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Sooke to Port Renfrew 2019 Visitors Guide

S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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SOOKE.CA

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S O O KE TO P ORT REN F R EW


Features 04

Welcome

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Secret Places The Sooke Region has many enchanting places. And we love telling our visitors about them. (Let’s just say it’s a secret among friends).

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Communities

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Ed MacGregor Park Ed MacGregor Park was named after the town’s first mayor. The park is a favourite among residents and tourists alike for its tranquil atmosphere and lush flower displays.

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Annual events

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Whiffin Spit A natural breakwater, sheltering Sooke Harbour from the rolling breakers of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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Marine Boardwalk The Marine Boardwalk, which stretches from Ed MacGregor Park to Murray Road, is a place for walkers, strollers and watchers.

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Killer whales, commonly called orcas, and beautiful sunsets are part of everyday life in Sooke. This picture was snapped by Deanna Brett (www.lovesooke.com) with Sooke Whale Watching.

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Some of the best saltwater fishing in the world can be found in the Pacific Ocean waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Salmon, halibut and cod can soon be on your dinner plate.

The region from Sooke to Port Renfrew is home to countless hiking trails.

Hiking

The Fish Are Biting!

The Potholes

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Whether it’s hiking, biking or swimming you’re after, the Sooke Potholes are easily one of Sooke’s biggest natural attractions.

Sooke has a range of recreational activities suitable for all ages.

Family Fun

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Avatar Grove Avatar Grove is home to some of the most spectacular, and easily accessible old growth trees in B.C., and has become among the province’s most popular oldgrowth forest tourism destinations.

On the Cover A majestic stand of trees are viewed at Mystic beach taken by photographer TJ Watt

Sooke

NEWS MIRROR

The Sooke to Port Renfrew Visitors Guide is a publication of the Sooke News Mirror in cooperation with the Sooke Region Tourism Association.

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Welcome to the wildside

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he region from East Sooke to Port Renfrew and beyond offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. It’s what we call Wild By Nature. The incredible beauty of the natural wild spaces, the animals and the ocean make this a place one does not soon forget. Mix in the cultural diversity and wealth of creative spirit and you get an experience which you will cherish for years to come. Each year Highway 14 and the Pacific Marine Circle Route allow visitors access to stunning,

awe-inspiring scenery. From camping in our incredible provincial and national parks to dining in our world-famous restaurants, the area is a breath of fresh air for those who value small town charm and sense of community. Whale watching, fishing, hiking, swimming, cycling, kayaking and beachcombing are all here, as are artisans, country markets, interesting retail shops and friendly people. Stay a while and experience our West Coast. We are Wild By Nature in any season and we welcome you.

DAWN GIBSON/Sooke News Mirror

Mountain Springs Lakeside Retreat Secluded cozy cottage on private lake. Hot tub, fireplace, wifi. 2 Queen bedrooms. Full amenities. Swim, fish, BBQ. Adjacent to East Sooke Park hiking. Also B&B suite in host home. Wood art studio.

288 Becher Bay Rd. Sooke BC www.mountainspringsretreat.com info@mountainspringsretreat.com

250.642.6541 I 1.888.642.6541 Home of the Island’s Best Guinness Pint Award

Receive 15% OFF your food purchase with this coupon. Limited items, dine-in only. House rules apply. Expires April 2020.

www.17milehouse.com www.17milehouse.com www.17milehouse.com

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Ocean Cottages like Luxury Yachts! Live unbelievably close to the Sea ~ or Own, Rent & Earn Income ~ with Foreign Purchaser Tax Savings!

Ringside Seats for Amazing Vacations!!

Under an hour from downtown, ferries, and Victoria International Airport, and half that to theatres & superstores. For a lifetime of exceptional front row experiences, SookePoint Ocean Cottages & Surfside Yacht Suites are anchored on a solid rock peninsula just 5 metres (16 feet) from the sea, surrounded by a rich undersea garden on the extreme south west tip of Canada’s South Pacific. Secure an unobstructed ocean view forever. Escape to this most vibrant edge of nature. Relax to soothing surf and romantic sunsets. Breathe the freshest sea air. Enjoy the lowest rainfall on the Wild West Coast and the warmest winters in Canada. Join the Orcas salmon fishing. Kayak among the humpbacks, eagles, seals and sea lions. Experience incredible underwater diving just below your deck. Hike the 6-hour (one-way) Coast Trail and explore 50 km (30 miles) of enchanting forest pathways in our adjoining 3,600-acre Wilderness Park. Clear title ownership. Live here full time, or benefit from unique zoning to earn premium resort rental income.

Find out more: See virtual tours & ringside whale videos at SookePoint.com Tours Daily 10 - 4 PM at 1000 SookePoint Place, Sooke, BC | 250.642.0350

AMAZING VACATION RENTALS NOW AVAILABLE AT SOOKEPOINT.COM Sales only by Disclosure Statement.

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Psst! We have a secret

There are many hidden gems in our region that we’re more than happy to share

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peeling red bark of the arbutus trees, a rare West Coast feature abundant on Vancouver Island. n With vast expanses of rocky beachfront and fields of space to play, most heading to East Sooke Park for the day can easily enjoy the green fields without ever venturing onto its 50-kilometre trail system. But for those ready and willing to head off the beaten path, this rocky trail system offers hidden treasure. Follow the signs through the 10-kilometre Coast Trail to ancient petroglyphs. Remnants of the Coast SMOKIN’ Salish peoples who inhabited Alldridge TUNA Point, the ancient markings speak of the first people to walk these woods and the messages they saw fit to leave behind. n For an even older geological treat, head up the road to Muir Creek. Cross

he Sooke Region has many enchanting places. And we love telling our visitors about them. (Let’s just call it a secret among friends). n The slender strip of sand known as Whiffin Spit is a great place to get away from the roar of traffic. Visitors can enjoy the sunrise or get a chance to meet the locals on their own turf – and Fido can come along for the walk. To get there? Take a left off Sooke Road onto Whiffin Spit Road and follow it to the end. n Past the sundial, amphitheatre and sculptures in the heart of Ed MacGregor Park, adventurous visitors will find a forest trail leading to a beautiful seaside retreat. The Rotary Pier offers a peaceful spot to stop for a mid-morning snack. And don’t forget to check out the

Cafe

SMOKIN’ TUNA

to the west end of the Muir Creek bridge to park, then walk to the mouth of the estuary. At low tide, walk along the beach and you will find fossils preserved in the sandstone cliff face. n The ultimate Port Renfrew adventure hike, Botanical Beach impresses young and old with an overflowing intertidal zone of rounded pools carved into its sandstone beachfront. Brimming with sea life, the area boasts hundreds of species including royal purple sea stars and urchins, brown sea palm, mussels, gooseneck barnacles, and sea snails. Surrounded by old-growth forest, this diverse ecosystem rests among basaltic cliffs, specked with ridges of shale and quartz whose jagged surfaces pose an interesting challenge for those following the Juan de Fuca trail through to Port Renfrew.

SOOKE REGION MUSEUM Fine Art and Crafts - Jewelry - Books First Nations Jewelry and Sculpture Open Daily 9-5 pm

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2070 Phillips Road, Sooke Turn at the Traffic Light by the Historic Lighthouse Phone 250 642 6351 Toll Free 1-866-888-4748


JACK MOST/Sooke News Mirror

Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre “L W STOT A LEW” Visit July-November

View spawning salmon run Mid-Oct. through Nov.

Enjoy Smoked Salmon Festival Picnic & Judging by the river for the Canadian Championship September 30/18

250.642.4200 2895 Sooke River Road

admin@jdfcharterssalmon.com www.salmonforsooke.ca

SOOKE COUNTRY MARKET Every Saturday 10–2 pm • May–October Otter Point Rd and Eustace Rd

WE MAKE IT BAKE IT GROW IT

Local Produce • Plants Fresh Baking • Local Art www.sookecountrymarket.com sookecountrymarket.com info@sookecountrymarket.com S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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EAST SOOKE The East Sooke peninsula is without doubt a fascinating and unique world all on its own. Most popular is East Sooke Regional Park, a prime attraction for hikers who wish to take in the gorgeous sight of Sooke’s harbour, but also want an easy view of the colossal Olympic Mountains across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The park is also home to sheltered coves, windswept outcroppings and hilltops providing great views of the surrounding area.

SOOKE The District of Sooke is the West Coast at its best, offering natural beauty at every turn. Sooke’s popularity as a scenic tourist destination has existed for generations. Well-known destinations in Sooke, such as Whiffin Spit Park, Sooke Potholes Regional Park, and adjacent Sooke Potholes Provincial Park attract visitors both locally and from around the world. The area’s popularity has increased as a base for visiting the wilderness parks of Vancouver Island’s southwest coast — the West Coast Trail and Juan de Fuca Provincial Park which includes the now highly popular Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Looking for some culture? Sooke has that covered, with a thriving mix of restaurants, shops, and galleries.

OTTER POINT Otter Point is a rural neighbourhood of Sooke. It references the immediate area around Otter Point Road, a 10-kilometre crescent-shaped thoroughfare beginning and terminating on West Coast Road. The neighbourhood is considered to begin past the extensive residential subdivisions of Broom Hill, past Helgesen Road. The character of the neighbourhood is predominantly rural, with many small hobby farms and pockets of forest.

SHIRLEY Shirley is a unique tiny community about 15 minutes from Sooke along Highway 14. Named after a town near Southampton, England, Shirley became known when it opened a post office in May 1894. The bright red community hall is the hub for most activities in Shirley. Accompanying it is the Shirley Volunteer Fire Department and a small well-used park with a gazebo and picnic area. Each year the community hall is the venue for a spring and pre-Christmas crafts fair where locals sell jams, breads and a variety of arts and crafts.

JORDAN RIVER

One of the most popular spots to watch the waves, the small community that was once a logging town is best-known today for great surfing, including wind-surfing, board-surfing, and surf kayaking. Jordan River took its name from Father Jordan, a priest aboard a Spanish vessel of exploration in 1790. Years later, it was the great watershed of the Jordan River valley that attracted industry. While the workers at Jordan River numbered 1,000 then, it is quiet today, perfect for a picnic, gazing at the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in the distance, or enjoying the excitement of watching surfers catching waves. 30 kilometres beyond Sooke on the Pacific Marine Circle Route.

PORT RENFREW

Port Renfrew is located at the end of the scenic West Coast Road (Highway 14), 74 kilometres (46 miles) northwest of Sooke. The community is an association of neighbourhoods spread out along the seashore, river estuary, and Highway 14. Port Renfrew is the gateway to the Island’s rugged West Coast, and is a mecca for hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and surfing. It is home to Botanical Beach, Avatar Grove and Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.

