A nice hike off the beat track that offers great scenery and excellent views.
At the very end of the last parking lot for the Sooke Potholes there is an access point for the Galloping Goose. Directly across from the access point is the remains of an old road heading off into the woods. This road follows Maryvine Creek for a short distance, then becomes a footpath. Follow this footpath up to the pipeline. There is a short side trail on the left which will take you to a very nice waterfall.
When you reach the pipeline turn left along it and use it to cross Maryvine Creek. Immediately after crossing the creek follow the footpath on your right. This is a little used footpath so it is quite faint in places and easy to lose. There is enough flagging tape and little cairns to guide the way, but you need to pay attention. The trail climbs moderately until you reach the bluffs, then the trail zig-zags steeply up the bluffs to a wonderful viewpoint by a large boulder covered in little cairns.
The trail you have been following will lead you down the other side of the ridge to Peden Lake. If you want to continue to the highest point of the ridge, locally known as Black Bear Mountain, you’re pretty much on your own. Just east of the large boulder, if you’re lucky, you can pick up a flagged trail headed due north. This flagging is sporadic and there is no evidence of a trail on the ground. A topographical map and knowledge of how to use it would be an asset. Follow the curve of the ridge along the highest ground and you’ll be fine. It’s pretty open and easy going. If you don’t keep to the high ground you may find yourself on dangerously steep ground. The actual summit is covered in trees and allows very little view, but there are several view points around the summit which make the climb worthwhile.
From Victoria follow the island highway west toward Sooke. The island highway becomes Sooke Road. Just before the bridge over Sooke River, turn Right onto Sooke River Road. Park in the last parking lot for the Sooke Potholes. A parking fee may be in effect in summer months.
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Posted By: Evanuge
- Tue Jun 25 13:32:13 UTC 2019
UpsideNot heavily used, well marked, beautiful views CommentWe tried to hike this trail on the weekend but somehow the track disappeared off my GPS, so we went off the written instructions. The trail head is NOT at the last parking lot, but at parking lot #2. Following the written instructions we made it to the top of what looks like a very intimidating hill to climb, but it wasn't that bad. Pretty steep on the one side. We didn't try to find the trail to blackbear ridge, but instead went down the other side of the first trail to Peden Lake (trail was easy to follow, well-flagged) and then looped back to where we took the pipeline across the creek. About 9km total, and would definitely recommend it.
Posted By: Moss Troopers
- Fri Jan 29 17:20:55 UTC 2010
CommentRan into a friend in the woods recently who informed us this trail has been reflagged recently. Haven't had a chance to check it out ourselves.