Sooke Mayor Maja Tait taking her mountain bike for a spin down the Galloping Goose Trail near the Sooke Potholes.

Kirby Road connection to Galloping Goose a go

BikeBC grant makes connection possible for extended trail

If the recent sunny weather wasn’t enough to inspire dusting off your bicycle or running shoes, here’s something that just might: the Galloping Goose will become a lot easier to get to, thanks to a new $75,000 grant from BikeBC.

The grant, which is part of 22 other other projects chosen by the province, will help fund the construction of a much-needed trail connection from the Galloping Goose at Kirby Road to Sooke Road to allow safe access to the Sooke core and avoid an otherwise lengthy trip along the busy Sooke Road.

Filed under the District’s cycling infrastructure partnership program, the multi-use trail connection will stretch approx. 1.14 kms to the Goose.

That means pedestrians, and cyclists in particular, will soon have the chance to be travelling in and out of the Sooke town centre without having to worry about logging trucks suddenly rolling up behind them, as would be the case for Sooke Road/Hwy 14.

The cost-sharing BikeBC program will fund one-half of the approximately $150,705 multi-use trail project. It is expected to be complete by September 30 of this year.

For Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, an active cyclist and fan of the outdoors herself, the new multi-use trail means more than just access — it’s safety as well.

“Any opportunity you have to create a safer connection is just better for everyone,” she said, noting that otherwise unsafe access to local parks and trails deters people from getting out and being active.

“Experienced cyclists can manage because they’re comfortable with being in traffic, but parents who want their kids to be active and out and about, they want to know that they’re going to be safe,” Tait said.

The new multi-use Kirby Road trail connection is one of several grant-awarded projects to make Sooke a safer place for both its residents and visitors: new trail connections now go though Church Road, Pine Park and John Phillips, respectively.

This includes the Goose crossing over Hwy 14, which is just a stone’s throw away from Cooper’s Cove.

And fortunately, Sooke’s on the map when it comes biking trails, notes Tait.

“There’s a real drive now to promote B.C. as a cycling destination, and we naturally fit with that,” she said. “We have year-round infrastructure here for the road cyclist, that wants to be competitive, just look at all the hills and natural infrastructure already available for that.”

Between the province resurfacing Hwy 14, widening to accommodate better shoulders for cyclists and the addition of multi-use trails, things are shifting gears in the right direction.

“With the weather being as nice as it is and the trails becoming safer and safer, there’s no more excuse to not go out and be active [laughs] just get your bike tuned up and off you go,” Tait said.