child and dog on lakefront boardwalk

Social distancing in 2020 is an important step for our community that will help all of us stay healthy. However, getting outside for recreation shouldn’t be avoided entirely. In fact, hiking the trails in the Greater Victoria Area is excellent for maintaining regular physical activity for both you and your dog while staying distanced from crowds.

However, it might be a good time to stay away from the more crowded dog-friendly areas during the covid-19 crisis. But, maybe now is an ideal opportunity to explore new dog-friendly trails that both you and your hiking pal will love!

Sandcut Beach (Jordan River Regional Park)

Sandcut Beach is the first beach stop along the Juan de Fuca coastline that lies between Sooke and Port Renfrew. An easy and meandering trail that’s about 1km long, Sandcut is a great place to take your dog for a quick hike. At the end of the trail, you arrive on the spectacular pebbled shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Similar to the more popular spots in the area, like French Beach or Mystic Beach, Sandcut is a gentle gem that usually lower levels of visitors.

Need help taming the mud and dirt off your dog after a great hike? Check out our pet grooming services.

Thetis Regional Park

While Upper and Lower Thetis Lake’s are trendy places for dog walkers year-round, the extensive trail system stemming from those two trails are much less utilized. Take a few strides with your dog away from the main pathways and engage in social distancing amongst Thetis Park’s outlying hills.

For more information on trails accessible from Thetis Lake, visit here.


Leechtown is a long deserted ghost town deep within the Sooke Hills and marks the end of the iconic Galloping Goose Trail. The trail is well-groomed, flat, and easily accessible from the third parking lot at the top of the Sooke Potholes. 

The trek to Leechtown is a bit long, making this hike more suited to those looking for an easy but extensive day hike. The old Leechtown site is 10km from the Sooke Pothole’s parking lot but, don’t feel you have to go all the way for a good hike! The trail markers at every kilometer and level ground are great features at this underused site. 

Need care for your senior dog while you head to the woods for a long day, or overnight trip? Consider our pet boarding services.

Sea to Sea Regional Park

For an uphill hike that’s similarly challenging to Mt. Finlayson, but without the crowds, head out to the Sea to Sea Regional Park. Several challenging trails with access to panoramic views of the Sooke Basin are accessible from the park’s main parking lot located at the end of Harbourview Road in Sooke.

Recent upgrades by the CRD make this park even more appealing and include wide trails, clear trail markings, and posted maps. Access to an old fire tower, complete with a guest book for signing, is a fun perk for those that journey to the top of Manuel Quimper, the highest peak in the wilderness park.

Timberman Trail Loop

The Saanich Peninsula is host to many great outdoor experiences, meaning some areas are more traversed than others. Within the peninsula’s Gowlland-Tod provincial park lies the Timberman Trail Loop, which is a moderate hike that sees less traffic than some of the other more popular locales.

Learn more about the Gowlland-Tod trail system here.

Mill Hill Regional Park

Westshore pet owners that wish to stay closer to home should explore Mill Hill Regional Park in Langford. A short, but steep climb yields to panoramic views that hikers and their four-legged friends will appreciate. For a riveting trek guaranteed to tire out high energy dogs and is a bit off the beaten path, Mill Hill is the place to visit.

Don’t forget to watch out for ticks and fleas when in the woods. Not sure what to look for? Learn the signs of tick bites here.

At Puppy Love Pet Care Centre, we encourage our clients to stay safe during the covid pandemic. We will continue to remain open and offer our pet boarding and grooming services to our clients. For further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.

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