Dog Friendly Runs
10 - 17 km
The Slightly Adventurous Thetis Lake Loop
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 Stewart Mountain, Francis/King and Gowlland Tod. Washrooms and water available. Dogs can be off-leash, but under control. This particular loop combines great views of both Upper and Lower Thetis Lakes, beautiful trails that weave through rocky forests rich with fir, maple and arbutus, and exhilarating technical single track. Enjoy!
Fearless Francis/King Loop
This wooded wilderness park offers cool shade in the summer and wonderful mud in the winter as you explore the 11 kms of trails that weave through groves of 500-year old trees, over rocky bluffs and beside picturesque streams. Though most of the trails are mildly technical, an 800m boardwalk loop is a great addition if you want an easier run. Trails connect directly to adjacent Thetis Lake Park.
The Great Cedar Grove Loop
The Cedar Grove Trail starts on the north side of the Galloping Goose parking lot at Gillespie Rd., and generally follows the Galloping Goose in a parallel direction to the east. The route shown here, however, begins and ends where the Galloping Goose crosses Rocky Point Rd. The Cedar Grove Trail travels through several groves of massive cedar trees, as well as maples and fir/arbutus. The trail can be somewhat technical in places, but still very runnable, even when it gets a bit muddy in the winter! This trail offers an great alternative to a simple out/back on the Galloping Goose, and can be combined with other trail networks in the area. Note: due to fast-moving cyclists, keep Rover on-leash when on this section of the Galloping Goose.
The Classic Elk-Beaver Loop
This is probably the most used running/walking trail in Victoria. The shortest distance around both lakes is 10 km, though there are many side trails that can be added. Flat, well maintained, kilometer marked, this is a great trail for fast running, easy group runs and walks. Several places to swim in the summer. Surface is dirt or crushed gravel. An abundance of washrooms and water available along the route. Dogs can be off-leash, but under control.
Mt. Doug Extravaganza
One of Victoria’s best kept running secrets, Mt. Doug Park is a great place for either easy or hard runs. The park offers many scenic trails, some steep and challenging (great for hill training!), but several routes are fairly gentle. This particular loop combines both gentle and technical trails, some steep grades and a long uphill road section. Most trails are dirt, with some roots and rocks. Trails are generally well marked. Dogs can be off-leash, but under control.
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 Tod
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.
Explore our Dog-Friendly Map to find the perfect off-leash run with your best friend.
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