Sooke Mountain Provincial Park

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Sooke Mountain Provincial Park is in the seaside community of Sooke, one of thirteen communities that form the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Formed in nineteen twenty nine, this wilderness recreation area can be accessed from the Harbourview trail named Sooke Mountain. This trail, located in the Sea to Sea Regional Park, is about five kilometers one way to reach the edge of the wilderness parkland and about another five kilometers to reach Shield Lake. At four hundred and fifty hectares Sooke Mountain Park is bisected by Charters River, a major tributary or Sooke River.  Grass Lake and Shield Lake lie in the northern edge of the park and connect to Charters River via Shield Creek. Crabapple Lake and creek also flow into the Charters River from the northwest. A salmonid hatchery is found near the junction with Sooke River. All three lakes are stocked with rainbow trout although some sticklebacks might be found. The lakes and streams of Vancouver Island are thought to hold few fresh water species since glaciation.

The park provides a water and land connector for protecting threatened ecosystems on Southern Vancouver Island. There are Garry oak meadows and rocky outcrops in this natural environment of the Leeward Island Mountains. Coastal western hemlock groves are found along the waterways in the parkland and protect the thin soils that over like the bedrock of the area. Gabbro intrusions form the olivine rocks seen in the area and Metchosin volcanic form some of the darker bedrocks. The geology of this area is uncertain yet interesting.

There are other ways to hike or cycle into the parkland which is other inaccessible. The trails and pathways in this park are not maintained and caution must be taken while hiking in this park. Creek and river crosses must be waded as there are no links across the wetlands. The lands are rugged with ravines, creeks and lakes that are nature developed from second growth forests. This park provides protection for many of the plants and animals that live on the islands including cougars, bears, deer, hawks, fish, eagles, ravens,  elk, grey wolfs, amphibian, reptiles and many other birds.

Summit Post has excellent reports for this parkland based on the summits

https://www.summitpost.org/capital-regional-district-victoria-bc/225767

Geographical location N48º 20’ 52”  W123º 39’ 19” end of Harbourview Road

Sooke Mountain Provincial 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 Harbourview Road. Follow the narrow road to the parking area for the Sea to Sea Regional Park. Walk to the large sign with a map of the area and select the Sooke Mountain Trail. This is about a forty minute drive from Victoria. There is a city bus stop along Sooke Road near Harbourview Road.

Further Information:

http://vancouverislandcampsites.blogspot.com/2016/04/sooke-mountain-park.html

 

http://www.sookeharbour.com/articles/sooke_mountain.htm

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