Difficulty: Short and easy. It's more of a walk than a hike.
The white sand beach at Aylard Farm, East Sooke Park.
East Sooke Park is a hiker's paradise located just outside of Victoria, BC and only 10 minutes from Madrona Cottage. This 3500 acre park has over 50 kilometers of trails that range from challenging coastal hikes to easy walks through the rainforest.
The Aylard Farm Trail is an easy hike that meanders through an old apple orchard and an open farmer's field and leads to a sandy pocket beach. It takes only 10 minutes to get to the shore where you can enjoy a picnic on the white sand beach amongst huge driftwood husks. This is a family-friendly area, and toilet & sheltered picnic facilities are available. To reserve the picnic shelter for large gatherings, call the Capital Regional District Parks at 250-478-3344.
After enjoying a break at the beach, take a side trip to the Creyke Point outcrop which overlooks Becher Bay and the Juan de Fuca Strait. This is one of our favourite view points! You can often see seal, otter, and eagle and even if you don't, the scenery is beautiful. The trail meanders through the second-growth forest that includes Douglas Firs, Hemlock and Arbutus trees that are over 100 years old. The path is well groomed with rock-shale. Walking up to the rocky lookout can be a bit slippery when wet, but running shoes are usually adequate (still, hiking shoes are great if you have them). This easy hike will take about 40 minutes if you go slowly and enjoy the views.
A welcoming entrance to Aylard Farm in East Sooke Park.
An easy walk along the coast to Creyke Point and spectacular views.
We've seen eagles, herons, geese and many other birds in this sheltered coastal area. Seals can be spotted off the coast and river otters can be seen on the rocky shores when the park is less crowded. This is a popular day-hike and picnic area for the locals and the beach area can be crowded, especially in the afternoons. We find it most peaceful in the early mornings and early evenings when the crowds have dissipated. It's during these quieter times that we tend to see more wildlife. Once, we unknowingly walked beneath a roosting eagle only to be startled by the loud flap of its wings as it took to flight!
East Sooke Park has three parking lots at Pike Road, Anderson Cove and Aylard Farm. The Aylard Farm parking lot is the furthest from the cottage and is about 10 minutes away.
Ready to visit Sooke? Contact us for availability!