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Brian Rundle photo

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a shining light The Sheringham Point Lighthouse located in Shirley, west of Sooke, rises 20 metres above the coastline. Built in 1912, the lighthouse is credited with saving countless lives. It was recently designated as a national historic site, thanks to the efforts of the Sheringham Lighthouse Preservation Society which now operates the site. LEE-ANN RUTTAN photo

SOOKE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA& CHORUS

SHOW & SALE JUL 26 – AUG 5, 2019 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: • 380 works of art • daily artist demos • live music • special events

“BETWEEN TOMORROW” | By Nancyanne Cowell

Yariv Aloni Music Director

sookefinearts.com • SEAPARC Leisure Complex • Sooke, BC

Tickets www.sookephil.ca 250-419-3569

2 01 8 -1 9 S E A S O N

VANCOUVER ISLAND’S PREMIER SUMMER ARTS EVENT

April 6 & 7 Songs & Psalms April 20 Don Chrysler Concerto Competition June 2 Sooke Secret Garden Tour June 15 & 16 Winds of Summer July 7 Philharmonic Fling!

Making Harmony ... Naturally S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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Bringing craft craft beer to Sooke since 2016 Bringing

Bringing craft beer to Sooke since 2016

Insta

Insta

OPEN: OPEN:12-6 12-6daily daily OPEN: 12-6 daily 778.352.2739 778.352.2739 778.352.2739 Road 1-5529Sooke SookeRoad 1-5529 Sooke Shell SookeShell atatSooke

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@sookebrew @sookebrew @sookebrew @sookebrew @sookebrew @sookebrew sookebrew sookebrew sookebrew

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Renfrew Red Ale

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Bear Beach Baltic Porter

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Homestyle Cooking

Awesome food, naturally!

6596 Sooke Rd 250-642-2425 Parking at rear of building


Ed MacGregor Park

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d MacGregor Park was an early purchase by the District of Sooke. It was renamed as a tribute to Sooke’s first mayor who died in 2003 while still in office. The park’s entrance is marked by a trio of historic pillars that were moved from the site of the old Belvedere Hotel, which once stood on the

headland above the current Sooke River Hotel. The entrance also includes a mosaic created by students of Journey Middle School, working with an artist. The park is a testament to volunteers who have assisted with the ongoing work undertaken by contractors for the municipality.

WESTERN FOODS

We carry a large selection of natural & organic products. Visit our meat department for Ready to Cook Gourmet dishes, our bakery for fresh daily buns, bread and sweet treats and our deli for gourmet take-home meal options.

Located at 6765 West Coast Rd., with a parking lot nearby, the onehectare park is provincially designated as Sooke’s Spirit Square, and stretches via a zigzag switchback ramp to the harbourfront, making it somewhat wheelchair accessible. The park trail then circles up toward the town center again via Murray Road.

Our Mission To provide a supportive resource for local businesses to achieve greater success in the community and the region. To foster positive business relationships within the community. To constructively influence public policy supporting free enterprise. Our organization is dedicated to the health and vibrancy of our region, when you join, your business will benefit from our commitment to this region.

Join the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce Get Involved in your Community OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK IN SOOKE FROM 7AM TO 10PM

SOOKE

6660 Sooke Road Open 7 Days a Week 7:00 am to 10 pm

www.sookeregionchamber.com or call 250 642 6112 for details email: info@sookeregionchamber.com

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Calendar of Events

APRIL April 27 – Sooke Folk Music Society Concert Series Holy Trinity Anglican Church April 27 – Sookarama trade show SEAPARC Leisure Complex

MAY May 3 to 5 – Sooke Community Choir Concert Sooke Community Hall www.sookecommunitychoir.com May 4 – Sooke Rotary Club Auction and Dinner Prestige Oceanfront Resort May 5 – Battle of the Atlantic and VE Day Ceremony Royal Canadian Legion, Sooke 250-642-2052 May 11 – Duck Day at the Flats – 13th annual rubber duck race Sooke Harourside Lions Club, Sooke River Campground 250-642-3963 May 11 – Family Arts Fair SEAPARC Leisure Complex May 11 to 12 – Sooke Saltwater Series Halibut Derby www.sookesaltwaterseries.ca

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May 18 – Sooke Folk Music Society Coffee House Holy Trinity Anglican Church 250-642-4568 May TBA – Honeybee Awareness Day Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery 250-642-1956 June 2 – Sooke Philharmonic’s Secret Garden Tour www.sookesecretgardens.com

JUNE June 6 – Thursday Night Market. Every Thursday until Sept. 5 Sooke Region Museum 250-642-6351 June 15 – Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra – Winds of Summer Sooke Community Hall 250-419-3569 June 15 – Sooke Folk Music Society Coffee House Holy Trinity Anglican Church 250-642-4568 June 23 – Sooke Region Museum Open House and Salmon Barbecue Sooke Region Museum 250-642-6351

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What’s Happening – When and Where!

JULY July 1 – Sooke Canada Day Celebrations Sooke River Campground July 1 – Port Renfrew Canada Day Celebrations Port Renfrew Early July – Stick Fest 2019 The Stick in the Mud Coffee House 250-642-5635 July 7 – Philharmonic Fling, Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra Ed MacGregor Park 250-419-3569 July 14 – Sooke Car Show and Swap & Shop Sooke River Campground www.sookefallfair.ca July 26 to Aug. 5 – Sooke Fine Arts Show SEAPARC Leisure Complex 250-642-7256

AUGUST Aug. 3 and 4 – Sooke Music Festival John Phillips Memorial Park www.sookemusicfestival.com

Aug. 5 – B.C. Day Aug. 18 – Shirley Day – A Celebration of Life Shirley Community Hall 778-350-7611

SEPTEMBER Sept. TBA – 12th annual Beach Art Festival Whiffin Spit Park 250-642-4638 Sept. 7 and 8 – Sooke Fall Fair Sooke Community Hall 250-812-2830 Sept. 21 – Sooke Folk Music Society Coffee House Holy Trinity Anglican Church 250-642-4568 Sept. 29 – Smoked Salmon Contest, 2-4 pm; Charters River Salmon Centre, 2895 Sooke River Rd. 250-642-4200

OCTOBER Oct. 12 – Sooke Saltwater Series Coho Derby www.sookesaltwaterseries.ca


CHURCH SERVICES KNOX PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 2110 Church Rd.; 250-642 4124. Praise singing: 10:15 a.m. Sunday; Sunday service: 10:30 a.m. SOOKE BAPTIST CHURCH - 7110 West Coast Rd.; 250-642-3424. Sunday family worship: 10 a.m. including KidZone and nursery. Website: www.sookebaptistchurch. com; email: sookebaptistchurch@ shaw.ca Oct. TBA – Oktoberfest Royal Canadian Legion 250-642-7158 Oct. 19 – Sooke Folk Music Society Coffee House Holy Trinity Anglican Church 250-642-4568 Oct. 31 – Safe Halloween

NOVEMBER Nov. 10 – Shirley Christmas Craft Fair Shirley Community Hall 778-350-7611 Nov. 11 – Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremonies Royal Canadian Legion 250-642-2052 Nov 16 – Sooke Folk Music Society Coffee House Holy Trinity Anglican Church 250-642-4568 Nov. 15 to 17 – All Sooke Arts & Crafts Christmas Show Sooke Community Hall

DECEMBER Dec. 1 – Moss Cottage Christmas and Snowman Building Event Sooke Region Museum

Dec. 8 – Shirley Country Christmas Market Shirley Community Hall 778-350-7611 Dec. 21 – Sooke Folk Music Society Coffee House Holy Trinity Anglican Church 250-642-4568 Dec. 26 – Sooke Saltwater Series Boxing Day Derby www.sookesaltwaterseries.ca

2020 Jan. 1 New Year’s Levee Royal Canadian Legion 250-642-2052 Jan. 1 – Polar Bear Swim Whiffin Spit Park 250-642-6211 Jan. TBA – Hard Times Dance Sooke Community Hall 250-642-3378 Jan. TBA – Robert Burns Night Royal Canadian Legion 250-642-2052 Feb. TBA – Song and Surf Music Festival Port Renfrew www.songandsurf.com

Feb. TBA – Seedy Saturday Sooke Food CHI www.sookefoodchi.ca March or April – Shirley Community Spring Craft Fair Shirley Community Hall 778-350-7611 March – Giant Yard Sale Sooke Community Hall 250-642-7158 March – Sooke Folk Music Society Concert Series Holy Trinity Anglican Church 250-642-4568

ONGOING March or April – Easter Eggstravaganza SEAPARC Leisure Complex Lighthouse Walk program–Volksport 10K walk Pick up walk information at Western Foods ••• Dates are subject to change. Please check with the Sooke Visitor Centre 250-642-6351 or 1-866-888-4748 or the Sooke Region Tourism Association website www.sooke-portrenfrew.com for “Events.”

ST. ROSE OF LIMA CATHOLIC PARISH - 2191 Townsend Rd.; 250-642-3945. Mass: Saturday 5 p.m., Sunday 9:30 a.m., Thursday 10 a.m., Friday 10 a.m. Website: www.strosesooke.com email: info@strosesooke.com HOLY TRINITY ANGLICAN CHURCH -1962 Murray Rd.; 250-642-3172. Holy communion: Sunday 10:45 a.m., Thursday 10:30 a.m. Website: www.holytrinitysookebc. com THE BAHA’I FAITH - 250-2161332. Devotions, children’s classes, study circles, discussion evening, home visits, youth classes. ST. MARY’S CHURCH - Port Renfrew CHRISTIAN LIFE ASSEMBLY 6851 West Coast Rd.; 250-6424822 or 604-530-7344. Sunday Service: 10 a.m. Children’s church and nursery provided. JUAN DE FUCA SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH - 6251 Sooke Rd.; 778-425-2403. Saturday Service: Sabbath School 9:30 a.m., Divine worship 11 a.m. Fellowship lunch follows sabbath service SOOKE KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES 2207 Church Rd. 250-642-7272 or 250-883-5522. Public talk service Sunday 10 a.m.; Mid-week meeting, Thursday 7 p.m.

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Whiffin Spit

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natural breakwater, sheltering Sooke Harbour from the rolling breakers of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Whiffin Spit is a finger-like projection of sediment formed from longshore drift. The pathway is moderately accessible for wheelchairs. The Spit is reached by Whiffin Spit Road, off West Coast Road. At its base is Quimper Park, a memorial to the harbour’s early history.

