Waterfront Routes

Explore our favourite waterfront routes around Victoria and the southern Island.

Waterfront Routes

Local Routes

5 km  - 23 km

Outside Victoria

7 km  - 25 km

Explore our Waterfront Routes maps to find your perfect run. These are some of our favorite waterfront routes around Victoria.

Click on any route to view specific route details including: 
distance, terrain, route type, washroom access, water availability, route description and more!

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Local Waterfront Routes

Thetis Lake: Upper-Lower Lakes loop

4.9 km

View Royal

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. This particular run circles both Upper and Lower Thetis Lakes, and makes for an easy to moderate route that highlights many of the Park’s most scenic spots.

Esquimalt Lagoon Beach Run

10 km

Colwood

This is Victoria's longest beach run with 10 km of glorious sand, sea and surf...! Check the tide tables, since it's best when the tide is out. The views of Victoria and over the Salish Sea to the Olympic Mountains are second-to-none.  

Classic Elk-Beaver Loop

11.8 km

Saanich

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.

Mile Zero to West Bay Marina 

14.4 km

Victoria and Esquimalt

This is one of Victoria’s best paved running routes. It begins at Mile Zero, the starting point of the famous 7,821-km Trans-Canada Highway, one of the longest routes of its type in the world. Take a short (1,600m return) side trip out to the end of the Ogden Point breakwater, enjoy the historical sights of the Inner Harbour with the Parliament Buildings and Empress Hotel, traverse the new Johnson St. bridge and follow the scenic Songhees (Westsong) Walkway that hugs the rugged shoreline to West Bay Marina. To extend your run, continue to MacAulay and Saxe Point Parks, join the Galloping Goose Trail or the E&N Rail Trail.

The Spectacular East Sooke Coast Trail

21.5 km

East Sooke

It may only be 10 km one-way, but don’t be fooled... The East Sooke Coast Trail is a particularly spectacular and challenging route, and by the time you’re back to your car we guarantee you will feel like you’ve just run a marathon! The highly technical route takes you along the remote and rugged wind-swept coastline of East Sooke, offering stunning panoramic views of the Salish Sea and Olympic Mountains beyond. The turnaround is where the trail meets the Pike Road access trail. If you’ve had your fill of the Coast Trail by this point, continue up the Pike Road access to the Anderson Cove Trail and make your way back to the start via a series on inland trails (see ‘East Sooke Park Loop’). Other access routes to the inland trail network include Coppermine Trail, Parkheights Trail and Interior Trail. Note: with some steep grades, these inland trails are also challenging.

Victoria's Best Waterfront Loop (Mile Zero to Cattle Point)

23 km

Victoria and

Oak Bay

Stunning ocean vistas and some of Victoria’s most exquisite real estate… what could make for a more appealing run? This route takes you through some of the city’s most expensive residential areas, such as Beach Drive, Oak Bay, Uplands and Rockland, as well as Victoria’s jewel: Beacon Hill Park. Enjoy watching the kite surfers, sailboats and sun worshipers as you run past arguably the most spectacular waterfront of any city on the planet.

Rebecca Spit Bigfoot Run (Quadra Island)

5.5 km

Quadra Island

Rebecca Spit, on the east side of Quadra Island, offers an outstanding waterfront running experience. With great single track trails that weave through the forest, little traffic and the most incredible views of distant islands and the snow-capped Coast mountain range beyond, this short 5.5 km loop run should be on every runner’s ‘bucket list’.

Twin Beaches to Berry Point 

6.8 km

Gabriola Island

The road route between Twin Beaches and Berry Point on Gabriola Island is a 6.8 km waterfront delight. Flat with very light traffic, the entire route follows the coastline with expansive views over the Strait of Georgia towards Lasqueti and Texada Islands, and the snow-capped Coast mountains beyond. Have a swim at Twin Beaches following your run, or stop at the Surf Pub for a refreshment along the way… Island life doesn’t get any better than this!

Helliwell Park-High Salal Loop

8.6 km

Hornby Island

Hornby Island is, hands down, our very favourite running getaway. On the easternmost finger of Hornby Island lies Helliwell Park, a spectacular waterfront park covering over 7,000 acres of forest and open meadows that billow towards the sea. The views are simply stunning views, and if this was all the park had going for it, we’d still visit. But although the meadows of long yellow grasses and gnarled arbutus trees perched on high bluffs overlooking a sparkling blue ocean will take your breath away, so will the delightful trails that enable you to experience this awesome beauty The route we have shown here includes a loop of Helliwell, combined with the High Salal to Helliwell Trail. Where the trail joins the High Salal Ranch Road, you can turn around and run back along the coast, or continue looping back to the beginning via roads. The options for extending this route are almost endless, as there are a plethora of adjoining trails and various roads that can be added to create truly epic run.

Newcastle Island - Coast Loop

9.4 km

Newcastle Island

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. This particular run circles both Upper and Lower Thetis Lakes, and makes for an easy to moderate route that highlights many of the Park’s most scenic spots.

The Wild Pacific Trail 

10 km

Ucluelet

The Wild Pacific Trail clings to the ruggedly beautiful coastline near Ucluelet, and offers runners a feast of spectacular ocean and shoreline vistas while they enjoy rolling, but easily runnable footpaths. Be sure to include the Ancient Cedars trail that will take you past 800-year old trees!

Long Beach Run

25 km 

Tofino

Expansive, hard-packed sand for as far as your eye can see, crashing surf and wind-sculpted trees, every runner visiting this most famous beach on the remote Pacific coast of Vancouver Island owes themselves a run here. It's one of those spiritual experiences that can only be had running in the high mountains, or in exceptionally special places such as this. This route begins with about 1500m of boardwalk through an ancient rain forest, before bursting out into the sunlight, glorious sand and surf beckoning... Approximately two-thirds of the way down the beach you will need to cross a shallow river, so be prepared to get your feet wet! The turnaround is at the Kwistis Visitor Centre. This is a remote and desolate  Pacific coast beach where wolves, bears  and cougars may be present. Keep your music at home and be alert!

Waterfront Routes Outside Victoria

 

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