Anderson Cove Trail - Hiking in East Sooke Park

Difficulty: Moderate. This hiking trail leads up a hill and through a rainforest.

Anderson Cove trail - hiking in East Sooke Park, BC
An oceanside view at the picnic area at Anderson Cove, Sooke, BC.

Forested hiking trail in East Sooke Park
Hiking trail through a thick forest canopy at Anderson Cove, East Sooke Park.

Day hike - Victoria, BC
The ancient trees of East Sooke Park were used to help built Victoria in the 1800s.

Anderson Cove is located within East Sooke Park and located on the spectacularly beautiful shores of the Sooke Basin. It's the starting point for two strenuous hikes - Babbington Hill and Mount Maguire, both of which offer sweeping vistas of the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.

From the parking lot at Anderson Cove, a short walk down to the water's edge will take you to a small picnic area across from East Sooke Road. This small bay is sheltered by the Sooke Hills and the calm waters are perfect for beginner kayakers to discover the shores of Vancouver Island.

For hikers, the Anderson Cove hiking trail starts at the parking lot and heads uphill through a thick, second-growth rain forest. Although there are no coastal views through the trees, nature lovers will appreciate the lush stands of 100-year-old Douglas fir and Hemlock trees (comparatively young by coastal standards). The park is alive with animals including raccoons, deer and even black bear and cougar.

After about 20 minutes of trekking uphill, a fork in the trail will take you to Mount Maguire or Babbington Hill. Quite honestly, though, these mountain viewpoints can be reached via less-strenuous access points within East Sooke Park. The Mount Maguire hiking trail can be accessed from the Coppermine Road entrance, while the Babbington Hill trail can be reached from the Aylard Farm parking lot. You'll still have to trek up the mountain, but the distance will be much shorter.

How to Get to Anderson Cove (from Madrona Cottage)

The Anderson Cove parking lot is off of East Sooke Road. Guests pass it on the way to the cottage, about 5 minutes away.

  1. Turn left onto East Sooke Road (towards town).
  2. Drive for about 5 minutes. The parking lot is located just beyond the sharp curve at Anderson Cove on the right-hand side.

Notes:

  • The wildlife in the park stays well hidden, but are still there. The forest is home to raccoons, squirrels, deer, many types of birds, marten, and the occasional cougar and black bear. Make noise to warn them of your presence.

  • Bikes are not permitted within East Sooke Park. For a leisurely bike ride, try the Galloping Goose Regional Trail that's about 10 minutes from the cottage.

  • Canadian and American cell phone coverage is patchy in the thick forest at Anderson Cove. The higher you go on these coastal mountains, the better the reception.

  • Go prepared with snacks and lots of water, and stay on the trail. Hikers do occasionally lose their way in the thick rainforests of the park.

  • Leave plenty of time to return to the parking lot before sunset. It gets very dark on the hiking trails of the East Sooke Park rainforest. Bring a flashlight and a whistle just in case.

  • There is a local boat launch at Anderson Cove but extreme caution should be used. It is located on a blind corner along East Sooke Road and the ground is soft and muddy at low tide. It is not recommended for use except by kayakers.

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