Added by Rumon Carter

Distance: 20 km (12.4 miles) loop (multiple routes). Minimal elevation gain. Explore a gem of southern Vancouver Island,Diverse habitats - see different faces with each visit. Unique and challenging Coast Trail, clinging onto the edge of Vancouver Island. Picturesque interior trails and two small mountain summits. Site of an old homestead, the pioneer's meadows and remnant fruit trees still in attendance. Artifacts of copper mining in days gone by in the heart of the park. Petroglyphs on the rocks next to the ocean. Close to the main parking lot.

Sitting very close to the southernmost point of Vancouver Island, facing west towards the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the open Pacific Ocean, East Sooke Park is a unique and magical place for a hike or trail run. Your first visit will spark the desire to keep returning, to keep exploring further.

50 kilometers (31 miles) of trails travel through forests, marshes, up two small mountains and along the rocky coast, but the two main trails are the aptly named Coast and Interior Trails - each of these is approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) long, making for a full day loop if you wish to take in the entire park in one go. (Allow 3-4+ hours to run the loop, 5+ to hike it.)

Three spots provide access to the Park: 1. Aylard Farm (the main entrance, closest to Sooke and Victoria, and that which is identified on the map here), found at the end of Becher Bay Road; 2. Anderson Cove; and 3. Pike Road. Detailed directions for each of these, plus a park map, can be found at the regional parks' website.

For your first visit, go to Aylard Farm. As the name implies, this is the site of an old pioneer farm, the remnant meadows and fruit trees of which are adjacent to the parking lot. A short (800m/0.5mi) walk from the lot takes you to a lovely sandy beach. A further 2km (1.2mi) west along the coast, in and out of forest and over rocky bluffs, will take you to the site of petroglyphs created by local First Nations during times long since past. Your options from here are to continue and then reverse your tracks, or head a little further west and then turn onto the trail north (at a small bench and gazebo) to complete a loop. For the more ambitious, the hike to Cabin Point will gain you quadriceps-full of elevation, incredible views and the eponymous cabin porn at your destination. From the Point you can again take a trail north back towards Aylard.

The Anderson Cove parking is your best bet for easy access to Babbington Hill and Mount Maguire, within the forested heart of the park. These two hills can of course also be accessed from either end of the park via the Interior Trail. By way of expectation management, it is worth noting that views from these "peaks" are limited - though definitely still worth the effort.

The westernmost access at Pike Road provides level access via an old logging road out to Iron Mine Bay, a rocky crescent beach ripe for exploration, with headlands to climb on either end. From the Bay, the Coast Trail heads east towards Aylard Farm, 10 km away. Alternatively, hikers can enter rich cedar hemlock forests along the Interior Trail, accessed a short distance east from the Bay.

As mentioned, this is a park that will make you keep wanting to return. Over the course of your exploration you can come across all kinds of wildlife and, within a matter of minutes, transition from coastal rainforest, to barren rocky coastline to dry arbutus groves. Keep your eyes open - both for these changes and so you don't fall along the sometimes uneven footing - and they're sure to be filled with wonder.

For a more personal take on East Sooke Park, why it’s one of Jennie and my Important Places, and for some more photos from the park throughout the seasons, visit us at A State of Wild.

Read More


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

5201 Sooke Road, Canada

Green Bay Cottage

You can dine alfresco using the BBQ then head to the beach with the toys made available to you. The beach has a picnic table for your use so you can spend the day surrounded by nature. The cottage...

From $163/night

5201 Sooke Road, Canada

Meadow Views

Our beautifully located ground floor suite offers private access via the patio. Upon entering, you will walk into an open plan lounge, dining space and kitchen, following through to your queen-size...

From $95/night

5201 Sooke Road, Canada

Meadow Views Ground Floor Suite

The kitchenette has a small-sized fridge, toaster oven, coffee maker, along with all the necessary dishware to make your stay enjoyable.The lounge offers a TV with cable, wifi plus one pull out sof...

From $95/night

Port Angeles, Washington

Log Cabin Resort

The resort is also home to a great restaurant, should you get hungry, a general store (beer, wine, sandwiches, ice cream, candy, seasonal clothing items)., and boat rentals (paddle boats, stand up ...

From $148/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Whiffin Spit

    Located in Sooke, between the Sooke Harbour and the Juan de Fuca Strait is Whiffin Spit Park. An easy 2.4km out and back trail with minimal elevation gain that you can walk to the end and back in about an hour. The dog-friendly gravel trail takes ...

    1.5 miles 0 ft gain

  • Hike Mount Manuel Quimper

    The Sooke Hills is a geographic region of low hills with elevations between 350m (Mt. Wells) to a high of 682m (Mt. Empress), located in the area bounded on three sides by Highway 1 to the east, Highway 14 to the south and the Sooke River to the w...

  • Hike and Swim at Sooke Potholes

    The Sooke Potholes seem to have something for everyone. Those seeking quick and easy beach access can enjoy short, well-groomed trails that lead straight to the pebble beaches from each of this spot’s multiple parking lots. There are also a number...

  • Hiking the Goldmine Trail

    Goldstream Provincial Park is just a short drive from Victoria. Within 20 minutes of leaving the city center, you can be immersed in an old growth temperate rain forest.From Victoria, take the Trans-Canada highway to the start of the Malahat. The ...

    2.2 miles 295.3 ft gain