Autumn Tunnel along the Galloping Goose Rail Trail (East Sooke, Vancouver Island, BC)
Autumn on Vancouver Island is warm, quiet and uncrowded. The summer tourist season is over and it’s a perfect time to explore the premier hiking trail around Victoria, BC, the Galloping Goose Trail. It's an scenic adventure through thick forests along the rugged Pacific coastline.
September & October is a perfect time to enjoy an adventure holiday or romantic getaway on Vancouver Island.
This photo was taken along the trail as it skirted the Sooke Basin about 40 minutes from downtown Victoria, BC (driving time). Along this stretch, the mature maple trees make for a surreal tunnel of colorful leaves.
The trail is 55 km long but parking lots along the route break up the trail into sections. This excellent walk along the Sooke Basin starts at the Roche Cove Regional Park parking lot and takes about 1 hour (round trip).
For those people who want a longer adventure, it takes about 4 hours to cycle the entire length from downtown Victoria, BC to Leechtown in the Sooke Hills, BC.
Just out of view on the left is the Sooke Basin where thousands of migrating birds congregate to feed and rest before continuing their southern journey.
Weather Forecast - Victoria
The forest is alive with musical calls in the brightly colored forest. The Galloping Goose Trail is also a part of the Trans Canada Trail.
Follow the driving directions to get to Roche Cove Park in East Sooke.
View Hiking Trails near Sooke, BC in a larger map
For an official map and brochure, click here.
Things to do, Sooke BC
- Comfort Cove Cottage in East Sooke, BC has an extensive list of things to do.
- Hike an easy, moderate or strenuous hike in East Sooke Park.
- Walk or bike along the well groomed trail. It's gentle, picturesque and shows the beauty of the west coast.
- Take a whale-watching tour or fishing charter.
- Take a day-sail on the Sooke Basin or venture out onto the Juan de Fuca Strait.
- Swim in the warm, fresh water of Matheson Lake or the Sooke Potholes.
- Enjoy the coastal parks outside of Victoria, BC including Witty's Lagoon, Aylard farm & Devonian Park.
Trail Etiquette & Tips
- As with all rail trails in Canada, use common sense and prepare for all types of weather & trail conditions.
- The trail is wide and easily accommodates 6 people across. However, share the trail and keep right except to pass. Allow more room for equestrians to pass.
- Cyclist, please ring a bell or verbally alert people before passing.
- You don't need a backpack full of emergency gear but ensure to bring essential items for the day. Bring enough water.
- Dog owners should keep their pets under control at all times. The East Sooke and the Sooke Potholes area are considered rural and home to bears and cougars. Even though an encounter is EXTREMELY rare, please respect their home.
- Try to get off the trail before nightfall. It gets REALLY dark in the rainforest. Bring a flashlight and reflective gear if you plan on staying late.
Because of the mild climate and more relaxed attitude, there are plenty of scenic things to do in BC and on Vancouver Island.
Sooke, BC is located 40 kilometers (about 40 minutes) from downtown Victoria, BC but if you're adventurous, you can cycle the Galloping Goose Trail to get here.
Check out other things to do on your great Canadian holiday to Sooke, British Columbia.
Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.