Babbington Hill is where bald eagles, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks join you for sweeping views of the Olympic Peninsula.
You start off at Aylard Farm which is popular with picnickers, and those looking for easy excursions. A heritage apple orchard and cleared pasture are all that remain of the last settlement. Where livestock once grazed, meadows are now sweet with clover, wild rose and blue-eyed grass. At dusk, blacktailed deer wander in from the surrounding forest to feed. A 5-minute walk through open fields leads to a pocket beach where you can discover intertidal life, or watch river otters scurrying across the sand. The trail heads along the rugged Coast Trail. 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. As you travel the trail, look for plants as old as time—kinnikinnick, Oregon grape and salal—surviving despite the harsh wind and salt spray. Continue west to Beechey Head. Here the wild and beautiful coastline is marked by jagged bluffs, a reminder of the ageless struggle between land and sea. Beechey Head is also a well-known site for observing the annual fall hawk migration. Later, stop at Cabin Point, here a small trap shack is testimony to a fishing past. From Cabin Point you head inland until you reach the 230 metre top of Babbington Hill. After taking in the breathtaking view from the hill you decend and take the Interior Trail east back to Aylard Farm.
How to Get There
East Sooke Regional Park is located on the East Sooke
Peninsula, 35 kilometres west of Victoria. Allow approximately 1 hour driving time from Victoria.
Aylard Farm Entrance: Follow the Trans-Canada Highway from Victoria, and take the Colwood exit.
Follow the Old Island Highway, which turns into Sooke Road. From Sooke Road, turn left on Gillespie Road. Turn left on East Sooke Road, then right on Becher Bay Road to reach the park entrance.
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