What is The Great Trail?
The Great Trail (TGT) (formerly the Trans Canada Trail) is one of the world's longest networks of multi-use recreational trails. Once fully connected, it will stretch nearly 24,000 km from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans, through every province and territory, linking Canadians in nearly 1,000 communities.
The project was initiated nationally in 1992 to celebrate Canada’s 125th year. The goal is to complete the main route of the TGT by July 2017, the 25th anniversary of the Trail and Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.
Where will the trail be located in the CRD?
Within the CRD, the 45km route for the TGT will run between the CRD-Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) boundary and Clover Point in Victoria. Different sections of the route will be developed and managed by the CRD, the City of Langford, and the City of Victoria. CRD staff are working closely with the CVRD, the City of Langford, and the City of Victoria on the development of the TGT route.
The CRD will provide two sections of the route for the TGT. One section will be along a portion of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail (approximately18.5km) from Victoria to Jacklin Road in Langford.
The second section, the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail (approximately 13km), is being planned from Humpback Reservoir in Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserve to the CRD-CVRD boundary. Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail is not open to the public at this time. Construction is underway and as an active construction site, it is imperative that no access occurs along the proposed route.
Our aim is to have the trail open for use in July 2017.
The expected cost to create the new trail is $2.3 million. The CRD has received from the Trans Canada Trail Organization two grants equaling nearly $61,000 for trail planning requirements over the past 3 years and recently, a $650,000 grant to assist with trail construction. The CRD and the CVRD have been working together to plan a seamless connection at our respective boundaries. Both regional districts are working to complete their new trail development before the July 1, 2017.
Where will the trail be located on Vancouver Island?
North of the CRD, the TGT will travel through the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Regional District of Nanaimo to the Departure Bay Ferry terminal, where the route crosses the Strait of Georgia to the mainland. For information about the TGT route in these Regional Districts, check each districts’ website or contact the regional districts directly.