East Sooke Park is spectacular natural reserve just outside of Victoria, BC, close to Sooke, BC. It offers treks through the coastal hills of southern Vancouver Island and along the shores of the Juan de Fuca Strait. It’s a nature-lover’s paradise that shows the beauty of the rainforest and the ruggedness of the Canada’s Pacific coast.
It could take weeks to explore all of the hiking trails in this 3500 acre park, but an easy introduction to the park is along an abandoned mining road. The Pike Road hike is along a wide, well-groomed gravel road that meanders through a thick rainforest and leads to the a secluded cove with expansive waters views with the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. It takes only 25 minutes of slow walking to get to the coastal view-point.
This hike is actually a leisurely walk through the forest. The flat trail has very little elevation gain and is gentle for most couples with kids or older hiking companions. During the winter months, there may be a few mud puddles which can be circumvented with good hiking shoes. Runners will be sufficient at other times of the year.
As you saunter through the thick rainforest, you’ll be deafened by the numerous bird calls. There are plenty of bird nests in the tall trees near the bog that’s located at the half way mark. I’ve had plenty of high-pitch whistling conversations with the resident avians (and received plenty of odd looks from my fellow hikers).
The trail ends on a pebble beach overlooking Iron Mine Bay, a sheltered cove that’s an oasis for coastal water foul. If you reach this point at low-tide, you can venture out on a rocky outcropping to view the entire Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.
Note: There are clean washroom facilities at both ends of the hike. These come in handy at times!
There are plenty of romantic things to do in Sooke and the rest of Vancouver Island.