Ayland Farm is
popular with picnickers, and those looking for easy excursions.
A 5 minute walk through open fields leads to a pocket beach
where you can discover intertidal life, or watch River Otters
scurrying across the sand. Trails head inland to hilltop views,
or along the rugged Coast Trail.
on the Sooke Basin, is the starting point for hikers heading
to Babbington Hill, and Mount Maguire. On these hilltops,
Bald Eagles, and Red-tailed Hawks join you for sweeping views
of the Olympic Peninsula.
Pike Road is
the most westerly access to the park, and to the Coast Trail.
An old logging road winds through forest to meadow and beach.
Here, at low tide, look for Periwinkles, Goose Neck Barnacles,
and Purple Sea Stars.
Diving charters Victoria, BC
Here to visit EastSooke.com
East Sooke Park, BC
Birding & Hiking
Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC
West Coast wilderness
awaits you at East Sooke Regional Park. Experience it as you hike
along the windswept rocky coast, over dry hilltops, through dark
rain forest to sheltered coves.
East Sooke is the largest CRD Park, encompassing
1422 hectares ( 3512 acres) of natural and protected coastal landscape.
In this Wilderness Recreation Park, youll experience solitude
and harmony with nature in a par untouched by urban progress.
Over 50 kilometers ( 31 miles) of trails
draw you into the timeless beauty of East
Sooke. Begin your exploration at one of the three entry points.
East Sooke Park
From mid September to late October, Turkey Vultures
and Red-tailed Hawks, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, American Kestrel,
Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Harrier, Osprey, and
Bald Eagle gather in East Sooke Park on the Southern tip of Vancouver
Island; a staging area for south bound migrants which stop over
here before crossing the 18+ miles of the open ocean of Juan de
Fuca Strait on their way to Olympic National Park, Washington. Peak
migration is at the end of September.
Directions: Follow the Beechy Head trail from
the Aylard Farm, East Sooke Park Entrance. Stay to the left for
about a 20 min walk on the trail until you see an unmarked path
on the right that leads forward and up to rock bluff lookout. Follow
this very short path, climb the rock - you are there.
is courtesy of:
490 Atkins Avenue
Victoria, B.C. V9B 2Z8
Phone (250) 478-3344 Fax (250)478-5416
CANWEST NEWS SERVICE
The Kermode bear is a black bear with a genetic mutation that makes its coat white.
Tourists spot ‘spirit bear’ in Sooke park
First local sighting of white Kermode
A Saskatchewan couple on holiday came face to face with what they say was a white “spirit bear” in East Sooke Park last week.
“I was mesmerized by its beauty,” said Barb Farthing yesterday in a telephone interview from her home in Saskatoon.
She and her husband Fred are absolutely certain what they saw was a bear. If so, this would be the first local sighting of a black bear with the genetic mutation that makes its coat white, similar to those found on Princess Royal Island on the central B.C. coast. They’re known as kermode or spirit bears.
The couple were on a holiday to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and attend a nephew’s wedding when, on May 13, they decided to hike the coast trail in East Sooke Park.
“We went down to Beechey Head and the petroglyphs and we were actually on our way back,” said Farthing.
It was between 5 and 5:30 p.m. when they saw a flash of white ahead of them on the trail.
“I thought it was people coming along,” Farthing said. “Then my husband said, ‘Holy cow! It’s a bear!’
“Sure enough, I saw this big, cream-coloured bear. It turned around to look at us and started to come toward us. We were something like 50 feet away.”
The sight of a white bear, with dark eyes and nose, had the couple momentarily frozen in their tracks, said Farthing.
“We were just mesmerized because it was so beautiful. I never knew that, besides polar bears, there was such a thing as a white bear.”
They scrambled down the cliff to the beach and walked along the rocky shore for half an hour, then climbed back up to the trail farther on. They got back to their car at 6:30 p.m.
The next day, Fred was in a car with another man when they spotted a black bear at the roadside, and he is convinced the white bear he and Barb had seen was much bigger.
“My husband had told a couple of colleagues at work and one of them was a hunter, and he said ‘Wow, I think that’s really rare. I think you should let somebody know you saw it,’” Farthing said.
So the couple sent an e-mail this week to the Sooke tourist centre, part of the Sooke Region Museum.
Elida Peers, the museum’s executive director and a lifelong Sooke resident, admits people will be skeptical about the claim, but said she’s “inclined to go with this,” noting “it doesn’t sound like it’s a mistake.”
The Farthings are excited with the discovery of the white bear but Barb said they have one regret: “Darn it, we didn’t take a picture!”
Jeff Ward of Capital Regional Parks said he has not had any other sightings reported to his office of a white bear in the park.
“I’m sure that would have been hot news here,” he said yesterday.