Local Wilderness Runs
Partridge Hills Loop-de-Doop
Located between Butchart Gardens and Durrance Lake, Partridge Hills is an undeveloped area laced with a great, flowing network of trails. Most trails are single track with varying degrees of difficulty. Surface is dirt. Easy connection to Mt. Work, Hartland mountain bike trails and Gowlland Tod trails. Access is either from Durrance Lake, Willis Point Rd. or Wallace Drive. Washrooms available at Durrance Lake only. No water available. Dogs can be off-leash, but watch for mountain bikes!
The Great Gowlland Todd
This is a great trail for longer runs/walks, especially for those who enjoy the challenge of hills and more technical terrain. Stunning scenery overlooking Finlayson Arm and Saanich Inlet. You can also include the adjacent Mackenzie Bight, Mt. Work and the Hartland mountain bike trail network. A connector route will also take you to Thetis Lake Park. Washrooms at Caleb Pike and McKenzie Bight trailheads. No water available. Dogs can be off-leash, but under control.
Thetis to Munn Connector
View Royal and
One of the most beautiful running/walking areas around Victoria, Thetis Lake Park and the adjoining greenbelts/parks make for an extraordinary running - and swimming - experience. This area is blessed with a myriad of delightful trails, stunningly pretty lakes and a great mix of terrain. Most trails are well marked. While the main trails are fairly well maintained, many of the smaller branch trails tend to be more technical “single-track”. Expect hills! Several routes join adjacent parks, such as Francis-King Park and Mt. Work Provincial Park. This particular route starts at the main beach at Thetis Lake, follows delightful single-track back trails to Munn Road (near the trailhead up Mt. Work), then returns.
The Epic East Sooke Loop
It's only 20K, you say? Don't be fooled by the distance...this spectacular but challenging route will feel like a marathon! The first 10+ km takes you along the rugged Coast Trail, a highly technical route that hugs the remote and jagged, wind-swept coastline of East Sooke, offering stunning panoramic views of the Salish Sea and Olympic Mountains beyond. Leaving the incredible ocean vistas behind, the route then turns inland and you make your way back to the start via a network of fairly challenging inland trails guaranteed to raise your heart rate.
Galloping to Leechtown 20-Miler
The longest trail route in and around Victoria, “The Goose” is a 57 km rail-trail, connecting downtown Victoria to the Sooke Potholes and Leechtown (an old ghost town). Being an old railway line, the trail is flat and very easy to run. This section of The Goose is the most remote, and is a wilderness delight. Meandering through maple, fir and arbutus-laden forest, the trail takes you over two high trestles (one may still be under renovation, so a 1500m by-pass along a delightful single-track is necessary) and follows the Sooke River inland. The trail is well-marked with directional signs and kilometer markers. The river has several great spots swimming in the summer.
The Kludahk Trail
The Kludahk Trail is one of the epic trail runs on Vancouver Island. Privately built and maintained (by the Kludahk Trail Society), it traverses the San Juan Ridge, a high mountain ridge between Jordan River and Port Renfrew, and was originally created for skiers. Several well-equipped wilderness huts, many kilometres of boardwalk over bog, high alpine meadows and picturesque alpine lakes are a few of the key features of this extraordinary route. You will marvel at the engineering feats of the bridges, the attention to detail in hut planning, the extensiveness of the boardwalk and the sheer remoteness of the experience. The eastern half is best to run (the western half towards Port Renfrew is more challenging terrain, the route is harder to follow and not as enjoyable to run), so we recommend an out and back. Note: access is difficult.
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is considered one of the most challenging trail runs on Vancouver Island. We recommend this route only for highly fit runners looking for a true ‘West Coast’ wilderness experience, and who are prepared to battle rooty, muddy trails, rotting wooden boardwalks, slippery boulders, and rocky, ankle-twisting shorelines in a rugged and isolated environment. But…the rewards this extraordinary route offers are enormous and unforgettable!
Obstruction Point to Deer Park
12 - 24 km
Start from Obstruction Pt (best views and better trail options) and run towards Deer Park. We suggest running 8 km out, then turning back as the last 4 km approaching Deer Park is not as nice.
Epic Mt. Tzouhalem Challenge
This Mt. Tzouhalem Challenge route is truly epic. 20 km of technical single-track, challenging climbs to some of the most spectacular views on the southern Island, this is a must-do run for serious trail runners. For an easier route up the mountain, begin at the Kaspa Rd. trailhead at the top of The Properties subdivision off Maple Bay Road.
Maple Mountain Madness
The CRD has invested considerable effort developing Maple Mountain into an exceptional trail network for runners, mountain bikers and hikers. This challenging 22-km loop provides more than a taste of what makes Maple Mountain such an awesome destination for serious and not-so-serious runners alike. Blessed with a myriad of delightful single track trails, forest richly laden with maple and arbutus, and some serious elevation gain, we cannot recommend this park highly enough. Most trails are well marked. Caution: expect mountain bikers!
Cowichan River Trail
This is very pleasant single-track running trail that follows the beautiful Cowichan River. A canopy of maples offers cool shade in the hot summer. Make a loop by turning around at Mile 66 Trestle and returning via the flat and fast Trans Canada Trail.
Mt. Geoffrey Gallop
Mt. Geoffrey on Hornby Island is one of the very best running destinations on the coast! Immerse yourself in the myriad of delightful and easily runnable trails that meander through cool, fern-laden forests of maple, fir and arbutus on the lower sections of the mountain, then enjoy the great views over Denman and Vancouver Islands to the west on higher sections. Did we say runnable? You will love running these trails, and this route, beginning and ending at the ferry (think pub!), will show you why we keep coming back year after year…
High Divide - Seven Lakes Loop
At 30 km and with an elevation gain of 1620m, the High Divide - Seven Lakes Basin Loop near Port Angles, Washington makes for a worthy day trip from Victoria. Spectacular mountain scenery, delicious single-track running and enough climbing to satisfy any mountain goat, this route will reward the serious trail runner with an unforgettable experience. Note that bear spray is required.
Mt. Albert Edward, at an elevation of 2093m, is one of the highest peaks in Strathcona Park, which is one of the largest parks on Vancouver Island. The route up Albert Edward begins and ends at Paradise Meadows (Mt. Washington) with a few hundred metres of easy boardwalk. From here the trail becomes increasingly more technical and steep the closer to Albert Edward one gets. This is high alpine running at its best: remote and scenic, with alpine lakes, wildflowers, whiskey jacks and incredibly crisp, clean mountain air! The final climb up the exposed, scree slope of Albert Edward is long and arduous, but spectacular vistas of snow-capped mountains are your reward. The return route takes you past several beautiful alpine lakes, where swimming is sublime and the perfect way to end your epic 33-km mountain run.
Wilderness Runs Outside Victoria
Explore our Wilderness Routes maps to find your perfect run. These are some of our favorite wilderness routes around Victoria, and beyond.
Click on any route to view specific route details including:
distance, route type, washroom access, water availability, route description and more!
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