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Pacific Marine Circle 5 Day Tour

Victoria / Lake Cowichan / Sooke

This is an excellent adventure that gives participants a taste of the best of everything that makes Vancouver Island and the West Coast of Canada one of the most popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Departing from Victoria and utilizing our regional trails and sections of the Trans Canada trail this tour completes a full circle of Southern Vancouver Island from coast to coast. Included are opportunities for white water and ocean kayaking, bear, whale and wildlife excursions, swimming in pristine wilderness lakes, beach combing and fresh pacific salmon and crab feasts on the beach.

This is an ‘executive’ camping tour using comfortable cots and spacious tents on private property. Upgrades to indoor accommodation are available on most nights and all meals are either prepared for you or are in local establishments and are always included.

Day 1 Victoria - Shawnigan Lake (approx 43 kms/27 miles)

Beginning in Victoria we head north on the Lochside trail through the farms and fields that supply the region with its fresh produce, stopping for lunch at a quaint seaside cafe overlooking the Saanich inlet. After lunch we board B.C. Ferries for a 20 minute sailing across to Mill Bay. This crossing has been billed as the most beautiful short cut in the world.

After disembarking we’ll ride the Mill Bay/ Shawnigan Lake area stopping for tastings and tours at BC’s only commercial cidery and one of Vancouver Islands’ best wineries. Our final ride of the day is to Cowichan Bay and our accommodation for the night. Dinner is at a local restaurant.

Day 2 Shawnigan Lake - Lake Cowichan (approx 35 kms/ 22miles)

After a nice light breakfast we depart fornthe  Kinsol Trestle where we start our ride on the Trans Canada Trail. This is one of the highlights as we are ride through pristine wilderness and over century old trestles where photograph and wildlife viewing opportunities abound.

By midday we find ourselves crossing the Cowichan River and arriving at our destination for the day. Here we lunch and decide what to do with the rest of our day. *Our hosts for the evening, Don and Rose, operate a white water kayak school on the Cowichan River, which makes this a perfect opportunity for those interested to join in a beginner’s clinic for the afternoon. The other options are: a guided hike in search of Black Bear, Roosevelt Elk and other wildlife; enjoy a leisurely afternoon by the pool; or perhaps take your bike and explore the river and the town of Lake Cowichan on your own.

Dinner tonight is a pool side barbeque with all the fixings, a soak in the hot tub and perhaps some tall tales around the camp fire.

Day 3 Lake Cowichan - Port Renfrew (approx 33 kms/21miles)

After breakfast we’ll bid a fond farewell to our hosts and then it’s on to our next destination; Port Renfrew on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This little coastal fishing community is the gateway to the famous West Coast Trail and Pacific Rim National Park.

We start off with a van shuttle down some rugged active logging roads (too active to ride) to our start point. From here we ride a deactivated logging road with many river crossings and some amazing areas of old growth forest including a stop at the not so famous Harris Creek Sitka Spruce. This tree must be seen to be believed, it’s as big as a house, maybe two.

We continue on to Lizard Lake for our lunch and perhaps a swim along the shores of this pristine wilderness lake. After lunch it’s on to Port Renfrew and our accommodation for the night. Tonight we’ll feast on a West Coast meal prepared on the private beach at our host property, Big Fish Lodge.

Day 4 Port Renfrew - Sooke Basin (approx 30-50 kms/20-30 miles)

Today we will start the day with a visit to the amazing tidal pools and rugged rocky outdrops of famous Botanical Beach - this is the west coast at its most specatcular. After our interpretative walk we'll start the ride down the Wsert Coast Road to Sooke, again combining the difficult sections and riding the best, of course. Today's ride takes us along some beautiful coastline including French and China Beach, and the surfing hot spot of Jordan River. Lunch today will be a picnic on the beach. We will end our ride at Ocean Wilderness Inn with either a realxing hot tub overlooking the specatacular Juan de Fuca Strait, or a stroll down to the ocean from their private trail.

Day 5 Sooke Basin - Victoria (approx 50 kms/30 miles)

After breakfast today we head up to the Sooke River and the potholes.

This is a beautiful watershed with huge trees and deep pools of crystal clear water. After exploring the area we depart on the Galloping Goose trail towards Victoria. This old railway right of way leads us through old growth forest, along the shores of the Sooke basin and on through uninterrupted park and pasture land right to the doors of our office in downtown Victoria.

At this point to top off our last day we include an exciting whale watching excursion in search of the mighty Orca and other exciting wildlife directly from our docks on the harbour and thus, alas, ends our most excellent adventure.