A popular walk, about 20 minutes each way, the Spit affords views of Sooke Harbour, Sooke Hills, East Sooke and the Olympic Mountains. A bird watcher’s paradise, the Spit attracts a variety of migratory birds in addition to many resident species. No matter the season, the remarkable views continually attract walkers hoping for a glimpse of harbour seals, river otters or the occasional sea lion. EMILY NORTON and SOOKE NEWS MIRROR photos

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Pedder Bay

Vancouver Island’s premier RV resort and marina. Located just 30 minutes from Victoria. Enjoy the breath-taking natural beauty of the area against a backdrop of the Olympic Mountain Range and the Race Rocks Marine Reserve. Oceanfront sites at a private location with great amenities, coffee house/snack bar, showers, laundry, full-service marina, boat rentals and complimentary WiFi. 925 Pedder Bay Drive, Metchosin BC | 250 478 1771 | www.pedderbay.com pedderbay.com

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PEDDER BAY RV RESORT & MARINA METCHOSIN • BC


Marine Boardwalk

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tretching along the water from Sooke’s Ed MacGregor Park to the foot of Murray Road is the marine boardwalk. It is a place for ramblers and strollers, walkers and watchers. Opened early in 2008, the boardwalk allows locals and travellers to enjoy the waterfront views along Sooke Harbour stretching towards Billings Spit and Whiffin Spit. With the Olympic Mountains as a stunning backdrop, the spot is picture perfect. Built alongside the Rotary Pier, the boardwalk complements the pier, offering another vantage point. The Rotary Pier and Marine Boardwalk are popular places to drop a fishing line or just rest and enjoy the seascape. KEN SPRINKLING and KEVIN LAIRD photos

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Galloping Goose and Lochside Regional Trails LEGEND Galloping Goose Regional Trail

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Lochside Regional Trail

Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (Ferries to Tsawwassen and Gulf Islands)

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CENTRAL SAANICH

JUAN DE FUCA EA

45

Mill Hill n a da H i gh w ay Regional Langford Park Lake

Glen Lake

Royal Roads University

u

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Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

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Becher Bay

n

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East Sooke Regional Park

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JUAN DE FUCA EA

Devonian Regional Park

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30

Witty's Lagoon Regional Park

25

VICTORIA

Beacon Hill Park

Johnson Street Bridge

geles Ferry

Matheson Lake Regional Park

0

ia-

35

Selkirk Trestle

ESQUIMALT

to r

Ayum Creek Regional Park Reserve

Cedar Hill Park

4

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites

Albert Head Lagoon Regional Park

METCHOSIN

Blenkinsop Trestle

Vic

So o

Sooke R o ad

Mount Douglas Park

Switch Bridge

14

Sooke Basin

McMinn Park

10

Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary

ROYAL

15

COLWOOD

20

40

Cordova Bay

17

10 VIEW

LANGFORD

Mount Wells Regional Park

Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt Regional Park Reserve

Roche Cove Regional Park

18

Francis/King Regional Park

Thetis Lake Regional Park

Vic toria- Port An

SOOKE To Port Renfrew

Sooke Mountain Provincial Park

Sidney Island

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Doris Page Park

SAANICH

alt uim Esq rbour Ha

Todd Trestle

Sooke Potholes Provincial Park

Charters Trestle

Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserve

Shields Lake

Lochside Park

Rithet's Bog Conservation Area Layritz Park

n

50

Prospect Lake

sCa

Blue Belt Regional Park Reserve

Sooke Potholes Regional Park

Beaver Lake

Tr a

Sooke Potholes Campground

15

Elk Lake Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park

HIGHLANDS

Goldstream Provincial Park

ne l

it

JUAN DE Jack Lake FUCA ELECTORAL Sea to Sea Green AREA

ha n

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55

C

Island View Beach Regional Park

Heritage Acres

Bear Hill Regional Park Mount Work Regional Park

Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserve

Mavis Lake

y

S

Kapoor Regional Park Reserve

Goldstream Lake

Cy Hampson Park

20

Lone Tree Hill Regional Park Old Wolf Lake

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

James Island

Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

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Lubbe Lake

a An ySidney Spit Ferr (seas o y nal)

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Council Lake

Re

r ry Fe

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Bazan Bay

ay Hig h way Patric ia B

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25

te

John Dean Provincial Park

Brentwood Bay

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NORTH SAANICH

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CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT

1

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Si

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d

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30

Victoria International Airport

S a a n i c h

Regional Parks Other Parks and Protected Areas

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Horth Hill Regional Park

Information

University of Victoria

Uplands Park

OAK BAY

Gonzales Hill Regional Park

Oak Bay Islands Ecological Reserve


DeMamiel Creek 9 Hole Par 3 Golf Course

Fun

Located at 6518 Throup Road

For all skill levels and abilities!

For information phone SEAPARC Leisure Complex at

250.642.8000

SEAPARC LEISURE COMPLEX

2168 Phillips Road, Sooke, B.C., 250.642.8000 (Next to the Sooke Region Museum & Visitor Information Centre)

Check us out online at www.seaparc.ca

SEAPARC offers a 25 m pool, hot tub, sauna, tots pool, an ice arena, showers, bike park, ball field and skate park. S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

19


Sip & Savour Plan your dining adventure during your day trip or extended stay

T

he historic 17 Mile House Pub provides hot meals and cold drinks in a casual friendly atmosphere. A side trip to East Sooke will be rewarded by a visit to Smokin Tuna Café and Glenrose Farm Restaurant. Stickleback Eatery, nestled on the shores of Cooper Cove has patio seating. Most of our restaurants are located in the town core. The Lazy Gecko offers authentic Mexican fare. The Teriyaki House, ML Sushi, Yens’ Kitchen, Hara Sushi, Happy Village, and Mai Mai’s will satisfy your craving for Asian flavours. Watch for the Buddah Box and other food trucks or take away pizza from Pizzability or Sooke 2 for 1. Route 14, Buffy’s Pub, `Mom’s Café and Cathy’s Corner Café

20

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offer casual dining. West Coast Grill, located in the Prestige Oceanfront Resort, offers regional fare. Wild Mountain Food & Drink creates truly West Coast cuisine inspired by the seasonal bounty from local farmers, foragers and fishermen. Dine at the world famous Sooke Harbour House, located at the end of Whiffen Spit Road. Situated on the ocean and surrounded by edible gardens, their menu changes with the seasons. Try the Copper Room for breakfast or lunch. For coffee or a light meal, try Serious Coffee, Kelz Bakery, Little Vienna Bakery, the Stick in the Mud or Jenny’s Country Pantry. Discover your new favourite sip at

Tugwell Meadery, Sheringham Distillery or one of Sooke’s three new breweries: S.O.B., Bad Dog or Sooke Brewing Co. West of Sooke, Shirley Delicious Café features delectable vegetarian and gluten free baked goods while Stoked Wood Fire Pizzeria bakes pizza the way you like it. Venture further west to the intimate dining room of Point-no-Point Resort. Savour a gourmet dinner or leisurely lunch, while enjoying panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. At Jordan River warm up with a bowl of homemade soup and a sandwich from the Cold Shoulder Café. In Port Renfrew you will find Tomi’s Home Cooking, The Coastal Kitchen Café and the Renfrew Pub.


Take a Paddle

Sooke Region offers many opportunities for those who like to take to the water

S

ooke has many attractions in respect to its wild rainforests and trail systems, but the big one is the most obvious: its local waters and the evertantalizing invitation to go paddling in a kayak, a canoe or paddleboard. Turning the first corner towards Sooke, in the tiny hamlet of Saseenos, is Cooper Cove, a small inlet that connects to the Sooke Basin. Here, you’ll find Rush Adventures, a local business oriented towards marine sports that offers kayak, and paddleboard rentals (including the unique paddleboard yoga). From there, you can set off towards the harbour and enjoy the sound of birds

above, while gently being rocked along by slow currents. Rush Adventures also do the occasional kayak water polo, a oneof-a-kind sport that fuses the best of both worlds into one fun (and fun to watch) activity. It’s certainly not the only place, or the only way, to get a piece of Sooke’s marine side. East Sooke’s rugged coastline also offers numerous opportunities to explore several beaches, including Beecher Bay. For those who are more experienced and bringing their own kayaks to explore, the open waters around southwest Vancouver Island have much to offer. In town, paddlers can launch from several

spots, including the docks at the Prestige Hotel. West Coast Outdoor Adventure also provides day-long kayak rentals and lessons. And you won’t be alone out there either – marine life, such as seals, sea lions and otters are often hanging around or moving about, while whales, such as humpback, minke and grey, can also be seen frolicking in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The calmer waters of Matheson Lake, in Metchosin, invite exploration. Launch from the swimming beach and paddle the perimeter of the lake or pull ashore on Gillespie Island and go for a swim. The lake is stocked so take your fishing rod.

SOOKE NEWS MIRROR photo

S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

21


NATURAL PHENOMENON

The Sooke Potholes is a unique natural attraction that is a must-see

W

hether it’s hiking, biking, swimming and breathtaking scenery you’re after, the Sooke Potholes are easily one of Sooke’s biggest natural attractions all year

long. What are the Potholes anyway? Carved by the Sooke River over the course of thousands of years, the picturesque rock trench formed almost perfectly-cylindrical indentations in the rock surface resembling – you got it – potholes. During winter, visitors can enjoy the roar and fury of the Sooke River, while in the summer, calmer waters reveal pools for swimming, which, of course, go hand in hand with beaches you can enjoy in the sun, and trails that stretch out in every direction. That, of course, includes one of the greatest trails in the Sooke Region, the Galloping Goose Trail, a former railway bed that connects Sooke, Victoria and Leechtown, a goldrush era ghost town. But for all its natural beauty, the Potholes also hold

a not-so-natural attraction. Standing near the edge of the cliff are the skeletal concrete remains of a bold resort complex known as the Deertrail Resort, a proposed paradise deep in the woods that never reached completion. Beaten by nature, time and graffiti, its half-finished monolithic chimney still stands today. One can see why this was to be such an attractive place for a quick weekend getaway; just on the other side lies a picturesque rock and forest chasm that extends as far as the eye can see. Every now and then, the Capital Regional District hosts a free guided hiking tour, which takes visitors on several popular trails that run alongside the Sooke Potholes and pass through unique and secluded beaches such as Pebble Beach, a beautiful crescent of sand just off the riverside. Pay parking is in effect May 1 to Sept. 30 at $2.25 a day or $20 for the season.

MARLENE ARDEN Personal Real Estate Corporation

www.marlenearden.ca

250-642-6518 marlenearden@shaw.ca

Sooke Fine Arts “Best In Jewellry 2009”

Living, Loving & Selling The West Coast!

