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Sooke, British Columbia

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Sooke in British Columbia.

 

Sooke is a district municipality situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. About a 45 minute drive from the city of Victoria (the capital of British Columbia), Sooke is considered the westernmost of the Greater Victoria region's "Western Communities." It is situated to the north and west of the Sooke Basin.

Tourism and recreation

Sooke's popularity as a scenic tourist destination has existed for generations. Well-known destinations in Sooke, such as Whiffin Spit Park, the Sooke Potholes Regional Park, and adjacent Sooke Potholes Provincial Park attract visitors both locally and from around the world. The area's popularity has increased as a base for visiting the wilderness parks of Vancouver Island's southwest coast — the West Coast Trail and the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park which includes the now highly popular Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.

Back country recreation, or off-road recreation brings a constant stream of 4X4s, quads, ATVs, dirt bikes, and home built off-highway vehicles through Sooke as people search out back country access. Hundreds of kilometres of logging roads thread through the hills north of Sooke in the Rural Resource Lands of the Juan de Fuca electoral area, enabling access to several community lakes and small reservoirs. Two large reservoirs, Bear Creek and Diversion, are popular destinations north and west of Sooke. The acquisition of large areas of formerly logged land for CRD regional park use in 2000 terminated vehicular access to the nearest four community lakes north of Harbourview; Shields, Peden, Grass, & Crabapple, provoking a public outcry in the community.

Mountain biking is growing in popularity in British Columbia, and Sooke is establishing itself as a destination for the sport. Local advocacy groups are working to have areas such as Broom Hill set aside as parkland.

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail, part of the Trans-Canada Trail, runs through Sooke and is a popular cycling route to Victoria.

The Sooke Flowline constructed in 1915 snakes through the nearby hills around the Sooke Potholes and travels all the way to the Humpback Reservoir near Mt. Wells Regional Park.

The Arts Community in Sooke

The vibrant arts community of Sooke enjoys the annual Sooke Fine Arts Festival (in its 23rd year in 2009) which brings hundreds of tourists to Sooke each summer by featuring the adjudicated art of local and regional artists. Sooke is known for its plethora of painters, writers, sculptors, potters, fabric artists, jewellery crafters, and more. The Sooke Community Arts Council plays a large role in fostering art in the region. The Sooke Harbour House art gallery is a main display opportunity for many local artisans.

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