East Sooke Park is a large, coastal park located 40 minutes from downtown Victoria, BC or 20 minutes from Sooke, BC. Most visitors to Vancouver Island never explore this region and miss out on a coastal treasure. The park, which is located on the East Sooke Peninsula, is home to many forest animals, tons of birds and plenty of sea life off its shores.
This hike will take you to an ancient petroglyph carved into a seaside rock by the ancestor of the local native tribe. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete (round trip).
50 km of trails take you through thick second-growth rainforests and to the ancient shores of Juan de Fuca Strait. This hike, to Alldridge Point, is located in the eastern portion of the park and will take you to a dateless petroglyph, carved into a seaside rock ages ago by a native graffiti artist. The drawing isn’t that spectacular (no offense to the artists) but imagining a romantic couple on these very trails and rocks 1000’s of years ago is inspiring. Maybe a young man was trying to impress his girlfriend with his artistic talents. Did their parents punish them for defacing the seascape? Could they have imagined that their work would last for millennia?
This hike starts out from the Aylard Farm parking lot. There are two routes to the petroglyph at Alldridge Point. The first trail is along the rugged coastline of the park. The Pacific waves have created a jagged and rocky coastal shelf with deep surge channels. There are plenty of rock faces to climb where hikers will be using hands and feet to scale the rocky crags. The trail is well marked with yellow, metal indicators attached to the rock face. There were plenty of places where I had to lift my dog in order to proceed. Hiking boots are recommended for this route.
The second route is gentle and smooth along well-groomed pathways through the trees. Only when you get to Alldridge Point will you have to watch your steps on the rocks to see the artwork. Signage is good throughout the park and will help direct you to the petroglyph. Running shoes will provide enough traction and protection for this route. Click here for a map of East Sooke Park.
For more coastal hiking around Victoria and Sooke, BC visit Comfort Cove Cottage.