Saturday, August 30, 2008
Biking Vancouver Island, part I
Labour Day long weekend, and we are exploring the bike trails on Vancouver Island.
The TransCanada Trail is an old railbed that has been converted to a walking/biking trail. It starts somewhere near Victoria and goes to Nanaimo; we pick it up at the south end of Shawnigan Lake (turn off on Shawnigan Lk. Rd. South from hwy 1, then left on Sooke Lake Rd and the trail access is right before the new Cougar Heights subdivision turnoff). There are also lots of access points to the trail up the west side of the lake, along West Shawnigan Lk. Rd.
The trail is well-maintained, a constant 2% grade, so great for biking - even a road bike can handle the hard-packed surface. The scenery is rather unspectacular, though...mostly views of acreages with huge homes and horse paddocks, clearcuts to accomodate more of the same, and interspersed, some views of cottage-enclosed Shawnigan Lake.
Although the trail is marked as "no motorized vehicles", we encounter quite a few ATVs and dirt bikes.There are some trestles on the trail, the most spectacular being the Kinsol Trestle - the highest one in the Commonwealth - which is, unfortunately, closed. It's rotting. As of 2008, it's being reviewed for possible fix-up...here's hoping!