Sooke’s natural setting invites exploration. Whether it’s the beaches and ocean to the south or the hills, rivers, mountains, and valleys to the north, there’s something for everyone to discover.
The region from Sooke to Port Renfrew is home to countless hiking trails that offer anything from a gentle walk to a multi-day trek through untamed wilderness.
One of the most popular places to hike is East Sooke Regional Park, with 50-kilometres of trails through forest and along the rugged, rocky, shoreline.
The Aylard Farm entrance provides access to trails for those looking for a leisurely excursion or something more energetic.
Take a 300-metre trail leading through open fields down to Becher Bay beach where you might nd intertidal life or watch river otters playing in the surf. Trails head inland to hilltop views, or along the rugged Coast Trail. This 10-kilometre, rough, winding trail is a challenging six to eight- hour trip even for experienced hikers.
On Babbington Hill and Mt. Magurie you can see bald eagles, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. Be sure to have your camera out; if they won’t have you snapping photos, the scenic view from the top surely will.
In Sooke, head down Sooke River Road towards the Sooke Potholes Park, home to stunning geological formations. Trailheads can be accessed from any of the four parking lots. Follow the Riverside Trail beside Sooke River towards secluded beaches and canyons featuring the potholes themselves.
For the true outdoor enthusiast, there’s the 47-kilometre-long Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, which stretches from China Beach, 35 kilometres west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew. Along the way, hikers might come across sea lions, bald eagles, herons and other wildlife. Lucky hikers could spot whales offshore. Day hikers can enjoy the trail from any of the four trailheads while it could take three to four days to complete the entire trail.