Ayum Creek Regional Park Reserve

Ayum Creek Regional Park Reserve is in the seaside community of Sooke, one of thirteen communities that form the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Formed in nineteen ninety eight through a partnership between ten parties (a denary group), Ayum Creek Park is about six hectares and includes the flood plain of the creek where it reaches the ocean waters of Cooper Cove in Sooke Basin. Sooke Basin connects with the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. The creek has been utilized by the T’Sou-ke Nation for centuries and for industrial purposes for about a century and a half. Ayum Creek, informally known as Stoney Creek, has a watershed of one thousand four hundred and twenty three hectares which includes Glinz Lake and many smaller creeks in the Sea To Sea Regional Park Reserve and Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserve. The creek waters support an abundance of organisms include a couple of pacific salmon species; chum and coho, stickleback and a multitude of water insects and other invertebrates.

The creek and estuary are surrounded by a second growth Douglas fir forest which makes this park a beautiful place for a walk in your back yard. The forest was logged in the early nineteen hundreds during which time much of the riparian habitat was destroyed. The forest and riparian areas were supported by habitat improvement programs over the years and provide a good example of intervention and recovery. While scotch broom, English ivy, English holly and daphne laurel are easy found here, there are also turkey tail mushrooms, gumweed, two rose species, salal, ocean spray, snow berry, sea asparagus, salt marsh dodder and numerous other plants. Deer, raccoon, river otter and many migratory birds can also be seen here. This is a unique parkland for viewing a recovery estuary in a protected cove.

Four foot paths in the park access the parkland. The GGT has a short trail that follows the parkland that is upstream of the highway. Often organisms can be observed in the creek waters from the bridge deck. The longer, estuary trail starts near the bus stop off the Sooke Road. This trail leads to the shoreline of Cooper Cove, after crossing over Ayum Creek, and has some good viewing areas of migratory birds and estuary organism during low tides and at the old log pond. The third pathway starts from Laidlaw Road and connects with the longer trail.  Finally there is a foot path that connects from near the highway bridge which curves though the forest on the western side of the creek. Enjoy this walk in your backyard.

Geographical location N48º 23’ 34”  W123º 39’ 37”

Ayum Creek Park can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Take the Langford Parkway exit and follow along to reach Sooke Road (Hwy 14). Follow Sooke Road and as the road descends around the Sooke Basin turn right onto Ludlow Road. This section of Hwy 14 is often busy so when you see the sign for the Stickleback Grill signal to turn right onto Ludlow Road. The Galloping Goose Trail – Sooke crosses Ludlow Road within a few meters. Park along Ludlow Road and walk back to the GGT. Stroll along the pathway toward Sooke (west) to see Ayum Creek from the bridge.  Alternatively continue driving along Sooke Road to just past the Shell Station and turn left onto Laidlaw Road or first convenient left and then return along Sooke Road to park along the road side near the bus stop. There is a limited parking along Sooke Road. This park is a about a forty minute drive from Victoria. There is a city bus stop beside the parkland.

Further information

Creek restoration and recovery for salmonid species

https://vancouverislandbigtrees.blogspot.com/2012/11/ayum-creek-habitat-restoration-salmon.html

Historical perspective

Munn’s Lumber ran for 15 years

Joy in the natural (enhanced) parkland

https://www.hat.bc.ca/i-want-to/news-and-events/494-returning-to-ayum-creek-a-natural-history

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