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Sooke, Jordan River
Port Renfrew

Sooke is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Victoria. Drive west on Highway 1 and stay in the right lane and take the Colwood / Sooke exit to Highway 14 and follow the signs to Sooke. Sooke’s main attraction is the great outdoors. Sun, sea and scenery for every person. The Sooke region from East Sooke to Port Renfrew has a population of about 12,000, East Sooke over 600 and smaller communities of Jordan River (100) and Port Renfrew (400).

Sooke enjoys one of the best climates on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Summers are warm and dry with winter being the season of rain and occasional snow. The traditional industries have been logging and fishing, but tourism has become an increasing factor in the area's economy. There are whale watching and fishing charters available along the way to Sooke as well as right in Sooke. There are cottage industries and light manufacturing in the area as well. The selection of restaurants, retail stores and accommodation is quite good throughout the Sooke and Port Renfrew area.

Sooke is home to the world famous Sooke Harbour House which has catered to heads of state and corporate VIPs from around the world. All Sooke Day is held annually on the Sooke River Flats on the third Saturday in July. It is the longest running loggers sports event in Canada. The event draws 10,000 visitors to its celebration.

The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail - a 47-kilometer hiking trail stretching along the western shoreline of southern Vancouver Island. It passes through temperate rainforest, rugged beaches and secluded coves from China Beach, just west of Jordan River, past Mystic Beach and Sombrio Beach and extending to Botany Bay near Port Renfrew. The Juan de Fuca trail is open all year round and a camping permit of is required. The others are May 15 to Sept 15 .

Trail maps are free. Ask for a tide table from B.C. Parks. The address is 2930 Trans-Canada Highway, Victoria, B.C. V9E 1K3. Phone (250) 391-2300 or visit their website.

Port Renfrew at the end of Highway 14 is about a 2-hour drive from downtown Victoria. The series of trails are great for nature walks and the tallest Douglas Fir tree in Canada at 241 feet. The village of Port Renfrew has a good selection of restaurants, a pub, fishing charters and accommodation not to mention the West Coast Trail Information and Registration Centre. See Parks Canada Site for more information.

The West Coast Trail, part of Pacific Rim National Park, draws hikers from all around the world to enjoy the beauty of the west coast of British Columbia. The six-day hike is NOT for the beginner. Reservations and permits are required. Only experienced hikers should attempt this hike. The reason for permits is to track all hikers and to make sure each hiker has the wilderness experience expected. Note that emergency evacuation is only available for injured hikers ( not for sore feet ).

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