East Sooke Regional Park
All information reprinted from CRD Parks materials
West Coast wilderness awaits you at
East Sooke Regional Park. Experience it as you hike along the windswept rocky coast, over
dry hilltops, through dark rain forest to sheltered coves.
East Sooke is the largest CRD Park, encompassing 1422 hectares (
3512 acres) of natural and protected coastal landscape. In this Wilderness Recreation
Park, youll experience solitude and harmony with nature in a par untouched by urban
Over 50 kilometers ( 31 miles) of trails draw you into the timeless
beauty of East Sooke. Begin your exploration at one of the three entry points.
Parks, Trails, Beaches
unspoiled natural beauty - trails,
beaches and old growth forests.
Sooke is renowned for it's hospitality - bed and breakfast style!
Cottages & Cabins
Nestled on beaches or in the Sooke Hills. Privacy and nature.
Larger groups? Staying a little longer? Enjoy all the
conveniences of home.
Hotels, Motels & Resorts
From pampered luxury to affordable accommodations.
Affordable accommodations & plenty of outdoor fun.
fishing, hiking, kayaking, birding, cycling, whale-watching ...
From a 60's diner to Haute Cuisine ... you'll eat well in
Arts and crafts, marinas, real estate, shops, services and other conveniences.
Chamber of Commerce, schools, real estate, churches, arts ...
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Ayland Farm is popular with picnickers, and those looking
for easy excursions. A 5 minute walk through open fields leads to a pocket beach where you
can discover intertidal life, or watch River Otters scurrying across the sand. Trails head
inland to hilltop views, or along the rugged Coast Trail.
Anderson Cove, on the Sooke Basin, is the starting point
for hikers heading to Babbington Hill, and Mount Maguire. On these hilltops, Bald Eagles,
and Red-tailed Hawks join you for sweeping views of the Olympic Peninsula.
Pike Road is the most westerly access to the park, and to
the Coast Trail. An old logging road winds through forest to meadow and beach. Here, at
low tide, look for Periwinkles, Goose Neck Barnacles, and Purple Sea Stars.
East Sookes Coast trail is considered one of the premier day
hikes in Canada, a west coast wilderness experience within easy reach of the city. The 10
kilometer trail is rough and winding, a challenging 6 hour trip even for experienced
hikers. One moment you travel across a bluff of windswept pines, the ocean crashing at you
feet. Next you enter a dark rainforest at the end of a ravine. Turn a corner and
youre back in sunlight, at the edge of the sea.
Begin your hike at Pike Road, and take the trail to Iron Mine Bay.
The forest is thick with Douglas fir, Western Hemlock, and closer to shore, Sitka Spruce.
The route to the small, horseshoe- shaped bay is lush with mosses, ferns, and shrubs like
fruit bearing Salmonberry. Heading east along the Coast Trail, you pass sharp cliffs where
Pelagic Cormorants roost. Watch them swoop and dive for food, then fly back to their rocky
homes. Later, stop at Cabin Point where a small trap shack is testimony to a fishing post.
As you travel the trail look for plants as old as time -
Kinnikinnik, Oregon Grape, and Salal- surviving despite the hard wind and salt spray.
Continue east to Beechy Head. Here the wild and beautiful coastline is marked by jagged
bluffs, a reminder of the ageless struggle between land and sea.
Feel the presence of the Coast Salish people at Alldridge Point,
designated as a Provincial Heritage Site in 1927. Here youll see petroglyphs bruised
into the rock, a style particular to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Near the end of the Coast
Trail is Creyke Point, a rocky headland of unusual shapes against emerald green water.
Your hike ends at Aylard Farm. A heritage apple orchard is all that
remains of the last settlement. Where livestock once grazed, meadows are now sweet with
Clover, Wild Rose, and Blue-eyed Grass. At dusk, Columbian Black-tailed Deer wander in
from the surrounding forest to feed.
East Sooke boasts an active past. Coast Salish people ( the TSou-kes )
reef- netted salmon around Becher Bay, and collected shellfish, berries, and roots for
winter months spent at Pedder Bay. Spanish explorer Manuel Quimper first entered Sooke
Inlet in 1790, but within five years all lands north of the Strait of Juan de Fuca became
British. Three years later, Vancouver Island was granted to the Hudson Bay Company, under
the direction of its chief factor James Douglas. The late 1800's were busy years in East
Sooke: large sailing ships and dugout canoes ran supplies to and from Fort Victoria, and a
steam powered sawmill provided lumber for the small community.
Within what is now East Sooke Regional Park, loggers, miners, and
fishers sought their fortune. In the heart of the park, loggers selectively harvested
trees. Stumps 2 - 3 meters ( 6-9 feet) in diameter hold clues to the era of the
springboard, axe, and crosscut saw. At Iron Mine Bay and Mount Maguire, copper and iron
were mined on and off for nearly 100 years. The quality and amount of ore, however, were
limited, and never led to significant commercial success. Fishers reaped the riches
bounty. From early Autumn , fish traps were secured in the sea bed. The trap shack at
Cabin Point is solitary witness to those days.
How to get there
East Sooke Regional Park is located on the East Sooke Peninsula, 35
kilometers west of Victoria.
To reach the park, take the Old Island Highway (#1A) to Sooke Road.
Follow Sooke Road (#7) to Happy Valley Road, turn left and continue down Happy Valley.
Turn right on Rocky Point Road, which becomes East Sooke Road, and leads to park
entrances at Aylard Farm, Anderson Cove, and Pike Road.
Allow approximately 60 minutes driving time from downtown Victoria.
A Message to Park Visitors
CRD Parks belong to you. Park regulations exist so residents and
visitors will always be able to enjoy and appreciate protected natural landscapes.
Regulations are posted at par kiosks or are available from CRD Parks headquarters.
To help preserve parks for everyone to enjoy, obey all signs and:
||carry out any litter
||respect private property adjacent to the park
||Keep dogs under control
||To protect your parks, the following are prohibited
||bicycles, horses, and motorized vehicles on park trails
||firearms and alcohol
||camping and open fires
||removal of vegetation
||hunting, harassment, or removal of any wildlife
||Be prepared for Wilderness
East Sooke is one of the most spectacular parks in the region,
attracting those looking for challenging hikes in a wilderness setting. This attraction
can also be a danger. The mystical pull of East Sooke - Sharp cliffs wrapped in mist,
crashing waves, sudden tides- are all natural hazards, especially if youre
To ensure your hike in East Sooke Regional Park is safe and
enjoyable , remember these important hiking tips:
||Know the trails - read maps, brochures and information panels
||Leave enough time to return before dark
||Dont hike alone
||Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back
||Stay on the designated trail
||If lost stay calm, make yourself visible and stay where you are until
From mid September to late
October, Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, American Kestrel,
Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Harrier, Osprey, and Bald Eagle gather in East
Sooke Park on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island; a staging area for south bound
migrants which stop over here before crossing the 18+ miles of the open ocean of Juan de
Fuca Strait on their way to Olympic National Park, Washington. Peak migration is at the
end of September.
Directions: Follow the
Beechy Head trail from the Aylard Farm, East Sooke Park Entrance. Stay to the left for about a 20
min walk on the trail until you see an unmarked path on the right that leads forward and
up to rock bluff lookout. Follow this very short path, climb the rock - you are there.
This information is courtesy of:
Capital Regional District Parks
490 Atkins Avenue
Victoria, B.C. V9B 2Z8
Phone (250) 478-3344 Fax (250) 478-5416