Finding new trails

On Friday night I mentioned to Warren that I wanted to go for a hike on Saturday morning and just spend some time outside exploring. I had mentioned earlier in the week that @MEC_Victoria tweeted that they had been on trails and went from Thetis Lake to Francis King Park. I asked them some questions and they tweeted me a map of where they go so I thought it would be fun to check out.

Thetis Lake is in walking distance for us so we decided to leave from home instead of driving. I got us some food together for the trails and we left close to 10:00am. The weather was mostly grey but the sun was trying shine and there were some blue patches in the sky. It was a bit cool and we found we could have worn another layer and would have been a bit more comfortable for the walk.

Our snacks were a PB& cheese sani, an apple and some trail mix.
Our snacks were a PB& cheese sani, an apple and some trail mix.

@MEC_Victoria had said that they used the Panhandler trail from Thetis Lake to get to Francis King Park. Warren figured we could walk to the Phelps Road entrance of Thetis Lake, then take the Seaborn Trail to get to MacKenzie Creek trail and that would take us to Highland Road. The trail for the most part wasn’t too muddy but some areas were worse than others. Some places were like mini muddy lakes but thankfully there were stepping-stones made of trees in various places along the way we could walk on.

Waterfall seen mid-way through our walk. So pretty.
Waterfall seen mid-way through our walk. So pretty.

As we walked along we chatted about different things, well I chatted more than Warren but all good. We have been dreaming of sun and feeling heat on our bodies so we tried to think about places we would go in April for the Easter long weekend. It was nice to be out and not have any distractions except for each other.

Once we reached Highland Road we weren’t sure how long we were going to be walking before we reached the Panhandler trail. It ended up not being very far at all but we had been out for an hour and a half and Warren was getting a hair cut at 2:00pm. We decided to turn back because when we first set out we didn’t realize the walk was going to take us as long as it did.

As we walked at different times I thought of my friend Ann who I had first explored the trails with. She had mentioned to me before that you could get to Francis King park from Thetis but wasn’t sure how. I let her know and hopefully this summer she and I can go running the trails and do some exploring that way.

Reflection of the trees on the lake
Reflection of the trees on the lake

Warren and I arrived home two hours and thirty minutes later and we had done 12.6km. We enjoyed the fresh air, time together and I also learned some things. The next time we go for a hike like this I will do the following two things:

  • pack two sani’s for each of us because if we would have been longer we both would have needed more food
  • dress with four layers instead of three because I get colder walking than running

I see some trail adventures in my future both running and walking this summer. By the looks of the map I could go for hours out there and be on some new trails I have never been on. I am excited and something to look forward to.

Have you gone exploring lately? Do you like to run or walk trails by yourself or with a friend?

8 thoughts on “Finding new trails

  1. That looks so beautiful! I’m with you on eagerly awaiting warmer days – I can’t wait for runs when my feet stay dry and I feel the sun on my skin again… I love exploring new trails for running, and usually do so while running, generally as part of a long run. That way, I have lots of time on my hands and food with me, and can just enjoy the adventure. It does mean that I sometimes have to turn back or cross places I wouldn’t otherwise, but that’s all part of the adventure. I’ve found so many lovely trails that have become part of my usual stomping ground that way.


    1. What do you usually take for food on your long runs? Always curious about what other runners eat and maybe I can as well.

      For the most part I can’t complain about Victoria weather. We do have it good here and we don’t have too cold of temps or snow. Just craving more heat than we do have.

      Happy to hear exploring trails has found you some day to day areas to run. Love that.


      1. I’m still experimenting with different foods on the run – basically, whatever you like to eat and can tolerate. I find that “real food” works much better for me than sports nutrition. I take nuts and chocolate and home made granola and fruit bread mostly – it works really well for me! As long as it contains carbs and is yummy, it should work for you in terms of energy. Also, listen to your body – I once got cravings for a bag of crisps on the run (which I rarely eat normally), so I stopped an bought one and was surprised by how well it went down! There’s no right or wrong with nutrition on long runs, just see how you get on with different things. Some prefer to rely on sports drinks exclusively, others take gels, and yet others find foods to eat. If you can eat it on the run and it keeps you going, it’s a success. A final piece of advice is that your body does adjust to the concept of eating on the run. I used to really struggle with it, so I started off with simply by letting sweets disolve in my mouth. Slowly, I got more used to it, and I can now – literally – eat a piece of cake on the run (although I wouldn’t recommend that during a marathon, you might get some funny stares!). Good luck, and let me know what you discover!


      2. Wow! This is awesome. Thank you so much. I haven’t really tried running and eating. I have taken things like trail mix if I am only gone for a a couple hours but I think more food would be better. I will have to experiment and see what I can come up with.

        I never thought of eating while running a marathon. I have only heard of peeps taking the gels and such. Oh I look forward to starting to run long distances and eating. I found I would struggle breathing and eating while running. Guess that could be why I am seeing my osteopath and working on my breathing. 🙂

        You made me laugh with eating the cake on a run part. I can see you running and eating cake. haha

        Once I start I will let you know. It won’t be for a bit though.


  2. You’re lucky to have that scenery near by!
    My last exploring is when I hurt myself. I decided to run down some historical (not active) railroad tracks as I knew it would lead to a trail and some parks and historical points. That’s where my fall happened.
    BTW, looking at your sandwiches, I recently remembered that as a youngster I used to eat PB and Mayo sandwiches. Is that weird?


    1. I am lucky yes. I live in a beautiful place with so many options close by.

      Railroad tracks are good and bad which you have now experienced. They are good because they are usually away from it all the hustle and bustle of traffic but if they are like the tracks in Victoria they aren’t kept up because they aren’t in use.

      I hope you are feeling better today for work.

      Oh and yes, I think PB and mayo is weird but I haven’t tried it and when Warren said to me before about eating cheese and PB I thought that strange. 🙂


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