Things to do in the summer in the Sooke area

Sooke's landscape offers a variety of amenities to enjoy during the hot season

There is still another month until school starts and there is plenty to do to keep yourself and your children occupied.

You can always take a hike along the many trails, long and short, in the area. There is the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a wilderness hiking trail with levels of difficulty, is 47-kilometres long and skirts the Pacific coastline.

East Sooke Regional Park has 50 kilometres of trails along the windswept coast, over dry hilltops and through dark rainforest to sheltered coves. East Sooke Regional Park is over 1,433.94 hectares in size. Pocket beaches, rocky bays and tidal pools are there for exploring or scuba diving. Check the Capital Regional District website for more details on entrance points and any regulations. www.crd.bc.caparks/eastsooke.

While you are in East Sooke, visit Ragley and Glenairley Farms for fresh seasonal produce and fresh baked goods,

Scattered throughout Sooke are trails leading into the Sooke hills and the many lakes accessible by non-motorized methods. Information on these can be found at the Tourist Information Centre located at the Sooke Region Museum on Phillips Road.

Take part of the day and explore the museum and learn about the interesting history of the Sooke region. More information at: www.sookeregionmuseum.com.

SEAPARC Leisure Complex has a number of activities aimed at the kids and information on day programs can be found at the complex, by calling 250-642-8000 or online at www.crd.bc.ca./seaparc.

Beachcombing is a great way to  enjoy the beaches in the area. Along Highway 14 there are a number of provincial campgrounds and public beaches. French Beach offers year-round vehicle accessible camping and hiking trails, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is for those who may wish to hike and camp. Sombrio, Mystic, Botanical and China beaches are all within a short drive from Sooke. Each beach has its own particular features.

Drive to Port Renfrew and take a tour to Avatar Grove, an ancient forest with incredible gnarly trees. You can also enjoy beach walking, fishing and playing in the surf in this small village at the edge of the rainforest.

Take a stroll along Whiffin Spit.

The Sooke Potholes are a favourite place to spend an day just playing in the water. There is camping available and it is a access point to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail which stretches from Sidney to Sooke. Cycle, horseback ride or hike this in segments or the entire length.

Whalewatching, fishing charters, kitesurfing, kayaking, sailboarding, and mountain biking are all available in the area. Take advantage of the accommodations at the numerous B&Bs, the hotel and resorts in Sooke and area.

Go birdwatching at Muir Creek or the estuary on the Sooke River. Check out the old growth trees at Muir Creek and Harris Creek.

For those who like to find treasures and collectibles, there are a number of second hand stores located in the town core. It is, after all, all about the hunt.

Practice your swing at the challenging little par-three golf course in Sooke on Throup Road and it is a hour or so well spent.

Sooke has a number of activities listed for August and these include the Subaru Sooke International Triathlon on Aug. 12, Stinking Fish Studio Tour ongoing until Aug. 12, Art in the Park at Ed Macgregor Park in Sooke on Aug. 18-19.

Attend Shirley Days in the small community along Hwy 14 on Aug.19. It’s a family affair with games for the kids, craft and food booths and all manner of things from watermelon-eating contests to entertainment. A beer garden and salmon barbecue are all a part of the fun. It is the 75th anniversary of the Shirley Community Hall and the 25th anniversary of the Shirley Volunteer Fire Department.

You may want to try surfing at Jordan River when the tides are right.

Drive the Pacific Marine Circle Route for a 225 kilometre trip from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan, Duncan and Victoria to Sooke.

The Sooke region is all about the outdoors and the wild West Coast. It’s there for everyone. Be a tourist in your own home town.