106, 6661 Sooke Road, Sooke, BC • 778-352-4438 bandksilversmith@shaw.ca CanadianGoldandSilver.com

In the Sooke River Hotel beside the bridge

@castleliquor

Huge selection of craft beer, wine and spirits Open daily from 9am-11pm

250-642-5055 • castleliquorstore.com 22

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marcus kennett FISHING CHARTERS

Marcus is extremely professional and has an amazing knowledge of fishing and the local area, and is more than willing to share that knowledge. This is my second year fishing with Marcus and without a doubt, he is one of the best guides on the west coast! If the fish are out there, this guy will find them! ~Mike McCreesh

250.701.3663 marcus_kennett@yahoo.com fish-vancouver-island.com

@MarcusKennettFishingCharters


Branch #54

6726 Eustace Rd.

250-642-5913

The friendliest Legion on the Island

— Members and Bona Fide Guests —

FRIDAY STEAKNIGHT 6-7:30PM $1500 with all the trimmimgs $

16 for non-members

SUNDAY BRUNCH 9AM-12PM

$

700

Families Welcome

MEATDRAW SATURDAYS3PM KARAOKE FRIDAYS 8:00PM

DROP-IN ACTIVITIES

Free Pool • Shuffleboard • Crib • Euchre • Darts

Find us on facebook Sooke Legion Branch #54 TJ WATT and iSTOCK photos

S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

23


Heritage Block Boutique West is a women’s boutique offering contemporary women’s fashion.

250-642-3952

ice Full Sresrhvop Barbe

Our racks are refreshed weekly with carefully curated pieces in sizing from XS to 3X, in a broad range of styles of beautiful, easy to wear clothing & accessories. boutiquewest.ca info@boutiquewest.ca

250-216-3188

barbthebarber@shaw.ca

Heritage Block

South Shore

Gallery

is home to Sooke’s oldest shopping corner. Located along Otter Point at West Coast Road. These shops are all locally owned and operated, and because of that, offer a unique shopping experience.

Original Fine Art by West Coast Artists

Mon-Fri 10:30-5, Sat 10-5 open Sundays seasonally

250-642-6677

250-642-2058 www.southshoregallery.ca

At the corner of Route 14 and

Otter Point Road  Sooke 24

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Beaches & Parks Galloping Goose Regional Trail: 55 kilometres in length. Gentle grade makes this excellent for walking, cycling, jogging and horseback riding. Stretches from downtown Victoria to the upper reaches of the Sooke River. East Sooke Regional Park: Day-us­e, no camping. Offers some serious hiking trails and casual beach picnicking. Wellmarked trails, precautions advised. Take a cellphone and a map. Roche Cove Regional Park: Seven kilometres of forested trails and picnic area at secluded beach. Try the Cedar Grove Trail for an invigorating hike. Matheson Lake Regional Park: Excellent fishing and swimming, a 3.8-kilometre trail encircles the lake. Galloping Goose skirts along the north side of the park. Sea to Sea Regional Park Mount Manuel Quimper Section: Newly opened section of the Sea to Sea Regional Park

providing access for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Sooke Potholes: Waterfalls, clear pools perfect for swimming. Picnic areas. Adjacent to the Galloping Goose Trail. Campground. Whiffin Spit Park: A walking trail popular with dog owners. Pit toilet, benches. French Beach Provincial Park: With year ‘round campground, barbecue pits, playground for kids. 69 vehicle accessible campsites located in the forest about 10 minutes from the beach. Sani- station, pit toilets and fresh water. Sandcut Beach/Jordan River Regional Park Reserve: A short walk through the hemlock and cedar forest. Cobble beach, waterfall. Jordan River: 40 kilometres northwest of Sooke. Juan de Fuca Marine Trail: 47-kilometre wilderness hiking trail. Four trailheads: China Beach, Sombrio Beach, Parkinson

Creek and Botanical Beach. env.gov.bc.ca/ parks/ China Beach: 40 minute drive from Sooke, pit toilets, day-use Park. 20 minute hike through the rainforest. Large trees, cobble and sand beach, hidden waterfall. Mystic Beach: Accessed from the China Beach Trailhead. Two-kilometre hike through rainforest. Suspension bridge. Wilderness camping. Sombrio Beach: Located at approximately Kilometre 29 of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Access via a 250-metre forested trail from the Sombrio Beach Trailhead parking lot, off Highway 14. Two wilderness camping areas at Sombrio Beach. Botanical Beach Provincial Park: in Port Renfrew: Day-use park. Tide pools. Rugged coastline. West Coast Trail: 74 kilometre wilderness hiking from Port Renfrew to Bamfield.

.com

Your full service supermarket GROCERIES • MEAT FISH • BAKERY • DELI BULK FOODS • LOTTERY OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 7AM - 10PM PROUD MEMBER OF THE SOOKE REGION CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

103-6661 SOOKE RD

250.642.2734 S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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Galloping Goose Trail S

eeing over 100,000 visits every year, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail is one of the region’s most popular paths. The Galloping Goose, originally the route of the CN railway, was established after the First World War and used to haul logs and lumber. The 55-kilometre trail stretches from Victoria to Sooke, passing through the municipalities of Saanich, View Royal, Colwood, Langford, and Metchosin. It connects with the Lochside Regional Trail, a 29-kilometre trail that stretches from Saanich to Sidney. It also connects to the E&N Rail Trail-Humpback Connector, a 17-kilometre

cycling and pedestrian trail which is being constructed in phases over the next few years. The route can be used for walking, running, cycling, or horseback riding. You are sure to see some beautiful scenery along the way, as it passes through urban, rural, and wilderness areas. Some favourite sections of the trail in the Sooke region of the Galloping Goose include: • From Sooke Potholes Regional Park to the Todd Creek Trestle (2.2 km return). Enter from Sooke Potholes parking lot 2 and head south. • Sooke River Road to Charters River

Trestle. The building you see from the trestle is the Charters River Interpretive Centre which is located at 2895 Sooke River Road. • Roche Cove to Rocky Point Road (4.7 km one way). Roche Cove parking lot is 2.7 km down Gillespie Road from Hwy 14. Stop at Matheson Lake for a swim. • Ludlow Road Parking Lot, near km 40, to km 39 or 38 for lovely views of Cooper Cove and Sooke Basin. Keep going to Roche Cove, km 35, for a more ambitious walk.

OCEAN WILDERNESS INN

6858 West Coast Rd, Sooke, BC, V9Z0V2 Pub 250-642-3333 Daily at 11am Liquor Store 250-642-0290 Daily 9am-11pm buffys@shaw.ca / www.buffys.ca

2019 Sooke Fall Fair Ro

ot ed in T radition

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Fall Fair Fundraiser Show & Shine Car Show & Swap Meet Sooke Flats, July 14, 2019 Sooke River Campground, 10 am –3 pm Food Trucks

Ocean view suites • King size beds • Creek-side path to private beach

Saturday Sept. 7 11– 6 pm Sunday Sept. 8 9–5 pm

9171 WEST COAST ROAD, SHIRLEY www.oceanwildernessinn.com e: stay@oceanwildernessinn.com

Sooke Community Hall

www.sookefallfair.ca

p: 250.646.2116

1.800.323.2116


FLOWERS, PLANTS & GIFTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS!

LOCAL & WORLDWIDE DELIVERIES

250-642-2422 1-800-661-2117

FAX: 250-642-6820 EMAIL: flowerhouse@sookehomehardware.com

6626 SOOKE ROAD • SOOKE • BC • CANADA • V9Z 0A4

Sooke Home Hardware A Wide Range of Products for Your Home Renovation & Repair. 6626 Sooke Road. 250-642-6366

Enjoy a refreshing Bad Dog brew in our picnic area

www.baddogbrewing.ca

Winter hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 12-6pm Summer hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm

@sookebaddogbrewing

7861 Tugwell Road, Sooke 250.642.3621

baddogbrewingco S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

Insta

27


t s a f k a e r B & Bed DIRECTORY Staying at a bed and breakfast is the perfect choice of lodging when you need a relaxing escape. The Sooke Region offers B&Bs from East Sooke to Port Renfew, and there’s a wide selection of homes to satisfy any taste. From personalized attention to delicious food, there are many reasons to choose a bed and breakfast in the Sooke Region.

4532 Otter Point Road, Sooke, B.C. 250-642-5672 TF 1-877-338-5602

www.straitviewridgebnb.com info@straitviewridgebnb.com Close to best beaches, trails. Over looking spectacular Juan de Fuca Strait & Olympic Mountains.

Mountain Springs Lakeside Retreat

Ocean Wilderness Inn

288 Becher Bay Road, Sooke, B.C. 250-642-6541 1-888-642-6541

250-646-2116

www.mountainspringsretreat.com info@mountainspringsretreat.com 2 bedroom cottage on private lake. Hot tub. Fireplace. Swim. Fish. BBQ. WIFI. B&B suite in host home. Wood Art Studio. ADJACENT TO EAST SOOKE PARK HIKING

Beachview Bed and Breakfast 11 Queesto Drive. Port Renfrew 250-647-5499 *Pet Friendly 2 Bedroom Beachfront Cabin. One bedroom with queen bed and den. Full size fridge and BBQ on private deck to enjoy. Transportation and parking can be arranged for West Coast Trail.

Arbutus Cove Guest House and Cottage 3018 Manzer Rd, Sooke B.C. 250-642-6310 TF 1-800-580-0026

www.arbutuscoveguesthouse.com info@arbutuscoveguesthouse.com Sooke’s Premier Waterfront Acommodation on the Galloping Goose Trail.

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Straitview Ridge B&B

S O O KE TO P ORT REN F R EW

9171 West Coast Rd.

www.oceanwildernessinn.com Enjoy magnificent views of the ocean and/or forest from every room. Beach access from our creekside path that leads to a beautiful private beach. Gaze at ocean waves and shooting stars from our cliff side hot tub. Lovely Sheringham buffet breakfast served mid-May to early September.

Gordons Beach Farm Stay B&B Diane & Mike Ius 778-425-1312 4537 Otter Point Rd. Sooke, B.C.

info@gordonsbeach.com www.gordonsbeach.com Breathtaking ocean views & sunsets. 7 minute walk to beach. 2 self-contained suites & 1 cabin. 50 chickens and playful goats await you. Farm fresh breakfasts.

4 Beaches B&B Alison and Pat Hogan 778-352-2818 7760 West Coast Rd., Sooke, B.C.

www.4beachesbandb.ca

4 comfortable suites with private bathrooms. Gourmet breakfast menu changed daily. Fabulous ocean views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Olympic Mountains. Close to Rainforest trails and beach hikes.


