The Sooke Region has many enchanting places. And we love telling our visitors about them. (Let’s just call it a secret among friends).
The slender strip of sand known as Whiffin Spit is a great place to get away from the roar of traffic. Visitors can enjoy the sunrise or get a chance to meet the locals on their own turf. Take a left off Sooke Road into Whiffin Spit Road and follow it to the end.
Past the sundial, amphitheater, and sculptures in the heard of Ed MacGregor Park adventurous visitors will find a forest trail leading to a beautiful seaside retreat. The Rotary Pier offers a peaceful spot to stop for a mid-morning snack. And don’t forget to check out the peeling red bark of the arbutus trees a rare West Coast feature abundant on Vancouver Island.
With vast expanses of rocky beachfront and fields of space to play, most heading to East Sooke Park for the day can easily enjoy the green fields without ever venturing onto its 50-kilometre trail system. But for those ready and willing to head off the beaten path, this rocky trail system offers hidden treasure. Follow the signs through the 10-kilometer Coast Trail to ancient petroglyphs. Remnants of the Coast Salish peoples who inhabited Alldridge Point, the ancient markings speak of the first people to walk these woods and the messages they saw fit to leave behind.
For an even older geological treat, head up the road to Muir Creek. Cross To the west end of the Muir Creek bridge to park, then walk to the mouth of the estuary. At low tide, walk along the beach and you will find fossils preserved in the sandstone cliff face.
The ultimate Port Renfrew adventure hike, Botanical Beach impresses young and old with an over owing intertidal zone of rounded pools carved into its sandstone beachfront. Brimming with sea life, the area boasts hundreds of species including royal purple sea stars and urchins, brown sea palm, mussels, gooseneck barnacles, and sea snails. Surrounded by old-growth forest, this diverse ecosystem rests among basaltic cliffs, speckled with ridges of shale and quartz whose jagged surfaces pose an interesting challenge for those following the Juan de Fuca trail through to Port Renfrew.
For more visit Sooke News Mirror or Sooke Visitor Centre.