Friday, August 31, 2012

Hiking along the Strait of Juan de Fuca



Juan de Fuca Strait

We love to stop at Visitor Centers.  They are usually staffed by helpful people who are not only excited to tell you all about where they live, but they'll clue you in on the best things to do depending upon your interests.  That's how we found out about East Sooke Regional Park on Vancouver Island.  Described in the literature as having "mystical pull" and challenging coastal hikes along rugged coastline in a wilderness setting it delivers on its promise. 


"Mystical" forest filled with ferns and moss



We've spent the last two days hiking in the park and it was spectacular.  The first day was from the East entrance by Beecher Bay and Aldridge Point.  Fairly easy going.  The second day, from the West on the Pike Road trail to Iron Mine Bay and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca was a challenge and lived up to the "rugged coastline" description.
The scenery is jaw droppingly beautiful, from the "mystical" fern filled forest trails to the cliff hanging rocky ledges. If you ever get the chance, go!  




Madrone (Arbutus) tree bark close up in forest
We call it a "Madrone" tree, but believe it is called "Arbutus" here in Canada.
Whatever it's called, the peeling bark begs to be photographed.


This gives you an idea of the West side trail.  Colleen only fell once!



shot of Iron Mine Bay from shore along Strait of Juan de Fuca on sunny day
View of Iron Mine Bay

For more information on the park, go to http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/eastsooke