As a city girl hiking is not something I experience much and do get requests for – often. I usually have a pretty good handle on what to recommend; Hiking however, is not one of them. So, I turn to the experts and Mark Vukobrat from Hike Victoria is one of them.
Mark invited me to come along with a small group to Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. We started off at an unmarked passageway that joins the main trail about ½ way up saving us from the most grueling lower part of the entire trail (this is one of those reasons why an expert is so valuable). The trail was moderate and manageable for my “beginner level” and is about 2.5-3 hours depending on how long you want to soak up the views. There is a little light scrambling and spots where you had to make sure you had proper footing which Marc points out along the way. We were a small group of 5 from young and spry to…. well… my age, and I am not telling! Marc managed the pace of this varied group very well, making select stops to allow us (well- me) to catch our breath and give us a little story about the Park/Trail, the city of Victoria and it’s prominent people. We enjoyed a “hiker’s lunch” at the top and took this time to soak up God’s creation and take a few memorable photos.
He is an excellent photographer so be prepared to stop and pose and he will include a few professional photographs for your album as a bonus to your package. Marc’s company, Hike Victoria is new to our tour circuit this year. He is professional, knowledgeable, well prepared and passionate about sharing Vancouver Island’s hiking treasures. Hike Victoria has a few packages available on their website but he is happy arrange any kind of custom tour for all ages and fitness levels
Thank you Mark, I do have to try this more often as Vancouver Island is world renowned for it’s natural beauty and – Pinch me – I live here!