The fish are biting The region has some of the best fishing on the Pacific coast

S

ome of the best saltwater fishing in the world can be found in the Pacific Ocean waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. For 12 months of the year, one or more species of salmon feed during their growth cycle or are part of large spawning runs along the coast of Vancouver Island from Port Renfrew, past Sooke, to rivers such as the Fraser where the salmon finish their life cycle. Excellent bottom fishing is also available with catches of halibut as well

as ling cod and rock fish. Dungeness crab also abound in Sooke Harbour. Many fishing charters are available to help you enjoy this sport. Your guide would help you reach some of the best fishing hot spots. Excellent fresh water fishing is found in the rivers and lakes of the region. You can enjoy fly-fishing and drift fishing for salmon, cutthroat trout, steelhead, rainbow and brown trout on regional rivers such as the Sooke River. In local lakes you will find cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout, as well as yellow perch and bass. Poirier Lake would be an excellent choice for a family fishing trip. RON NEITSCHE photo

WORLD’S BEST CONTEMPORARY GIN WORLD GIN AWARDS 2019

SEASIDE GIN refreshing as a seaside stroll sheringhamdistillery.com

www.littleviennabakery.com S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

29


F AMIL Y

FUN

Sooke offers endless things for families to see and do

S

ooke has a wide range of recreational activities suitable for all ages. The swimming pool at SEAPARC Leisure Complex is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and from 9 to 6 p.m. Sundays. There are aquafit and fitness classes available as well, and a bike park at the complex for fun on two wheels. SEAPARC also operates the DeMamiel Creek Golf Course, a nine-hole par 3 course that suits all ages. The course opens April 17,

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with regular rates of $15 for adults and $10 for youth. There are family passes for four available for $40, and seniors can play Monday to Friday at a reduced rate of $15 for 18 holes. SEAPARC’s arena is open from September to March, with drop-in skating on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information on the many activities and programs available at SEAPARC Leisure Complex, check out crd.bc.ca/seaparc/, or call 250-6428000. West Coast Outdoor Adventure rents kayaks and paddleboards which enhance the viewing of the spectacular coastal scenery and the wildlife is renowned for. They also have bike rentals that make it easy for you to connect with the 55 kilometres of the Galloping Goose Trail, putting you within reach of all parts of the Capital Region. Call 250664-7794 for more information or visit

westcoastoutdoor adventure.com. Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours, Vancouver Island’s only forest canopy zip line experience, has guided tours that include a 10-minute ATV ride to the top of a mountain for a tour that includes eight zip lines and two suspension bridges. They are open for the season March 1 then Thursday to Sunday until April 30. From May 1 to Sept. 30, they are open daily and from Oct. 1 to 28 they will be open Wednesday to Sunday. Go to adrenalinezip.com or call 250-642-1933 locally or toll free at 1-866-947-9145 for rates and information. If you want to include some great pub food with a little exercise, try the 17 Mile House Pub, a historic landmark restaurant that once served as a carriage stop and hotel. Enjoy beach volleyball, horseshoes and bocce ball just steps from the patio throughout the spring and summer on a first come, first served basis. Call 250-642-5942, or drop by 5126 Sooke Rd. Whiffin Spit and Ed MacGregor Park, just minutes from downtown Sooke, provide easy, pleasant strolls and seaside views that capture the regions’ natural beauty. Both have free parking and are wheel chair accessible.


Runner’s Routes

GLENROSA FARM RESTAURANT FRESH, LOCAL, SEASONAL, HOUSE MADE MENU

On the run? We have a trail for that.

T

he Sooke Region is blessed with kilometres (or miles) of trails to explore and offers some of the best running trails in B.C. WHIFFIN SPIT: Located west of Sooke’s downtown core, Whiffin Spit is 1.5 kilometres long and flat and surrounded by ocean and mountain views. The trail has a gravel surface. GALLOPING GOOSE: The Galloping Goose Trail stretches more than 60 kilometres from Sooke to Victoria, with some paved sections towards Victoria. SEA TO SEA REGIONAL PARK: This is the second largest of the regional parks in

the Capital Regional District, encompassing more than 4,000 hectares. This parkland is part of the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt, a corridor of protected green space linking Saanich Inlet in the east to Juan de Fuca Strait in the west. It has 30 kilometres of running, hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. COAST TRAIL: The Coast Trail in East Sooke Regional Park is one of the most popular in the region for its incredible ocean views and many points of interest, including deep water caverns, old fish trap cabins, petroglyphs, and wildlife. It has challenging terrain.

250-478-6186 5447 Rocky Point Road • glenrosafarm.com • km 30 on the Galloping Goose

Island Vacation Homes Ltd. We are a vacation property rental company that connects guests with stunning holiday homes on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.

• Houses • Cottages • Condos & Suites

www.bcislandvacationhomes.com www.bcislandvacationhomes.com bcislandvacationhomes.com Bringing Families Together Since 2003 www.mail@bcislandvacationhomes.com mail@bcislandvacationhomes.com Toll Free: 1-866-542-5566 Local: 250-642-5566 Sooke, BC

West Coast Outdoor Adventure RENTALS • TOURS • SALES Kayaks, Bikes & Stand Up Paddleboards

6971 West Coast Rd. I 250.664.7794 at Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina

WestCoastOutdoor.com S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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INSET C il

a t Coas t Tr Wes

Gordon Bay Provincial Park HONEYMOON BAY

Parks Canada

Gordon River

De

eri n

IR No 2

Mesachie Lake

gR d

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

LAKE COWICHAN

Cowichan Lake

to Lake Cowichan

PORT RENFREW Pacheena IR No 1

pa ve d)

Snuggery Cove

Harris Creek Spruce

( Rd

to Sooke & Victoria

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Pa

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cifi

P arkinson R d

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AIL ST TR

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Road to Fairy Lake Lizard Lake Cowichan Lake

Elliotsville

Pacheedaht Reserve

n

Riv er

Avatar Grove

PACIFIC MARINE

So m b

LEGEND

Chin Beach Campsite

Regional & Provincial Parks

Juan

de Fuc a

M ar

Secondary Roads

Mystic Beach

Lochside Regional Trail

Golf Fishing Swimming

Victoria From Sooke Museum Sidney

MILES KMS TIME 20 33 45min Miles 1hr Time 37 KM 60 Driving

Roche Cove Park

13

21

25min

Whiffin Spit Park

2

3

6min

French Beach Park 13

25min

Jordan River

20

33

35min

Horseback Riding

China Beach Park

23

37

40min

Wind Surfing / Surfing

Port Renfrew

46

74

1.25hrs

sooke-portrenfrew.com S O O KE TO P ORT REN F R EW

Go ud ie C

Flea Beach

INSET D

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SHIRLEY oa

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Community Hall

d

Fishboat Bay

French Beach

Fire Dept

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21

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C

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MILEAGES

r

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e Riv

China Beach

Beach Access Picnicking

da or

JORDAN RIVER

Bear Beach Campsite

Galloping Goose Regional Trail

Campgrounds / Hike-in Camping

J

Juan de Fuca Trailhead

ine Trail

Magdalena Point

Main Road, Pacific Marine Circle Route

Ug l w Creek o

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re k Lo s s C e

Sandcut Cre

e

n

Parkinson Creek Trailhead

Sombrio Beach

32

To Sooke & Victoria

Fire Hall

Riv

Payzant Creek Campsite

Sooke Region To

Beach Camp

Snuggery Cove Government Wharf

er

n

Botanical Beach

Payz a n t Ma i nli

Juan de Fuca Provincial Park

Red Creek Fir

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San Juan Spruce

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PORT RENFREW

n ua

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n Riv er R d

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S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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The Sooke Sailing Association, the Sooke Sailing Co-op and Starlight Sailing Adventures work together in the Sooke area to make sure everyone gets to sail. Sooke is on the southwest edge of Vancouver Island nestled between Victoria and Port Renfrew. It’s a great place to sail with the sheltered Sooke Basin and Harbour for those blustery days and the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the good weather days. There is almost always somewhere to get good sailing in Sooke.

Oh, Canada!

Sooke knows how to celebrate the nation’s birthday

A

ttracting hundreds of people each year, the Canada Day celebration is one of the largest events held annually in Sooke. The celebration, hosted by the Sooke Lions Club on July 1, is held on the “Flats” at Sooke River Campground, and people are welcome to bring their campers and stay for the weekend. The event features a community breakfast, local food and craft booths, children’s face painting and games, live entertainment, and cake shaped like the Canadian flag. Everyone is welcome as the celebration is family-friendly, and a fireworks show is presented each year to end the day.

The Sooke Sailing Association has a mandate to get kids and youth safely sailing on the ocean. They are doing this by offering four weeklong intensive classes in July. The students start in the sheltered Coopers Cove and, as their skills improve, venture out into the Basin. Most Sundays yearround our Sunday Sail feature has kids, youth and adults sailing dinghies in the Sooke Harbour for fun and experience. The Sooke Sailing Co-op was created to ease individuals and families into cruising and having fun in sailboats. It has shared ownership of Viento, a Catalina 27, which either gives people enough knowledge to decide on their own boat, or just allows sailing for less work and expense.

Starlight Sailing Adventures, run by Gord Fulcher, is for adults or families who want to try sailing, or want a complete entry-level program either on Starlight, his Aloha 32, or on your own boat. A couple of combo packages they offer are a Lunch and Sail with a gourmet bag lunch from Road to Sooke Café and By Land and Sea a guided nature hike by The Natural Connection in the morning and a sail in the afternoon. Gord is certified by Sail Canada and the Power and Sail Squadron to teach Basic Cruising,Basic and Intermediate Coastal Navigation, PCOC and Marine-Radio.

So, come and have fun!

For more information call us at 1-778-425-4030 or find us online at https://sookesailing.com https://sookesailingcoop.com https://starlightsailing.com S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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Take a hike

The Sooke Region is home to countless hiking trails

S

ooke’s natural setting invites exploration. Whether it’s the beaches and ocean to the south or the hills, rivers, mountains and valleys to the north, there’s something for everyone to discover. The region from Sooke to Port Renfrew is home to countless hiking trails that offer anything from a gentle walk to a multi-day trek through untamed wilderness. One of most popular places to hike is East Sooke Regional Park, with 50-kilometres of trails through forest and along the rugged, rocky, shoreline. The Aylard Farm entrance provides access to trails for those looking for a leisurely excursion or something more energetic. Take a 300-metre trail leading through open fields down to Becher Bay beach where you might find intertidal life or watch river otters playing in the surf. Trails head inland to hilltop views, or along the rugged Coast Trail. This 10-kilometre, rough, winding trail is a challenging six to eight- hour trip even for experienced hikers.

