“Wild by nature,” Sooke is renowned for its outdoor opportunities, in particular the incredible hiking it offers! With East Sooke Park, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, the Kludahk Trail and the world-famous West Coast Trail all located within a short drive from Victoria, Sooke is the gateway to some of the best hikes in the world. Here are three local favourites:
Juan de Fuca Trail
With a trailhead 35km beyond Sooke, the Juan de Fuca Marine trail is one of B.C.’s most famous hikes. The 47km trail skirts the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island, stretching from China Beach to Botanical Beach, just a few kilometers south of Port Renfrew. The trail can be hiked in part as a day trip or in full over four to six days. Along the way you’ll be exposed to breathtaking views of the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Olympic Mountains and stunning rainforest vistas.
Relatively unknown compared to some of the more famous trails on Vancouver Island, the 48km long Kludahk Trail runs parallel to Juan de Fuca Strait along the San Juan Ridge. It is popular with hikers during the late spring, summer and early fall, and with cross-country skiers and snowshoers during the winter and early spring. The trail’s semi-alpine geography makes for an interesting contrast to the other coastal hikes in the region and features meadows, lakes, old hemlock and cedar forests, bogs and ponds and an abundance of wildflowers. Also, with trailheads located in Port Renfrew and just beyond Jordan River, particularly hardy hikers can even combine this three-day hike into a weeklong loop with the Juan de Fuca Trail!
East Sooke Park
Featuring pocket beaches, forest, rocky bays and marshes, as well as a network of approximately 50km of trails winding along the rocky coast and through the rainforest, East Sooke Regional Park is an outdoor lover’s dream! Hikers looking to challenge themselves can tackle the rugged 10km long Coast Trail, while more leisure-focused visitors can explore intertidal life along the coastline, stop for a picnic at Aylard Farm or hike up Babbington Hill for sweeping views of the Olympic Peninsula.
N.B. - Safety first! Before embarking on these hikes or any others, be sure to check trail reports, maps and weather forecasts, and ensure you are prepared with adequate footwear, food and equipment.