East Sooke Park : Coastal Trail and More

~ submitted by Bil Derby

April 15, 2018

A great number of Ramblers met in the Aylard Farm parking lot at 08:30 under a brightening sky and near perfect hiking temperatures.

The group doing the one-way Coast Trail trip quickly headed off on their car shuttle leaving seven of us to tighten boots, adjust packs and confirm that yes indeed I had my lunch with me this time.

photo by Wendy

Heading out the trail quickly transitions into a mixed environment of bare rock, rooted paths, and lovely trails. We made good time to the cairn at Beechy Headed for the requisite photo op and carried on enjoying view point after view point until Cabin Point where we took a short break. As with any good coastal trail there is quite a lot of up and down in and out of the creek drainages and the Coast Trail does not disappoint and just for fun there are even a handful of lovely rock slopes to ascend and descend. Near to O’Brien Point we stopped for a lunch break and to soak up some sun before carrying on to Iron Mine Bay at KM 12.5 or so before turning inland for the 13.5 km return along the Interior Trail.

After making the long steady climb up from sea level through a mixed forest and along a combination of old roads and forest trails we arrived at the junction with the trail to the summit of Mt. Maguire where, despite some friendly cajoling, no one took up the offer of the ascent.  From here to the trail junction south east of Babbington Hill one travels through a pleasant mixed species forest sprinkled with the odd moss meadow creating an experience only highlighted by the ever-present micro terrain – one must take the good with the bad.

After this, it’s all “downhill” and we were soon back at Aylard Farm and our vehicles.


A quick costume change and we reconvened at the 17 Mile Public House for rehydration and nourishment before parting company until the next adventure.

Thanks to my trail mates Julianna, Karen, Seonok, Wendy, Mike and Doug for their company, conversation, and most importantly, good humour.

Trip Data:
1420m of elevation gain and loss
9 hours

(Photo Credits: Bil, Wendy, Karen, and Julianna)

When I originally posted this trip, I expected a reasonable level of interest as it is both a beautiful hike and a club lifetime achievement trip. As the date grew closer I was overwhelmed with the number of folks who wanted to tackle either the planned loop or the shorter one-way trip along the Coast Trail.  As numbers grew it became clear that two trips were in order and John Young and Ken Warren graciously agreed to stick handle the logistics of a trip along the Coast Trail (read the trip report here) – thanks for doing this, it created a win for everyone.

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