Moderate Trails

Mount Wells Trail

Located near Sooke Hills, the Mount Wells Summit hike is perfect for those who want a challenge. The steep 352m trail rewards hikers with stunning views of Juan de Fuca Strait, the city of Victoria and the Sooke Hills. Along the way to the summit are two sightseeing pit stops that give you both a chance to catch your breath and lose it all over again to a wonderful view. Brilliant wildflowers located in this protected region guide the way in the spring along trails that lace through Douglas Firs and Garry Oak to the open hilltops.

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Being a wildlife refuge as well, black-tailed deer, red squirrels and alligator lizards are some of the many different creatures that will accompany you along the way.   The 123 hectares of parkland was established in 1994 and its Langford location is definitely worth the drive for those who love to hike.

Directions: From Victoria, travel west on Trans Canada Hwy and take the Sooke Lake Rd exit. After you reach Humpback Road, head left, pass Irwin road, and on your right you’ll see the trailhead.

Bear Hill Park

The Bear Hill summit is about a 30-minute hike that leads you to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking Mount Baker, Haro Strait, Sydney and the Gulf and San Juan Islands. Just north of Victoria on the Saanich Peninsula, the entire park consists of 48 hectares and is home to many types of trees, animals and wildflowers making it a popular destination for tourists.

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The summit trail itself winds through Douglas Fir forests and can be steep in some areas. Open to hikers and horseback riders, it is a great place to spend an afternoon. For more info on the park itself, head on over to our Parks and Beaches Page.

Photo By: Laurissa Cebryk

Goldstream Park and Mt. Finlayson

Although a bit farther outside of Victoria than some of the other hikes at 15km away, Goldstream Park is a “cannot-miss” of the area and is arguably one of the most popular and beautiful parks to explore on Vancouver Island. Not only does it feature the numerous different types of terrain offered by the temperate rainforest, Goldstream gives hikers access to beautiful waterfalls, sweeping forests, extensive wildlife such as spawning salmon and has picnic areas and camping.  With a rugged and steep trail to one of the highest peaks on the Island at 419m (1375ft), the hour-long Mount Finlayson hike shows off panoramic views of Victoria and the surrounding region.

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Easy trails branch off to various waterfalls including one known as Niagara Falls whose height almost reaches that of the falls after which it was named at 47.5m, and to an abandoned goldmine from the days of the Gold Rush. Massive old growth trees such as Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedar, Hemlock, Yew, Big Leaf Maple and Black Cotton Wood as well as beautiful wildflowers accompany you on your journey and the 16km of varying levels of trails provide something for absolutely everyone.

Photo By: Kyoshi Noguchi

Gowlland Tod (Tod Inlet)

Offering more than 25km of trails, this beautiful Provincial Park provides something for all difficulty levels. The Gowlland Range overlooks Finlayson Arm, a fantastically unique fjord, as well as offers magnificent ocean-side views of the Inlet, as well as of and along the fjord. The Mount Work trail offers the most challenging hike and is 5km in length to the summit, which opens up to sweeping views of the Tod Inlet.

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This park’s Brentwood Bay location, right nearby the Butchart Gardens, makes it extremely accessible to those staying in Victoria and its large area makes you feel miles away from the city. It’s a perfect place to take a break and experience the wild, British Columbia outdoors.

Photo By: Rob deLange

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