East Sooke Park

January 27, 2019

This Sunday’s hike took my husband and me to East Sooke Park! We haven’t hiked here in years so we were looking forward to heading back.

We wanted to grab a bite and coffee before getting there, so we stopped at this cute little coffee shop at Metchosin and Happy Valley Rd, which was full of cyclists who rode the Galloping Goose there.

We continued down Rocky Point Rd and parked at Aylard Farm, which is a large paved lot off of Beecher Bay Rd. The parking lot was nearly full when we arrived at noon, full of families, single hikers, and couples heading out for a walk.

We started our walk heading to the beach, just a minute walk from the parking lot. We stopped to use the washrooms. Well, actually, I did. Hubby couldn’t bear to use the men’s. It wasn’t great.

We decided before we began that we would hike the Coast Trail to just past Beechey Head and take the Aylard Farm back to the parking lot. I started my AllTrails tracking app at the beach, but I was concerned it wouldn’t record this hike as I didn’t have any service. I got quite a few “Welcome to the USA” texts right off the bat. It wasn’t a good sign.

It was very muddy at some points along the trail from the beach, but that’s to be expected in this area. It was a dry day with no wind, so we counted ourselves lucky! It was cold but we quickly warmed up as we moved. It is a beautiful coastal hike regardless of the weather.

After 20ish minutes of hiking, we arrived at the Petroglyphs. I wish there was more information available about when they were discovered and how long they are estimated to have been there. I couldn’t find any other than this large one I took a photo of. When I got home, I found this article and it explains a lot! https://www.sookenewsmirror.com/life/ancient-petroglyphs-disappearing/

A key thing to look out for while hiking the Coastal Trail is these yellow trail markers. They were very helpful when the path turns into rock as the trail isn’t as distinguishable. They definitely saved our butts from getting lost.

I have to say, my favourite part of this hike is all the Arbutus trees. They are so beautiful and really stand out amongst the brown/grey trees and greenery!

A tree had recently blown down, covering the main trail. I presume it was during the windstorm we had in mid-December.

Beechey Head was our next landmark. I don’t remember seeing this last time I hiked here, so I don’t think we went this far.

We stopped for water and a snack at Beechey Head and met this BEAUTIFUL doggie. I wanted to take him home.

This one part of the trail had completely flooded, and we had to tip-toe over the rocks to cross it. The uphill climb to that view afterwards was worth it!

Our Coastal Trail hike ended just after Beechey Head at this little shelter. A trail marker directed us to the right to head back to Aylard Farms, a 1.9 KM walk on a very wide gravel trail. After 2.5 hours of hiking (12:15 – 2:45), we arrived back at the car to discover that my app had in fact not tracked my hike after the first 45 minutes due to lack of GPS signal. Thankfully, AllTrails posts hiking trails tracked by other people and I found our exact route on there!

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