shorter trails throughout this area. To get here go straight down Millstream Rd and take a right on Stewart Mountain Rd.

2. Mount Stewart and Scafe Hill

This small hilled duo is a 3.9km hike that is located at the backside of Thetis Lake. If you’re a dog walker you probably already know this trail which summits two small peaks and a good mix of shade and sunny spots. The lookouts are quite beautiful and there’s lots of different plant life that you can admire along the trail. It’s just right for getting your heart rate up a bit but not pushing yourself too hard. The whole loop takes under two hours and since the start of the trail is not too far out of town this is an easy one to do in limited time. If you’re really limited on time there are quite a few shorter trails throughout this area. To get here go straight down Millstream Rd and take a right on Stewart Mountain Rd.

3. Peden Lake Trail  This is a personal favorite of mine that is best appreciated in the spring, fall or winter; I honestly don’t think it is as worth it in the summer other than the fact that you can jump in the river at the end when you’re overheating from the hot summer sun. Starting at the Sooke Potholes this trail runs for 5.1km (total, in and out) and passes a handful of waterfalls just off the trail. Keep your ears open as not all of them are visible from the trail. The end of the trail is a cabin that kind of makes you think a serial killer lives there and a beautiful, quiet, private lake. There is a fair amount of up and down on this trail so I would say it is more challenging than the others listed so far and this would take closer to three or four hours (depending on fitness levels and how long you stop to view all the beautiful waterfalls) to complete but it is well worth it if you have the time. To find this hike drive to Sooke Potholes and park at the second parking lot. At the back of the lot it opens up to the galloping goose as well as a secondary trail behind that, take the secondary trail behind the main galloping goose trail. As a highlight you will pass over the Sooke Flowline trial which is Sooke’s old concrete water system.

3. Peden Lake Trail

This is a personal favorite of mine that is best appreciated in the spring, fall or winter; I honestly don’t think it is as worth it in the summer other than the fact that you can jump in the river at the end when you’re overheating from the hot summer sun. Starting at the Sooke Potholes this trail runs for 5.1km (total, in and out) and passes a handful of waterfalls just off the trail. Keep your ears open as not all of them are visible from the trail. The end of the trail is a cabin that kind of makes you think a serial killer lives there and a beautiful, quiet, private lake. There is a fair amount of up and down on this trail so I would say it is more challenging than the others listed so far and this would take closer to three or four hours (depending on fitness levels and how long you stop to view all the beautiful waterfalls) to complete but it is well worth it if you have the time. To find this hike drive to Sooke Potholes and park at the second parking lot. At the back of the lot it opens up to the galloping goose as well as a secondary trail behind that, take the secondary trail behind the main galloping goose trail. As a highlight you will pass over the Sooke Flowline trial which is Sooke’s old concrete water system.

4. Jocelyn Hill via Emma Dixon Trail   Through the Highlands there are lots of different trails at varying difficulties but this trail is moderately short at 5.5km and therefore not too challenging to fit into an afternoon. In total it should take around 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level. The elevation gain is 220m meaning you’ll have some uphill sections (it is a hill after all) but once you reach the top you’ll have a stunning overview of the Saanich Inlet and the Malahat (Goldstream Park and all). There’s lots of pit stops along the way with different angles of the inlet and the forest is full of beautiful plant life to stop and enjoy (when you want to take a break from huffing and puffing). To get here just drive straight down Millstream Rd and park on the side of the road just past Emma Dixon Rd which you will see on your left. This trail starts off steep but I promise it evens out a bit and is not like that the whole way!

4. Jocelyn Hill via Emma Dixon Trail

Through the Highlands there are lots of different trails at varying difficulties but this trail is moderately short at 5.5km and therefore not too challenging to fit into an afternoon. In total it should take around 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level. The elevation gain is 220m meaning you’ll have some uphill sections (it is a hill after all) but once you reach the top you’ll have a stunning overview of the Saanich Inlet and the Malahat (Goldstream Park and all). There’s lots of pit stops along the way with different angles of the inlet and the forest is full of beautiful plant life to stop and enjoy (when you want to take a break from huffing and puffing). To get here just drive straight down Millstream Rd and park on the side of the road just past Emma Dixon Rd which you will see on your left. This trail starts off steep but I promise it evens out a bit and is not like that the whole way!

Wylie McCullough1 Comment