The one-of-a-kind, ocean-side village of Sooke (located on the south side of Vancouver Island) is a welcomed vacation from the busy lifestyle of the neighbouring city of Victoria. Sooke’s rural atmosphere gives the comfort of city life without the traffic. This area has been a thriving Coast Salish settlement for centuries. Living alongside a salmon river, the T’sou-ke peoples thrived in an area where seafood was in abundance, along with West Coast food, such as game and berries that could be harvested in the forests.
Scenic Coastline: Sooke is the beginning of the scenic West Coast Road (Highway 14), a beautiful coastal drive into Port Renfrew, and is the starting point for the world-famous West Coast Trail. This is one of the Island’s most astonishing drives, leading through coastal rain forest along the rocky shores, past award-winning B&B’s and seaside cafes, leading gracefully to breathtaking beaches.
Explore the historic West Coast of Vancouver Island with the Pacific Marine Circle Tour. Take the wilderness route, tracing the coastline from Victoria into Sooke and Port Renfrew, continuing into the gorgeous Cowichan Valley. The route eventually loops back down the Trans-Canada Highway through Duncan, and back to Victoria.
This is a great way to learn about the history of Sooke’s community. Moss Cottage (built in the 1860s), is located near the museum. Gander around the museum to learn about Sooke’s fishing history and fascinating First Nations culture.
Locals enjoy the backcountry recreation with 4X4s, quads, ATVs, and dirt bikes, as there are countless areas of backcountry to explore. North Sooke is home to hundreds of kilometers of logging roads that lead through the Rural Resource Lands of the Juan de Fuca electoral area, giving access to several community lakes and small reservoirs. Bear Creek and Diversion reservoirs are also popular destinations in Sooke.
Mountain biking is a popular and fast-growing sport British Columbia, and Sooke is quickly establishing itself as a destination with beautiful trails for all skill levels. The popular Galloping Goose Regional Trail (Trans-Canada Trail) leads cyclists, hikers and joggers through Sooke. Many locals enjoy riding the Galloping Goose and spending the afternoon at restaurants along the way.
More challenging rides can be found near the end of Harbourview Road. Shields Lake loop is a 25 km (16 miles) bike ride to Shields Lake, passing the waterfall and Charters River, then back to Harbourview Road.
Looking for a marine experience that’s otherworldly and thrilling? The waters outside of Vancouver Island allow for a dangerously gripping kayak experience. If you’ve only dabbled in paddling through sheltered sea passages, be prepared for a wild ride. Although the waters can be dangerous, if you carefully plan your trip in the summer months, you can experience the well-behaved side of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean route between Port Renfrew and Sooke can be paddled in the summer, but prepare for a long day. For a less intense experience, you can opt for a partial exploration of the coast in your kayak outing.
Golfers can enjoy the 9-hole John Phillips Memorial Golf Course that’s welcome to the public. Tour all the nearby golf courses such as Olympic View Golf Club, Metchosin Golf Course, Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club, and Royal Colwood Golf Club.
The Galloping Goose is a diverse trail that’s fit for virtually all travel activities. The ‘Goose’ includes over 100 km of trails that weave through the communities of Colwood, Metchosin, Langford, Saanich, and Sooke, leading all the way into Victoria. The Galloping Goose can even guide you through the Saanich Peninsula to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (Sidney). Many tourists and locals prefer to explore the rural part of the Goose that runs from Roche Cove Regional Park through to the Sooke Potholes.
Open since 1995, The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is often seen as an alternative to the world-renowned West Coast Trail. The Juan de Fuca trail starts at China Beach, and is a challenging yet accessible hike along the ocean’s coast that guides you through mystical Botanical Beach. This trail is considered ambitious, so be prepared for a day of heart pumping, wilderness hiking.
The trailheads of the Kludahk Forest Recreation Trails are located west end of the Galloping Goose Trail in Sooke, and follows 30 km’s along the San Juan Ridge. The trail is made up of old logging roads through the Jordan Meadows, that’s painted with dense fields of lilies and blueberries. There are five public cabins located along the trail for day-hikers that seek shelter.
Point no Point is a cabin resort that was established in the 1950’s in French Beach Provincial Park. Point no Point is filled with rich history and astonishing views of orca pods, gray whales, humpback whales, and otters. The resort can be accessed approximately 3.5 km north of French Beach Provincial Park.
Take to exploring a hidden waterfall and quick rainforest trails at China Beach Campground, west of Jordan River. China Beach is the perfect daytime location for family outings, and is located in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.
Are you ready for adventure? Immerse yourself into the life of an eagle by soaring over the treetops of Sooke by zip line. There are 8 zip line crossings and two suspension bridges at Sooke Hills. You can check out the Sooke Visitor center to learn more.
The name Sooke derives from the T’sou-ke First Nation and it’s quite possible that it represents a stickle-back fish found in Sooke River. The T’sou-ke First Nation has built and maintained a long-lasting legacy that has proven valuable to the community and enriches locals to this day.
Some of the mildest weather in western Canada is found in Sooke. The summer months are dry and warm, and the winter months can be wet while remaining quite mild. Visitors from around the globe are eager to witness the natural and unspoiled beauty of the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island.
The southwestern end of Sooke is considered to be as sharp as glass, so much so that Point no Point (as mentioned above) can only be seen from certain angles. The shoreline runs from Point no Point, sweeping into Juan de Fuca Point.
Jordan River’s logging community has excellent views of the ocean and is located west of Sooke. Take Hwy 14 to Jordan River before it starts to go up the San Juan Ridge.
The communities of Metchosin, Langford and Colwood are located to the east of Sooke. These communities are rural and residential areas, considered a part of Greater Victoria. These areas offer many parks, beaches and golf courses to explore.