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On Babbington Hill and Mt. Magurie you can see bald eagles, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. Be sure to have your camera out; if they won’t have you snapping photos, the scenic view from the top surely will. In Sooke, head down Sooke River Road towards the Sooke Potholes Park, home to stunning geological formations. Trailheads can be accessed from any of the four parking lots. Follow the Riverside Trail beside Sooke River towards secluded beaches and canyons featuring the potholes themselves. For the true outdoor enthusiast, there’s the 47-kilometre-long Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, which stretches from China Beach, 35 kilometres west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew. Along the way, hikers might come across sea lions, bald eagles, herons and other wildlife. Lucky hikers could spot whales off shore. Day hikers can enjoy the trail from any of the four trailheads while it could take three to four days to complete the entire trail.


KEVIN LAIRD/Sooke News Mirror

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37


www.sookeharbourmarina.ca

www.sookepointresort.ca

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Don’t expect to see many otters at Otter Point. It was named for a Royal navy surveyor named Commander Otter.

It’s all in a name

From San Juan to Sooke, the region has many names – and their origins may surprise you

P

lace names are funny things. Travelers may often wonder why a town, river, lake or other geographic location bears the name it has, but very few will pursue that thought in an attempt to find the solution to the puzzle. Luckily, the Sooke Region Museum, conveniently located near downtown Sooke, has all the answers with a depth of regional knowledge that is truly astounding. Not only can the staff at the museum help with explaining place names, it can provide anecdotes that help to bring the history of the entire Sooke to Port Renfrew region alive. Take Sooke itself as an example. Named after the T’Sou-ke First Nation, which itself got the name from a particular

stickle-back fish found at the mouth of the Sooke River. It is an anglicized version of the name first pronounced “Soak,” and later evolved to the Sooke we know today. Port Renfrew was first known as Port San Juan, but when it was found that mail for the settlement was being mistakenly sent to the San Juan Islands, the name was changed to honour Baron Renfrew, the Prince of Wales, who planned to bring settlers to the area. Other names are more puzzling. Take Otter Point for example. One might assume that a host of otters in the region inspired the name and few would guess that it was actually named after a surveyor of the Royal navy who was named, you guessed it, Commander Otter.

In comparison, Shirley wasn’t named for someone named Shirley. It was apparently the name of one of the early settler’s home town in England, although records don’t make it clear which of the many Shirley’ in England that town might have been. Local historian, Elida Peers, has an encyclopedic knowledge about local place names and a keen appreciation for the value of history. “I’m always glad to see when the Ministry of Highways actually gets a name right when it’s posting signs. They got Whiffin Spit wrong once and had to correct it,” said Peers. We’re sure that John George Whiffin, a clerk that surveyed the inlet in 1846, would have been pleased that they finally got his name right.

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Oceanfront Resort Sooke

Luxury and adventure await!

www.prestigehotelsandresorts.com prestigehotelsandresorts.com · 1-250-642-0805 Enjoy these great amenities inside the Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke:

Enjoy a selection of locally-sourced, contemporary cuisine at West Coast Grill, or visit Vault, Sooke’s only sports lounge, with big screen TVs and local craft beer on tap.

www.westcoastgrill.ca westcoastgrill.ca

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Le Sooke Spa is a tranquil waterfront escape for the mind, body and spirit. Offering spa massages, facials, body treatments, manicures & pedicures, waxing, couples & spa packages.

The Road to Sooke Café brings together as many local ingredients as possible for a quick breakfast or lunch on the go! Everything is made from scratch!

www.lesookespa.com lesookespa.com

www.roadtosookecafe.ca roadtosookecafe.ca


PITCH A TENT

Experience the great outdoors

T

here are many campgrounds from Sooke to Port Renfrew, both privately and provincially operated. Most are seasonal, so check opening times. Reservations can be made in provincial campgrounds by contacting the Discover Camping reservation service at 1-800689-9025 or www.discovercamping.ca. Sunny Shores and the Sooke River Campground are privately operated campgrounds offering RV hookups and tent sites. Sooke River Campground is operated by the Sooke Community Association. It hosts a number of community events including Canada Day celebrations and music festivals. This campground has a sani-station. The Spring Salmon Place Campground (KWL-UCHUN) above the Sooke Potholes Regional Park is operated by the T’Sou-ke Nation for the Capital Regional District. This campground has 67 sites for RV or tent camping and will accommodate RVs up to eight metres in length but has no hookups. Ideally situated between the Sooke River and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail this campground provides easy access to swimming, picnicking, hiking on forested trails, or cycling. French Beach Provincial Park is 20 km west of Sooke. It offers 69 vehicle campsites nestled in the forest. This campground has pit toilets. Drinking water and fire wood are available only during the summer although the campground is open year ‘round. A group campsite is also available. The sani-station on Highway 14 is just west of this park entrance. A small campsite at Jordan River is operated by Capital Regional District Parks and is part of the Jordan River Regional Park. It has both drive-in and walk-in sites. This campground is open

year ‘round on a first-come first-served basis. Pit toilets and water are available. Located above the beach, this site offers spectacular views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is comprised of 1,528 hectares offering 78 vehicle accessible campsites at China Beach and six walk/hike-in wilderness campsites along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Wilderness campsites are located at Mystic, Bear, China and Sombrio beaches. Forest campsites along the trail are located at Little Kuitche and Payzant Creeks. China Beach campground is adjacent to Highway 14, one kilometre east of the China Beach day-use area, and 35 kilometres west of Sooke. Try the one-kilometre forested trail from the campground to “Second Beach.” This

trail has more than 200 stairs and is well worth the effort. You’ll be rewarded with sights of huge trees, views of the Olympic Mountains and perhaps some wildlife. The Pacheedaht Campground in Port Renfrew has tent sites and RV sites with hookups. Situated on Port San Juan, the beautiful sand beach stretches the length of the campground. Port Renfrew Marina & RV Park is open May 1 to Oct 15 and offers tent and RV sites on the Jordon River. Two small forestry campsites are located along the route from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan, part of the Pacific Marine Circle Route. Fairy Lake and Lizard Lake campsites can accommodate both RVs and tents. There are no hookups. Pit toilets, boat launches and great swimming are found at both.

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Wake Up to a Dream Breathe in the fresh ocean breeze, enjoy world-renowned fine dining and marvel at the beauty of the distant Olympic Mountains from your balcony. The Sooke Harbour House Resort offers the experience of a lifetime.

sookeharbourhouse.com 42

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Beachview

Standing tall

Bed and Breakfast

2 Bedroom Beachfront Cabin

Sookie Sam is the iconic image of the region

* Pet Friendly!

One bedroom with a queen size bed and a den. Full size fridge and BBQ on private deck to enjoy.

P

erhaps one of the most iconic symbols of Sooke is Sookie Sam. He can be seen east of the town’s centre. Sookie Sam was the creation of Leif Sorensen. After taking over Sunny Shores Resort and Marina in 1973, Sorensen decided he needed to add more things for families to do while staying in the campsites and motel units. In the mid 1970s, Sorensen built a miniature golf course and Sookie Sookie Sam Sam was born. In his first incarnation, he held a large green sign in his arms that read Sookie Sam’s Mini Golf. Sookie Sam has been rebuilt and replaced several times over the years as he has succumbed to many things including grad pranks, chainsaws, fire, and root rot.

Transportation and Parking can be arranged for west coast trail

11 Queesto Drive Port Renfrew

Phone: 250 647-5499

A photographer’s dream or a mecca of relaxation. · · · ·

Oceanview Steps away from the beach One queen bed A double loft area that sleeps up to 4 or more adults (perfect area for children)

· Full sized kitchen · Electric heat and woodstove · TV with DVD player (no cable) · Wifi included · No pets allowed · Weekly or nightly rates.

A BREEZE BY THE SEA 6657 Queesto Drive, Port Renfrew, British Columbia V0S 0A1, Canada 778-747-3994

Pacific Gateway Marina & Bridgemans West Coast Eatery on the beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island and The Pacific Marine Circle Route

PACIFIC GATEWAY MARINA 250-412-5509

BRIDGEMANS WEST COAST EATERY 250-412-6121 S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

43


WALK ON WATER

Explore hidden ocean coves where boats can’t venture, burn calories and catch one of the latest crazes in recreation – paddleboarding. In recent summers, standup paddleboarding has increased in popularity with visitors to the Sooke Region. SOOKE NEWS MIRROR

Orveas Bay Oceanfront Cottages Spectacular views over the Juan de Fuca Strait Framed by the Majestic Olympic Mountains Port and Starboard cottages offering Private Hot tubs. fireplaces, barbecues, hammocks Reservations www.orveasbay.com info@orveasbay.com 250 646 2304

A Romantic couples retreat 44

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Bike with Passion S

ooke has an obsession with the bicycle. The region’s wide expanse of trails, parks and bike routes is enough to quench the thirst of any amateur, intermediate or professional cyclist, regardless of whether they’re a leisurely rider, an endurance racer, mountain climber or downhill warrior. Here’s a quick tour of some of the best riding spots: • Galloping Goose Trail – The trail stretches from Sooke to Victoria. Along the way, trails off the main path offer more difficult terrain, including mountain sides and deep rainforest. • Harbourview – This park west of Sooke offers a rich playground of trails of every kind of skill level, from the basic nature trails through bush to abrupt descents. • Leisure – There’s several leisurely trails in and around the town core and through local neighbourhoods.

TJ WATT photo

Gordon’s Beach Farm Stay B&B Featuring Muir Cottage Perfect for a family getaway! Muir Cottage has been newly renovated to modern . Incredible standards and heated with a gas ocean views with grazing goats just in front and 70 free range chickens. Offering weekly rentals starting at $1,000.00 per week 1-778-425-1312 • 4537 Otter Point Road info@gordonsbeach.com • www.gordonsbeach.com

Fully Insured, Coast Guard approved 26 ft Northwest Aluminum Boat with twin 200 hp Yamahas, featuring: radar, gps, marine radio, sounder, safety gear and the capacity to accomodate up to 5 guests. “I have fished in Renfrew my entire life and I catch more fish and have more fun when I go with McKenna SportFishing”. ~Laurie Thompson

mckennasportfishing.com

250.647.0123 S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

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Surf’s Up A

long the coast between Sooke and Port Renfrew, there are several hot spots for water sports. If you have your own gear for a day’s sport or a weekend getaway, grab your wet suit, load your vehicle, and go. The best surfing on the West Coast is during the winter. Your first stop might be at Whiffin Spit Park, depending on the tide and weather. This is usually a good spot for beginners. Wind conditions at Gordon’s Beach make this spot ideal for kite boarding. Kite boarders can use a small public access road a few metres east of Tugwell Creek bridge to reach the beach.

