NTS Map:92B5. East Sooke's Coast Trail is considered one of the premier day hikes in Canada, a west coast wilderness experience within easy reach of the city. The 10 kilometre trail is rough and winding, a challenging 6 hour trip even for experienced hikers. One moment you travel across a bluff of windswept pines, the ocean crashing at your feet. Next you enter a dark rainforest at the end of a ravine. Turn a corner and you're back in sunlight, at the edge of the sea.
Begin your hike at Pike Road, and take the trail to Iron Mine Bay. The forest is thick with Douglas fir, Western Hemlock, and closer to shore, Sitka Spruce. The route to the small, horseshoe-shaped bay is lush with mosses, ferns, and shrubs like fruit bearing Salmonberry. Heading east along the Coast Trail, you pass sharp cliffs where Pelagic Cormorants roost. Watch them swoop and dive for food, then fly back to their rocky homes. Later, stop at Cabin Point where a small trap shack is testimony to a fishing post.
As you travel the trail look for plants as old as time - Kinnikinnik, Oregon Grape, and Salal--surviving despite the hard wind and salt spray. Continue east to Beechy Head. Here the wild and beautiful coastline is marked by jagged bluffs, a reminder of the ageless struggle between land and sea.
Feel the presence of the Coast Salish people at Alldridge Point, designated as a Provincial Heritage Site in 1927. Here you'll see petroglyphs bruised into the rock, a style particular to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Near the end of the Coast Trail is Creyke Point, a rocky headland of unusual shapes against emerald green water.
Your hike ends at Aylard Farm. A heritage apple orchard is all that remains of the last settlement. Where livestock once grazed, meadows are now sweet with Clover, Wild Rose, and Blue-eyed Grass. At dusk, Columbian Black-tailed Deer wander in from the surrounding forest to feed.
East Sooke Regional Park is located on the East Sooke Peninsula, 35 kilometres west of Victoria.
To reach the park, take the Old Island Highway (#1A) to Sooke Road. Follow Sooke Road (#7) to Happy Valley Road, turn left and continue down Happy Valley. Turn right on Rocky Point Road, which becomes East Sooke Road, and leads to park entrances at Aylard Farm, Anderson Cove, and Pike Road.
Allow approximately 60 minutes driving time from downtown Victoria.
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Posted By: andersonglk
- Thu Mar 03 06:44:55 UTC 2016
QuestionI recently did Aylard Farm to Cabin Point, then the next day Pike Road to Mt. Maguire, Coppermine Trail to Coast Trail.
My friend and I are planning on doing the Coast Trail from one end to the other and back, all in one day. We plan on leaving early in the morning and starting the hike at sunrise. We want plenty of time to crawl among the rocks, islands, and beaches along the way.
Have any of you done the Coast trail all the way across and back again in one day?
ANSWERS are in this forum: East Sooke Park Coast Trail out and back in one day
Posted By: sofiadonnecke
- Mon Jan 04 06:25:35 UTC 2016
UpsideTrail is very interesting and exciting. So many beautiful parts! If you run out of daylight or time, there are many outs headed inland that take you back to Aylard farm or the road. The ocean is always in sight so you can see how far you've come and what is left. Also great wildlife watching. Not muddy for a wet coast trail! DownsideYou need two cars or a ride back to your vehicle if you want to do the complete trail one way. CommentWe used 2 cars to hike the coastal trail from Aylard Farm to Iron Bay. I've done it three times in the last years and each time has been beautiful. First half of trail starting from Alyard Farm is less challenging. The second half headed to Iron Bay, I find, you encounter less people. There is more scrambling and tricky parts.
Posted By: noreenw1
- Mon Oct 05 15:47:43 UTC 2015
UpsideLots of sighnage interior trail, Babbington Hill and to Cabin Point ( trappers cabin) DownsideHad to scout for markers on Coastal Trail as it's rocky and some climbing is necessary. CommentWe wanted to hike this trail but only had the one vehicle so what we did is park at Aylard Farms then took the interior trail to Babbington hill. It's a quick 15 min hard trail up the hill but absolutely beautiful and worth the heart rate at about 120 beats per sec. Back down the hill back onto the easy interior trail to Cabin Point on the coast ( 1 1/2 hrs total to this point) then continued on the Coast Trail (2 hrs) back to Aylard Farms. Stopped for quick water breaks and 15 min lunch- total time 4 hours at a steady moderate pace for 36 yr olds. I found the coastal trail more challenging that expected and interior trail easy comparing the two. Hope this helps! Cheers
Posted By: Thomas7
- Wed Aug 20 16:04:23 UTC 2014
UpsideI did this hike a couple of weeks ago and I feel that this hike has more pretty views and photo opportunities than I can ever hope for. It is a good workout also. DownsideI hike in Northern Ontario frequently and according to my unofficial rating, if you wanted to do the whole coastLine hike it is a difficult hike, lots of ups and downs and rocky areas. To me it is a two vehicle hike for a day. If I were to do it again I would leave a vehicle at the Aylward farm parking area, then drive back to the Pike Road parking area, park and begin the hike. (Parking is free) Doing it this way, you could do the entire coast from the Pike Point lookout to the Aldridge Point, then return to Aylward farm to complete your hike and not have to worry about how to get back to where you started at Pike Road.
