Difficulty: A short and easy walk to the coast.
A coastal view from the trails at Pike Road, East Sooke Park.
At the far end of the spectacular East Sooke Park is a easy hike along an old mining road. This trail leads through a dense, second-growth forest and then to a secluded cove along the shores of the Juan de Fuca Strait. Located only 7 minutes from Madrona Cottage (or 45 minutes from downtown Victoria, BC), this easy hike is a excellent introduction to coastal hiking on southern Vancouver Island.
The Pike Road trail is an flat, well-groomed trail that takes about 25 minutes to walk one-way. While there are a few bumpy and muddy sections and slight inclines, it is generally suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The trail starts from the parking lot and heads south through a thick forest of Douglas fir, Hemlock and Maple trees. Near the rocky shore, Arbutus trees stubbornly cling to the rocks.
At the end of the trail, there is a short incline to the water and a pebbly beach. Here you'll have expansive views of the Juan de Fuca Strait with the Olympic Mountains in the background. You can sit all afternoon watching the shipping traffic sailing to and from Seattle and Vancouver. At low tide, you can venture up a rocky outcropping that highlights sweeping views of the cove and the surrounding seascape -- but be careful, as the rocks can be very slippery! We have spent many peaceful hours here.
This cove, called Iron Mine Bay, was the location of an old iron-ore & copper mine that was in operation from 1863 to the 1970s. Mining was done on a small scale by men who crawled through the shafts wearing headlamps. This area later became East Sooke Park.
This trail is rarely crowded (except during mushroom-picking season in the fall - then, it's packed!) -- and can be hiked throughout the year. In the summer, the forest is filled with the sounds of birds and other wildlife. During the winter, bring an umbrella since the bare trees provide little cover from the rain. The trail is well groomed but there are often a few muddy patches. And if you plan to stay out later into the afternoon, it's a good idea to bring a flashlight since the forest gets dark very quickly as the sun goes down! Plan to end your hike and be out of the park by sunset.
Running shoes are fine for the Pike Road trail, but hiking boots will provide protection from the mud and offer extra traction if you want to explore.
Pike Road is the end point of the premier Coast Trail, a challenging 10 kilometer day-hike along the shores of East Sooke Park.
East Sooke Park has three parking lots at Pike Road, Anderson Cove and Aylard Farm. The Pike Road parking lot is the most westerly and is about 7 minutes from the cottage.
Ready to visit Sooke? Contact us for availability!