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At Jordan River, where there is overnight camping, you will find one of the first beaches to become popular for surfing. Sombrio is another classic surfing beach located within the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Watch for signs along West Coast Road (Highway 14) directing you to the rugged gravel access road. Expect to carry your gear for about 15 minutes from the parking lot down to the beach. Wilderness camping is allowed at this beach. The last opportunity for classic cold-water surfing is at the sand beach in Port Renfrew, accessed from the Pacheedaht Campground.


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Lunch 11:30 - 3:00 everyday Dinner 5:30 Wed - Sun 25 cabins on 1 km private oceanfront 10829 West Coast Rd. Shirley BC V9Z 1G9 48

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Reservations 250-646-2020

big lonely doug Big Lonely Doug, perhaps the loneliest tree in Canada, stands in the middle of a clear-cut near Port Renfrew, surrounded by a field of huge stumps. It’s about 70 metres tall, and is a beacon for environmental groups to highlight the need to protect B.C.’s rapidly disappearing old growth forests. TJ WATT photo


unFOREgettable T

he DeMamiel Creek Golf Course in Sooke is the perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon outside. The nine-hole course is owned and operated by SEAPARC, and is great for people of all ages and capabilities. “It’s par-three so it’s a fairly easy course, but our longest hole is about 185 yards so there are some challenging holes as well,” said Steve Knoke, SEAPARC manager. A round of golf costs $15 per person, but youth golf at a discount rate of $10 per round, and groups of four can get a family rate of $40. People can also purchase a buy-ten-

rounds-get-one-free card for $135. There are also specials such as senior’s night, where seniors can golf 18 rounds for $15, family nights, and other special events held throughout the season. The course opens in late April and stays open through Thanksgiving Day. “It’s an inexpensive, beautiful course and is a nice quiet place to get out, relax and enjoy the sunshine,” Knoke said. To find out about upcoming events, or to learn more about the DeMamiel Creek Golf Course, please visit the SEAPARC website at www.crd.bc.ca/ seaparc.

WEST COAST TRAIL EXPRESS SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE (MAY 1 - SEPT. 30)

Transportation from VICTORIA, NANAIMO and more to and from the heads of the WEST COAST TRAIL and the JUAN DE FUCA MARINE TRAIL. ONE WAY or RETURN! Reservations Recommended

YEAR ROUND CHARTER BUS SERVICE TOO!

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250-477-8700 • 1-888-999-2288 www.trailbus.com • bus@trailbus.com

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Carey Newman works on his art in a Sooke studio.

First Nations and the art of culture T

he work of a diverse collection of First Nations artists from Vancouver Island comes to life in several galleries in Sooke. Renowned carvers Victor Newman and his son, Carey, have established an international reputation through the totem poles they have been commissioned to create, which are on display in many locations around the world. The Blue Raven Gallery showcases their unique interpretations that reflect their Kwagiluth and Salish heritage in a variety of mediums. Victor’s masks, paddles, drums, rattles, talking sticks and prints adorn the family gallery, along with the works of Carey and his mother, Edith Newman. Carey’s prints, many of which capture his spiritual connection to local wildlife are available, as well as his hand-carved masks, jewellery and glassware. Edith weaves elements of both Victor and Carey’s Native design into the blankets, slippers, jackets, purses,

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vests and cushions she fashions, also on display at the gallery that makes up part of the family home on Kaltasin Road. For more on the Blue Raven Gallery, which is open by appointment only, go online to blueraven.ca, or call 250-881-0528 to arrange a visit. The Tale of the Whale Gallery specializes in northwest coast native art, highlighted by a collection of more than 100 totem poles ranging in size from six inches to 10 feet tall. Acclaimed carver Ellen Neel’s creations pay homage to the works of her uncles, all respected for their work in their own right. The Northwest First Nations focus is also featured in 50 large wall masks created by Richard Hunt, George Hunt, Geoffrey Hunt and Jimmy Joseph. The gallery includes a collection of talking sticks, button blankets, carved and painted wooden boxes, drums and paddles. Many examples of native silver jewellery by the Seaweed family,

well-known throughout the region, are on display. Their work includes rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and belt buckles. Feast bowls, rattles, paintings, prints, carved walrus tusk and whale’s tooth-handled knives by Salish artist Charles McKay are at the gallery as well. Drop by the Tale of the Whale Gallery at 2050 Otter Point Road, or call Gary Petersen at 250-642-6161 for more information. Sooke Harbour House draws visitors from around the globe, but not just for its scenic setting and renowned cuisine. The hotel’s hallways throughout the four floors are filled with paintings, native masks, carvings, photography and mixed media artwork. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and the gift shop offers locally crafted jewellery, glass work, pottery, teas and seeds. Call 250-642-3421 or visit info@ sookeharbourhouse.com for more information.


That’s entertainment

Looking for entertainment? There’s plenty to be found in Sooke

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ooke’s pioneer-era days dictate a community of logging, fishing and mining, but today the district contains a pool of talented musicians, painters, sculptors and artists of every kind. As such, one can enjoy a music concert, an art show, or a live theatre performance, all right here in town and within a stone throw away. In need of some theatre? From classic numbers such as Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of Penzance, to the hilarious British humor of Fawlty Towers, the Sooke Harbour Players have been putting on hilarious, entertaining and memorable performances since 1982. Performances are often held at the Edward Milne Community School

theatre in Sooke. For some fine art, you can enjoy the Sooke Fine Arts Show held every July in the SEAPARC Leisure Complex arena. Here visitors are introduced to a world-class art display that rivals the most prestigious art galleries. A live music concert and gourmet food alongside a unique art experience makes for a day to remember. Speaking of world-class, Sooke is also home to the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, easily one of the most elegant, talented and captivating orchestras on the South Vancouver Island. Performances are held throughout the year, in Sooke, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin, and View Royal.

The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra hosts its funfilled Philly Fling every summer.

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A passion for art Local artists showcase their art in a variety of ways – and they love to talk about it

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he area surrounding Sooke is a haven for all sorts of artists. It’s been suggested that it’s the beauty of the region that inspires artists and, for those visitors (and locals) who have a keen appreciation of the creative process, it’s a wonderful place to seek out the artistic process in action. The Blue Raven Gallery features the work of exquisite artists and master carvers, Carey, Edith and Victor Newman, whose work captures the spirit and culture of the region. Beyond the individual artist’s studios, the Galleries in Sooke showcase a host of other artists. At the Barking Dog Studio, the work of more than 60 local artists is featured and there’s always the chance that you’ll meet one or more of them when you visit. The same is true of the South Shore Gallery. All the galleries are proud to showcase local art and steer you toward the creative masters whose work they display for sale. “Most of the artists in the region would gladly host visitors and share their thoughts and inspirations,” said Linda Gordon, one of the region’s prolific artists and the author of a 2019 publication called Word and Art, a book that links local visual artists with the creative inspiration of the written word.

Sooke is a special place for artists, and most of the artisans will gladly host visitors and share their thoughts and inspirations. “You only have to call them and ask for a tour, and nearly all will welcome you to their studios. Gallery owners will help to facilitate those contacts.” The Sooke Fine Arts Show also annually showcases the work of a host of local artists and features a variety of events

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and demonstrations that allow visitors to explore the creative process, live. The artists are at the show and nearly all of them will gladly invite you into their studios to watch them at work. Theirs, after all, is a passion that they are proud to share.


Photos by:

1.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

PHOTO WORTHY 2.

4.

Selfies, panoramas, and artsy shots – snap them all in sooke

Octavian Lacatusu Gary Schroyen TJ Watt Julia Stuckenburg Bruce Hogarth Jewel Black

6.

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Sooke knows how to

CELEBRATE S

ooke to Port Renfrew is a happening region. No matter how small the communities might be, there is always some type of event taking place. One event you can always count on is the Thursday Night Market at the Sooke Region Museum, which begins in June and runs through the beginning of September. At the market, you can find a variety of crafts such as jewelry or pottery, local foods – both sweet and savoury, local artist’s work, and live music. The weekly event is great for the family and is a way to get out and socialize, have some fun, and maybe even learn about Sooke’s history. Another market to check out is the Sooke Country Market on Otter Point Road and Eustace Street, which runs from May to October on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At this smaller market you can find similar crafts and food items to the Sooke Night

Market, but it is more of a farmers’ market, featuring local plants, fruit and vegetables. Other events in the area to check out this year include: Sooke Canada Day celebrations – enjoy a community breakfast, local food and craft booths, children’s face painting and games, live entertainment, and cake shaped like the Canadian flag at the annual Canada Day celebrations hosted by the Sooke Lions Club at the Sooke River Campground. People are also welcome to bring their campers and stay for the weekend. Shirley Day – An annual celebration of all things Shirley. The event is held on Aug. 18 and is a family affair with music, events for children, a pie and watermelon-eating contest, display of fire trucks and a slew of vendors and crafters. Sooke Fine Arts Show – The 33rd annual art show is expected to display more

The Sooke Santa Claus Parade is one of the most anticipated events in the community for children and adults alike. than 300 pieces of work including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs. The event runs from July 26 to Aug. 5 and also features a gift shop, bistro, special events for children and seniors, daily live artist demonstrations, lectures and music. Sooke Fall Fair – Come see some of the area’s ripest produce, beautiful artwork and hand made crafts, listen to live music, taste local wines, beers

and food, or spend the day playing with local farm animals at the petting pens. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Sooke Fall Fair on Sept. 7 and 8. Santa Claus Parade – With multiple floats, marching bands, hot chocolate, and Jolly Old St. Nick all in one place, the Sooke Santa Parade is sure to get you in the Christmas holiday spirit.

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ANCIENT FORESTS

Port Renfrew is dubbed the Tall Tree Capital of Canada – and for good reason

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elcome to a tall tree paradise. Port Renfrew has been dubbed the Tall Tree Capital of Canada for good reason. Heavy winter rains, mild temperatures and summer mists make for ideal growing conditions in the temperate rainforest. The surrounding region is home to some of the most spectacular stands of old-growth forest in Canada and many of these old-growth trees have become internationally-known tourist destinations. Vancouver Island’s old-growth forests host several species of trees, including Western redcedar, Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir, Amabilis fir, and Western hemlock. Some of these trees are the largest of their species in Canada, notably the San Juan Spruce and the Red Creek Fir.

