One of the reasons we love Victoria so dang much is because of the never-ending supply of trails to explore! Of course, this selection comes with many many questions. Which has the best view? What are the difficulty levels? How many people are going to see me huff and puff my way to the top?
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Read on to find out the best hikes in and around Victoria, and why we think they’re so awesome!
- Mill Hill: We love Mill Hill for so many reasons! There are trails all over this small hill and benches to take in the views. Speaking of views, on Mill Hill you can see everything from Langford to Downtown Victoria! If you’re curious as to which mountains you’re seeing off in the distance, wander over to the circular metre map (the technical term as deemed by Victoria Hype) and test your sense of direction.
- Elk and Beaver Lake: This one toes the line of “walk/hike” but we HAD to include it for the simple reason that it is freaking breathtaking! Along this flat path, you will wander for exactly 10kms. There is always someone along the path to greet you, and usually they have their furry friends with them! We recommend heading out in the morning to take in the sunrise and see the Canadian Rowing Team training out on the water.
- Mount Finlayson: Oh Mount Fin, you’re always there to whip us into shape. This hike is most definitely the steepest on our list. It is high up on the difficulty list, and if you’re planning to do it in any of the colder months, be sure to wear some hiking boots! She’s a toughie, but the views from the top are well worth the price of admission. There is plenty of parking at the base at Goldstream Park, and there is clear signage along the trail to keep you on track. Definitely a Victoria bucket list hike!
- Mount Douglas: No hiking list would be complete without Mount Douglas. It is the staple hike for anyone who wants to stay in the city, and for an relatively easy climb. There are a number of different trails around and to the summit of the mountain. You even have the option of wandering up the paved roadway if you’re less of the bushwhacking type! The view from the top paired with the endorphin rush is simply the best! Head up around dusk to see the downtown city lights.
- Mystic Beach: Boulders, bridges and brookes await you at this PNW gem. Throw on your hiking boots and prepare for all types of terrain. We wouldn’t say this is a difficult hike, but it does require a bit of maneuvering. It is all worth it once reaching the beach – a long stretch of secluded sand greets you after the last set of stairs. Be sure to snap a picture on the iconic Mystic Beach rope swing!
- East Sooke Park: Where to begin? No literally – where do you even begin? East Sooke Park is one of the biggest parks on the island, and offers 3 trailheads, spreading to even more trails! There is a legend at each respective entrance detailing available trails. We recommend choosing a hike that will take you out along the water. We’ve seen picnickers and meditators on a number of occasions out enjoying the crashing of the waves along the cliffs.
- Gowlland Tod: If you’re looking to avoid heading too far West, we recommend visiting Gowlland Tod Park for your next hike. Located in Brentwood Bay area, this hike offers some beautiful waterfall views, some serene arbutus forests, and a head-on view of the malahat summit. Ocean, mountains, waterfalls, forests – what more could you ask for? This area is usually pretty low traffic. Don’t be surprised if you make it through your whole hike without seeing anyone else on the trail!
Do you have a favourite hiking spot in Victoria? Let us know @VictoriaHype on Facebook.
Feature Image: tranbc.ca