Sooke is a nature-lover’s paradise. There are so many outdoor places to go and explore. If your kids are like ours, you can never have enough outdoor spots to choose from. Whether it’s a hike in the woods, a meander through a garden, or an excursion to throw some rocks in the water, we have them all listed here! (Unless otherwise noted, parking is free at all these places.)
Ed MacGregor Park – This park is located on the south side of West Coast Road just west of Otter Point Road, with the parking lot a short distance from the entrance to the park. Your journey at Ed MacGregor starts with a stroll through a pretty garden, then through a large grass field, past a new amphitheatre (which kids like to run around at), and then the fun begins! There is a long boardwalk through the woods (all sloped, no stairs, totally stroller-friendly) that eventually leads down to the Sooke Marine Boardwalk and then to the Rotary Pier. If you are feeling adventurous you can start your walk at Ed MacGregor Park and go back up to town from the Rotary Pier. This way is not stroller-friendly, as there are many stairs that lead up from the pier. You will come up at the end of Murray Road (there is a parking lot there). There is a public washroom near the garden, though its cleanliness tends to be questionable.
Ella Beach – I almost hate to give this one away, it’s so private and quiet – we hardly ever see anyone else there, even though it’s so close to the town core. But there is a lovely beach at the end of Ella Road, which is what Grant Road West turns into south of West Coast Road. It’s a rocky beach, but apparently throwing rocks into the water is a favourite pastime of little ones! You park in an unlikely-looking cul-de-sac at the end of Ella Road, and there’s a short, easy dirt path down to the beach.
Galloping Goose Regional Trail – The Goose, as it is fondly known, is a paved regional trail (very bike- and stroller-friendly) that can be accessed from several places in Sooke, most obviously at the new crosswalk across West Coast Road east of the Shell gas station and Stickleback. The Goose has its own website: http://www.gallopinggoosetrail.com/
Sooke Potholes – Take Sooke River Road north from Sooke Road to get to the Potholes. It has its own website where you can get the details: http://www.sookepotholes.com/
Whiffin Spit – Located at the end of Whiffin Spit road, this is a favourite location for most kids. The walk from the parking lot to the end of the spit takes about 30 minutes, possibly more depending on the speed of your children. Along the path there are many benches where you can take a rest or just sit and watch the boats on the water. There are also many paths leading down to the water for throwing rocks into the water or exploring for sea creatures. It can get chilly here, so be sure to bring a jacket.
More here too!