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The San Juan Spruce, standing on the banks of the San Juan River, is impressive due to the size of its unique forked trunk, which is considered one of the largest known despite being broken. The nearby Red Creek Fir has survived extensive local logging and seasonal storms. Standing at almost 250 feet tall, this tree is remarkable for the sheer volume of its trunk. At the height of 144 feet the tree retains an unusual diameter of seven feet. Another outstanding Sitka spruce is the Harris Creek Spruce. This is possibly the easiest of the big trees to access as it is just off the Pacific Marine Circle Route, about 26 kilometres from Port Renfrew when heading toward Lake Cowichan.

Perhaps the most well known of these ancient forests is the magnificent Avatar Grove. Some of the trees are easily accessible thanks to a boardwalk installed by the Ancient Forest Alliance. The 1.2-kilometre trail now allows visitors to get close to trees that TJ Watt, the AFA boardwalk coordinator, explained could be more than 500 years old. Whether you take in the breathtaking giants in Avatar Grove or seek out the old growth of the Central Walbran Valley further north, it’s a quest that is worth the effort, an experience you won’t soon forget. Please note that Avatar Grove, the San Juan Spruce, the Red Creek Fir and the Walbran Valley are accessed via gravel roads that can be rough at times.


AVATAR GROVE

Home to the region’s magnificent old-growth forests

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ocated 20 minutes outside of Port Renfrew, the Tall Tree Capital of Canada, lies one of our region’s most magnificent old-growth forests: Avatar Grove. Avatar Grove is home to some of the most spectacular, and easily accessible old-growth trees in B.C., and has become among the province’s most popular oldgrowth forest tourism destinations. In the grove, you can also find Canada’s Gnarliest Tree, which greets thousands of visitors every year. The forest was found by the environmental group Ancient Forest Alliance in 2011, and the AFA successfully lobbied the province to have it protected in 2012. In 2017 the AFA finished a four-year project, constructing a 1.2-kilometre-long

board walk within the grove. The AFA said the completed board walk will allow people to spend less time looking at their feet, and more time admiring the trees. “It’s a magical landscape,” said TJ Watt, AFA boardwalk coordinator. “You have ancient redcedars and Douglasfirs that can be over 500 years old with trunks as wide as 14 feet in diametre, with huge alien shaped burrows growing off the trees, and moss and ferns all around.” He explained that old-growth forests can have trees up to 2,000 years old, are a non-renewable resource under B.C.’s system of forestry, and are vital to sustaining endangered species, climate stability, tourism, clean water, wild salmon, and the cultures of many First Nations.

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here’s something special about viewing wildlife and birds up close in their natural habitat. The Sooke Region’s diverse landscapes are home to a variety of animals and birds. And depending on where you look, you just might be able to fill your photo album with shots of several different species of critters and fowl found in our forests – and streets. Imagine walking along one of the region’s rivers or streams, meandering around Douglas-firs and salal, and spotting a beautiful blacktail deer, some busy beavers in the water or perhaps even a hungry blue heron doing a little fishing. You might glimpse a herd of Roosevelt elk making its way to a favourite watering hole. Hear a sweet sound on the breeze? It could be a Pacific loon. Avid bird watchers can put a serious dent in their life lists in this region. Wondering if that bare farmer’s field is deserted? Look closer. You might see a black bear munching on apples in an

orchard. On the ground, young rabbits graze in the lush grass, while graceful hawks soar in the sky above. Think of the Sooke Region as an enormous natural animal preserve, where at different times and places you can spot eagles, wolves, raccoons, swans, owls and much more.

NATURE’S WILDLIFE SPLENDOUR

Photos by gary schroyen and Brian Rundle

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Take a walk on the

WILDside T

he Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is the lesser known cousin of the West Coast Trail, and follows 47 kilometres of wilderness stretching along the western shoreline of the South Island in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. The trail offers scenic beauty, spectacular hiking, marine and wildlife viewing and roaring surf along the Pacific coastline. There are four trailheads to the Juan de Fuca Trail at China Beach, Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek and Botanical Beach. Although most of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is designed for strenuous day or multiday hiking and camping in this rugged and isolated area, some easy to moderate day hiking opportunities to the beach or along the trail are available starting from the trailheads. The hike normally takes three to four days. There are no services along the route - trav-

ellers should come prepared for the remote experience. Backcountry passes for camping must be bought from B.C. Parks. A shuttle service to and from Port Renfrew and China Beach (as well as Victoria) is available during the summer months. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park offers ample opportunity to view larger marine mammals as well, including grey and killer whales, which can often be spotted feeding just off the points. The best time to see grey whales is during their migration from the Mexican coast to Alaska in March and April. Seals and sea lions can also often be seen playing offshore. At the west end of Juan de Fuca Park is Botanical Beach, one of the richest tidal areas along the west coast. Botanical Beach also has a unique shoreline framed by ridges of shale and quartz, which jut up through the black basalt to form huge tableaus. Botanical Beach is the western terminus for the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and a popular trip destination for visitors wishing to observe this sensitive and unique ecosystem.

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PACIFIC MARINE CIRCLE ROUTE

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he Pacific Marine Circle Tour should be on your must-do list on your trip to southern Vancouver Island. You will visit West Coast beaches and parks, world famous ancient forests and mammoth trees. This self guided tour will take you from the East Coast of Vancouver Island, through the mountains of Lake Cowichan, along the West Coast and back to your starting point. Along the way you can enjoy restaurants, spectacular scenery and quaint shops in the unique coastal communities. There are numerous places where you can camp with your RV. Few amenities are available once you are between Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan.

The entire circle route is 255 kilometres, or 158 miles. There are numerous beaches along the route between Sooke and Port Renfrew. Whiffin Spit in Sooke offers an easy walking trail and as you head further west you come to Muir Creek, French Beach, Sandcut Beach, the famous surfing beach at Jordan River, China Beach with its spectacular pounding surf and sandy beach, Mystic and Sombrio Beaches then Botanical Beach out of Port Renfrew and the Paceedahdt White Sand Beach. Each of these beaches offer something unique. From the waterfall at Sandcut to the tidal pools at Botanical beach, they are not to be missed by anyone who loves the sand, surf, waves and wind. Information can be obtained on all the

sights and adventures on the Pacific Marine Circle Route at the Sooke Visitor Centre. For those who like to hike they can access East Sooke Park, perched along the shore overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Juan de Fuca Trail further along Highway 14. Not into a hard hike? Try a leisurely stroll along the Galloping Goose Trail accessible in several spots along Sooke Road. Ancient forest like Avatar Grove out of Port Renfrew and the Muir Creek watershed beckon. Stately old growth trees and forests abound along the Pacific Marine Circle Route. Swimming on your mind? Try Fairy Lake and Lizard Lake just out of Port Renfrew.

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The Sooke Car Show is set for Sunday, July 14 at the Sooke River Campground.

START YOUR ENGINES

The annual Sooke Car Show is a fun summer event for everyone

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hether it’s the 1928 Ford Model A hot-rod or the 1957 Porsche Speedster, the Sooke Car Show will be sure to capture your imagination. The show, held in mid-July, regularly features more than 300 cars, trucks and motorcycles and hosts of car enthusiasts from the Sooke region and beyond. The event is organized by the same group that brings the fall fair to Sooke every September but, in July, the celebration has a very different feel. It’s all about cars. “Most of the cars in the show are from Sooke,” said Ellen Lewers, one of the organizers of both the car show and the fall fair. “You would be amazed at how many car enthusiasts we have in the Sooke community.”

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The cars on display are an eclectic collection of vehicles that range from hotrods and rat rods to classic, vintage cars dating back to the turn of the last century. More modern cars, dating back to the 1970s are also on display. Prizes are awarded for the best custom car and the best restoration of a vehicle to showroom condition. New classifications have recently been added to the show as well, making room for antique (older than 50 years) and vintage (older than 25 years) hot rods as well as the best of the 1980s. The show is a fairly recent phenomenon, having started in 2016 when about 150 vehicles made their way to the Sooke River Campground for what was to become an annual event.

That year the big winner was a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 that won the best in show, inspiring other car buffs to up their game for following years. Since that time the number of cars on display have more than doubled and the field has expanded to include everything from the earliest Fords to a 1942 International fire truck. The event offers more than just a chance to see the coolest cars anywhere. Fair organizers host a swap and shop meet where car enthusiasts can hunt for the elusive part they need to finish their own restorations. There’s also a variety of food vendors, offering a wide selection of mouth-watering local fare. The car show revs up on July 14.


SOOKE RIVER

Campground 1-250-642-6076

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Rates:

(Taxes included)

Full time resident caretaker S.W. of Victoria and you 50 are amp service a night (limited) Only 45 minutes at the$45.00 southern Vancouver Security gate and lighting 30 amp service $40.00 a night Island greatest sport fishing ground! Wheelchair accessible flush toilets and showers 15 amp service $35.00 a night GroupFACILITIES: Site available No Service $30.00 a night RATES: (Taxes included) Playing field, horseshoe playground 1 Small Cabin available Full time residentpitch, caretaker 50 amp service $40.00 a night (limited) SmallSecurity boat launch 2 Large Cabins available gate and lighting 30 amp service $35.00 a night 10% Senior Discount Wheelchair accessible flush toilets and showers 15 amp service $30.00 a night Open field and/or building Group Site available No Service $25.00 a nightrental available. Playing field, horseshoe pitch, playground 1 Small Cabin $40.00 a night $250 a week Small boat launch 2 Large Cabins $60.00 a night $360 a week 10% Senior Discount Canoe rentals

Close to:

SookeCLOSE RegionTO: Museum, SEAPARC Leisure Complex, Sooke Region Museum, Leisure Complex, Fred Milne Park, Art Morris Park,SEAPARC Sooke Potholes, Fred Milne Art Morris Park, Sooke Potholes, De Mamiel Creek Park, Golf Course and the Galloping De Mamiel Creek Golf Course and the Galloping Goose Trail. Goose Trail.

Open Field and/or Building Rental Available

1-250-642-6076 2259 Phillips Rd. Sooke BC V9Z 0Y3 email: camping@sookecommunity.com www.sookecommunity.com/camping 2259 Phillips Rd. OwnedSooke & operated Sooke 0Y3 Community Association A non-profit society BCby V9Z

Phone/Fax: 1-250-642-6076 E-mail: camping@sookecommunity.com Website: www.sookecommunity.com/camping/ S O O K E TO P O R T R E N F R E W

Owned and Operated by Sooke Community Association - A Non - Profit Society

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Special Features - Sooke to Port Renfrew 2019 Visitors Guide  

i20200121120209302.pdf

Special Features - Sooke to Port Renfrew 2019 Visitors Guide  

i20200121120209302.pdf