Posted By: c8thorn
- Sun Mar 30 01:30:21 UTC 2014
QuestionThis sounds like just the hike I am looking for, but I am a little concerned about the time of year and am hoping for some feedback. I am planning to do this with my 3 sons 20, 18 and 16. A piece of cake for them I am sure. 3 of us are meeting my oldest who is at UVIC, and it will be between April 11th and 15th. We are hoping to overnight in tents.
What do you folks think? ANSWERS are in this forum: Coast Trail - East Sooke Park
Posted By: rvdemerchant
- Thu Sep 17 23:17:25 UTC 2009
UpsideAwesome hike. When we did the hike there it was a great day and even though parts of the hike were hot the breeze off the ocean made the hike a lot of fun. There were 3 kids with us as well and they did not have any real trouble with the hike. DownsideNothing to keep people from going. Got to love this hike. CommentThere were a couple of places I was a little nervous with the kids as the drops were pretty steep with nothing other than rocks below. If taking kids make sure you have lots of snacks. Even without kids you need lots of water. We hiked from the Pike Road side which I think may be the better way to go as the Farm side seems to be less steep and there are some places to leave the trail if you need to. Parking a vehicle at both ends is the way to go for this hike.
Posted By: suzieQ
- Mon May 25 18:49:28 UTC 2009
Upsidehardly anyone on the trail on a beautiful sunny Sunday! Downsidetail not clearly marked CommentTried to hike the coastal trail yesterday, from Alyard Farm to Pike Road. Lost the trail afer ascending the hill after cabin point. (you could look down on the cabin off to your left while facing the ocean) The trail seem to descend towards the ocean on dry moss covered rocks, but we felt like we were bush-wacking. Turned around and retraced our steps and ended up on a trail up to Babbington Hill. I remember having the same problem hiking last winter from Pike Rd to Alyard Farm, but this time we didn't find the trail. Does anyone know if the trail descends down to the water at this point?
Posted By: mharvard
- Sat Apr 11 07:49:20 UTC 2009
UpsideExcellent Views DownsideA couple places where the trail markers were dislodged or hard to spot CommentExcellent hike, be prepared for this; there are a couple streams with drinkable water during the Spring time but in summer most definitely pack your own water. Excellent spots for fishing and sun tanning along the way; planning this hike with a favourable low tide will allow you to hike out to a couple mini islands which are excellent places to stop and enjoy the scenery as well as fish. This hike for a beginner could take about 6 hours each way so do plan accordingly with supplies.
Posted By: Kiwibirdman
- Wed Feb 25 21:00:01 UTC 2009
UpsideAwesome views and scenery! DownsideNothing CommentCertainly the best CRD park in the area! So huge!
Posted By: Wesley
- Sun Feb 22 07:03:07 UTC 2004
UpsideThe trail is breathtaking. A 'must see' for any hiker in the area or beyond. Not too hard for the beginner hiker, challenging enough for the moderate hiker, and it has very rewarding viewpoints from the trail. (Olympic Mountains, numerous coves and bluffs, etc.) CommentThe Trail from Aylard farm to Beechey Head is a good brisk walk. There and back on the same trail (including brief stops) will take you less than 2 hours.
Posted By: dmarr
- Mon Jan 19 04:25:55 UTC 2004
UpsideA variety of trails. This is wihout much doubt the best park in the area. Great coastal views and trails which don't suffer a lot from water and mud (unlike, say, portions of the Juan de Fuca Trail to the west). Can be hiked almost any time of the year, and sees fewer people in the winter. On the other hand, you will probably see more wildlife in the "off-season", such as eagles and sea lions. DownsideThe two main trailhead areas can be pretty busy in the summer. You can't camp here. Carry water, at least in the summer. CommentThere are a fair number of trails in this park, permitting a variety of hikes. Essentially,there are are two longitudinal trails, the Coast Trail and the Interior Trail, plus a number of tranverse trails. Portions of these can therefore be combined into assorted loop and figure eight hikes of varying lengths. This also means you don't need to worry about having vehicles at each end of the park. The Interior Trail and the transverse trails in the middle of the park are fairly quiet even in summer.