Sooke News Mirror
If you think there is nothing to do in Sooke — think again. For those who enjoy the outdoors there are myriad opportunities to get out and recreate in the wild and natural beauty all aorund us.
1. Walk, run, cycle, ride your horse along the 55 kilometre Galloping Goose Regional Trail. The trail offers views of the ocean, basin, rivers, forests and canyons between Victoria, past the Sooke Potholes and on to the historic former goldrush community of Leechtown. The Goose connects up to the Lochside Regional Trail which takes you from Victoria to Sidney. If you want a shorter walk or run, with or without your dog, Whiffin Spit is close to Sooke and a 20-minute walk each way will take you along the water.
2. Get a fishing licence and you can take your fishing rod or crab trap to the Rotary Pier, or the boardwalk and try your hand at catching some fresh seafood. Access through Ed Macgregor Park along West Coast Road or Murray Road will get you down to the water and Sooke Harbour. If you don’t want to fish, you can just walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the view and even enjoy a picnic in the park.
3. Getting to know a community is as easy as learning about its history. The Sooke Region Museum is jam-packed with artifacts, vignettes and displays. The gift store has locally made crafts, native carved silver jewelry, books of local interest and lots more. There are art exhibitions in the upper gallery and information on the region at the Tourist Information Centre. This would be of interest to people of ages.
4. Take yourself on a self-guided art/curio tour. Visit the artists’ studios or cruise through the local stores and venues selling local art and crafts. Numerous places sell used goods and collectibles. Check out the murals behind the Sooke Community Hall.
5. The Sooke region is the place for parks. The Sooke Potholes is a popular spot to enjoy the Sooke River and a great place for a hike. Take a stroll through the 3,000 acres in East Sooke Park. East Sooke Park has 60 kilometres of choice trails offering vistas of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains.
6. There are plenty of things to do for those who are active. Mountain bike riders can find plenty of trails in the region. Cycle in to the Sea to Sea Greenbelt, Broom Hill or the Sooke Hills. Canoe or kayak in the Sooke River, in the harbour or the basin. Skateboarders can test their skills at the local skateboard park on Throup Road. Off-roaders can head towards Port Renfrew and enjoy the wilder side of Sooke. Serious hikers can access the Juan de Fuca Trail and the West Coast Trail from Highway 14 in the summer months.
7. Go beachcombing. The ocean is on the Sooke region’s doorstep and parks and beaches are easily accessible for walking and hiking as well as surfing. Enjoy our provincial beaches along Highway 14 or the local beaches; Ella, Gordon’s Beach, Muir Creek, Billings Spit. Venture further afield to French, China, Sombrio, Loss Creek and Mystic Beaches.
8. Play bingo, cards, Scrabble and other games at the Sooke Seniors’ Drop In Centre at the Sooke Community Hall dining room on Thursdays. Enjoy an inexpensive lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet other seniors and network or play bingo on Tuesday from 12:45 to 3 p.m.
9. Visit the Sooke library, access the Internet, check out books, magazines and books on tape. Have your kids take part in the ongoing children’s programs and events.
10. Take your kids to the playground. There are playgrounds at the elementary schools in Sooke as well as at Broom Hill. Swings, monkey bars and all manner of play equipment for their enjoyment.
11. Be a fan and take in the action at the local sports fields. Watch soccer, football or baseball games and cheer on the teams. Watch a hockey game at SEAPARC arena.
12. Play a game of pool, shuffleboard or darts at the Sooke Legion, enjoy a breakfast on Sunday morning or steak on Friday nights. Lots of events happening.
13. Surfing. Practice your surfing skills at Jordan River or China or Sombrio Beach. Try paddle boarding or wind surfing. Some of the best waves off Southern Vancouver Island are located just a short drive out of Sooke.
14. Drive the Pacific Marine Circle Route. A 225 kilometre trip from Port Renfrew, to Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Victoria and back to Sooke. See the historic west coast and fantastic scenery from the comfort of your vehicle. Stop at points along the way and discover something new.
15. Grab your binoculars and go bird watching at Muir Creek or the estuary on the Sooke River. Herons, eagles, ducks, hawks, seabirds, swans and many other species call these places home. Check out the majestic old growth trees at Muir Creek and a Harris Creek.
16. Attend a District of Sooke council meeting and see and hear how business is done in the district. Those in the outer areas can attend Juan de Fuca Electoral Area meetings.
17. Go for a swim or play some hockey at SEAPARC Leisure Centre. Fitness programs and ongoing events.
18. Join a local choir and sing your heart out. Join any one of a number of special interest groups. Attend a folk music concert, choir or music performance or a symphony orchestra concert.
19. Take a course through the EMCS society.
20. Volunteer in an area of interest, Make a difference, feel good, learn something new, contribute back to the community.It’s all here and it’s almost all for free.