Monday, 15 June 2015

East Sooke Park- A Coastal Hike

A great place for day hikes near Victoria on Vancouver Island is East Sooke Regional Park.

The view across the water at East Sooke Park 
 About a 45 minute drive from downtown Victoria, this large park has many trails for whatever type of hike you are looking for, rugged or easy, coastal or rainforest, short or long.

An easy entry point with a large parking lot is at Aylard Farm.

Trail down to beach at Alyard Farm
Walk down the path about 5 minutes until you reach the sandy beach.

Flowering Meadows at Alyard Farm

Sun yourself on the beach and check out the hidden coves just over the rocks.

When you are ready, walk along the coastal trail. Make sure you have good shoes as the trail can be a little rugged. I walked as far as Alldridge Point and back to the parking lot, which was about one hour, but you could walk farther as there are many trails and entry points at this park.

Coastal views from the trail 
At Alldridge Point are some ancient petroglyphs carved into the rock. This is a provincial heritage site and shows some of the history of the Coast Salish people in this region.

Look for wildlife along your walk and check out the different types of trees along the coast. Many trees tend to be shaped interestingly by the wind and the likely strong storms that can pound the coast. There are also many colourful red arbutus trees.
Arbutus trees abound on the coast 
Once you are ready to turn back, go back along the coast for a bit, and then look for the trail on your left that will lead you back through the forest to the parking lot. This wide trail will take you through a bit of the coastal rain forest filled with lush ferns and salal.

Rainforest trail leads you back
There is lots to explore at East Sooke Park.

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