Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Anyone done the Pacific Marine Circle Route on Vancouver Island?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Anyone done the Pacific Marine Circle Route on Vancouver Island?

Old 02-15-15, 08:53 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tourbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Vancouver/Whistler, BC
Posts: 110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Anyone done the Pacific Marine Circle Route on Vancouver Island?

I'm thinking of doing the Pacific Marine Circle route with a group of cyclists: Swartz Bay, Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Port Renfrew, Sooke, Victoria, Swartz Bay. I know the Galloping Goose trail from Swartz Bay to Sooke is great but, wondering about the rest of the route. I'm not comfortable touring busy roads with tourist traffic and no shoulders. Does anyone know what this route is like in the summer? Busy or is it still a little-known and quiet route?

Thanks.
tourbiker is offline  
Old 02-15-15, 11:38 PM
  #2  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I found the stretch between Port Renfrew and Sooke (especially between French Beach and Sooke) to be a bit too busy for my taste. I rode it on Canada Day. It might be quieter on weekdays, but close to Sooke it's always busy. All the way between Port Renfrew and Sooke there are no shoulders and plenty of tight curves and little hills.

You'll probably want to skip Duncan by riding from Mill Bay up to Shawnigan Lake, over the Kinsol Trestle, then continue on the trail (part of the Trans-Canada Trail) all the way to Lake Cowichan. That trail is not paved of course, and it can be a bit muddy in places. Obviously much quieter than the highway to Duncan and Lake Cowichan.
jkruys is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 12:21 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tourbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Vancouver/Whistler, BC
Posts: 110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks so much. Good to hear from a local. We'll be doing much of the ride during the week but, it'll be in July. Maybe someone else has experience on summer weekdays. We'll be on fully-loaded touring bikes so unpaved is fine only if it's in good condition and not for too far.

If this route is too busy, I'd rather just do the Gulf or San Juan Islands (again) but, looking for a new multi-day circular route.
tourbiker is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 10:09 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Lou Skannon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I did most of this route last year. Swartz Bay to Victoria was the Lochside Rail Trail. Victoria to Sooke was the Galloping Goose Rail Trail. Cowichen Lake to Duncan was also a rail trail and they were all very good. Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichen is well surfaced tarmac but has a big climb which ever way you go.

Sooke to Port Renfrew is narrow with plenty of ups and downs. Jordan River to Sooke was very busy with logging traffic in both directions. I put this down to the big logging lay-down yard at Jordan River. Maybe it is closed at week-ends but was busy during my mid-week journey. North-West of Jordan River was mostly tourist traffic.[ I didn't ride the Duncan to Swartz Bay section.]
Lou Skannon is offline  
Old 02-18-15, 12:31 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
tourbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Vancouver/Whistler, BC
Posts: 110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, Lou!
tourbiker is offline  
Old 02-18-15, 05:27 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: On my bike...
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I did the Victoria Gran Fondo last year - they do this route in 1 day, on the weekend in June, but in the opposite direction (clockwise).

Victoria to Port Renfrew is nice with relatively little traffic (at least at 7am), and the section across the Island from Port Renfrew to Duncan is ridiculously light traffic; virtually no one. I hated the section around Shawnigan Lake; no shoulder, hostile vehicle traffic, crappy roads.

I remember thinking during the ride that I'd like to do it again, but touring, as there seemed to be lots of nice camp spots along the way. Some really big climbs (at least to me they were big).
cvskates is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
johan_h
Pacific Northwest
11
05-08-18 03:51 PM
woodysroad
Touring
2
03-19-15 05:39 AM
perspiration
Northeast
8
03-27-14 01:36 PM
ScandiHo
Western Canada
5
09-05-11 07:30 AM
BigUgly
Northeast
8
02-02-10 08:36 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.