Although the world class hiking
located right at Sooke’s doorstep is most famous, outdoor opportunities of all sorts abound in the region. The area truly is an outdoor adventurists dream!
While not as celebrated as Tofino and Long Beach, the area around Sooke is known for its surfing, particularly in the fall and winter. If you’re willing to brave the cold waters and brisk temperatures, great waves can be found at a few different spots, just be sure wear an adequate wetsuit!
- Sombrio Beach: The most popular surf spot is Sombrio Beach, located along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail approximately one hour north of Sooke. It features several different types of breaks, including a rocky beach break and a couple reef breaks located further off shore. Due to the steep, rocky shore and the popularity of the beach, it is not ideal for beginners, but if you have a bit of experience, you will be impressed!
- Jordan River: Located about 30 minutes past Sooke, Jordan River (or J.R. to the locals) is another popular surf spot and is relatively forgiving to beginner surfers. It has a long, fast wave and although the swell isn’t as consistent as Sombrio, J.R. produces at least a few legendary surf days every winter. When it’s on, it’s really on!
- China Beach: Just past Jordan River is China Beach. Known primarily as the start of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, good surf can be found here as well. As it’s more sheltered and less popular than Jordan River and Sombrio, on big swell days many surfers choose to come to China Beach. It has a very forgiving beach break which makes it an ideal spot for beginners.
Great mountain biking can also be found all over the Sooke region. The wide range of trails means that there is something that is suitable for everyone, regardless of technical ability. A few of the most popular areas are:
- Broom Hill/Sacred Mountain: Boasting stunning views of Sooke Harbour and the Olympic Mountains, Broom Hill/Sacred Mountain is arguably the most popular area for mountain biking in Sooke. It features a wide variety of intermediate cross-country trails and highly technical downhill free ride trails.
- Harbourview Road: Another extensive trail system in Sooke, the Harbourview Road area provides easy access for mountain bikers into the back country. The road is closed to motorized vehicles so it’s an excellent choice for families looking to get exposed to the back country without having to worry about getting lost. The trails range from steep downhill “hike and bikes” such as the FM Radio to long cross country trails like Terra Nova, stretching 16km from the Harbourview area to just outside Langford and Luxton.
- The Galloping Goose: The perfect ride for more leisurely mountain bikers and families, the Galloping Goose is one of the most famous trails in the Victoria region and the longest of its kind on the south island. It stretches from Victoria to the Sooke Potholes and crosses over a number of other smaller trails that are all suitable for beginners.