With permission of Rural Observer and Rosemary Jorna; Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society
Here is an inventory of local trails and walks in the Sooke /Juan de Fuca area that are easy to moderate in length and footing. Be on the lookout for wildlife and other trail users. And take your garbage home with you. Enjoy!
– Park at the Ella Road beach access for a beach walk.
– Park at the Whiffin Spit lot and walk the Whiffin Spit to the lighthouse and back. Or check for a low tide to walk along the beach past the Sooke Harbour House to the stairs up to Austin Place. Return along Deerlepe Rd and turn right to the Whiffin Spit parking lot. This is a boulder beach with interesting rocks. Watch your footing and enjoy the seals and sea birds.
– Park at Ed Macgregor Park parking area on West Coast Road. Enjoy the board walk and shore.
– Park at Phillips Road just before Sunriver Way and enjoy a 1.5 km nature trail along the Sooke River.
– The Galloping Goose
Park on Sooke River Road at Charters Creek and check out the new Salmon Interpretative Centre. Proceed under the trestle and left up to the Galloping Goose. Cross the Charters Creek Trestle and take an immediate right to the Owl Trail down to Sooke River Road, right again back to your car.
-Go to the right on the Galloping Goose to the Todd Creek trestle and back. If the creek is low, cross the trestle and follow the horse ford trail back to the Galloping Goose. There are spectacular wild flowers in the spring.
– Park at the Sooke Potholes Regional Park for many wanders near the Sooke River.
At upper parking lot (Barnes Station) proceed onto the Goose and immediately to the right to follow Mary Vine Creek to a waterfall. Many Hikes in the Sooke Hills beyond.
– Park on West Coast Road at Cooper’s Cove and walk the Goose towards Roche Cove for great views of the Sooke Basin.
– Park on Gillespie Road at Roche Cove. Walk on the Galloping Goose towards Matheson Lake; take the Cedar Grove Trail through the deep woods parallel to the Goose; or follow the path along Matheson Creek to Matheson Lake. For a long hike follow the trail around Matheson Lake.
– Park on East Sooke Road at Seagirt Road and follow trails in the Ponds Community Park.
– Park at the end of Pike Road and follow the trail to Iron Mine Bay; enjoy old growth forest, sea stars, anemones and views.
– Park at the Aylard Farm parking lot at East Sooke Park and proceed to the beach; go left around the Point for excellent views or go right to the petroglyphs and return. Enjoy many much longer hikes with varying levels of difficulty in East Sooke Park.
(More next week)