East Sooke Park is a large nature reserve just outside of Victoria, BC. It’s located on the East Sooke Peninsula and surrounded on three sides by water. The western portion borders the Juan de Fuca Strait while the eastern portion skirts the Sooke Basin. A narrow channel near Wiffen Spit connects the two.
This regional park is located only 40 minutes from downtown Victoria but feels like a world away. It’s a natural paradise with dense forests, undisturbed shorelines and is considered a hiker’s paradise. (The calm water of Sooke Basin is a kayaker’s paradise).
The Coppermine Trail takes about 2 hours to complete (round trip) but people tend to linger and enjoy the coastal views of the Olympic Mountains across the Strait.
The trail is wide and well-groomed as it follows an old mining road. As you start out, there is a slight elevation gain as it skirts around Mt. Maguire. Lantern plants fill the water-logged ditches to the side. Shortly after starting, the path hits an important junction. Excellent signs point you in the right direction.
- To the left, a trail leads to Anderson Cove through a thick, second-growth forest.
- To the right, a steep trail leads up Mt. Maguire for some nice coastal views from up top.
- Straight ahead, is the continuation of the Coppermine Trail that leads to the shore.
Continuing straight ahead, the path flattens as your approach a marshy area that’s frequented by mule deer. A bit further ahead, the forest thickens and darkens as you approach the abandoned mine shafts that were once used for ore mining for over 100 years.
A bit further along, the trail narrows to a typical hiking path as it travels through thick forests, open meadows and beside deep ravines. At one point, a fallen tree blocked the way. As the path continued westward, it drops in elevation eventually reaching sea level. Great coastal views can be enjoyed here and, at low tide, you can beachcomb along the shores of Vancouver Island.
Following the well-groomed path back, the steep incline makes for a very challenging return. This strenuous cardio workout is even more challenging since the thick forest prevents any ocean breezes from cooling hikers down. Bring plenty of water and start your return hike well in advance of the sunset.
Getting There: For driving directions, click here. Continue driving up Coppermine Road, along the bumpy dirt road and park at the top of the hill. The trailhead starts on the right-hand side – not the left-hand side on Gordon Road as I mistook.