Sooke Pot Holes swimming Sooke Vancouver Island

Sooke Pot Holes swimming Sooke Vancouver Island

SThe Land Conservancy of British Columbiaooke PotHoles
Swimming in Sooke, BC

Sooke PotHoles Regional Park is a swimmers paradise located on the banks of the spectacular Sooke River.

Enjoy the views, explore the trails or take a refreshing dip on a hot summer day!

Just a 30 minute car ride beyond the urban core, the Sooke potholes are one of the more popular swimming spots in the capital region.

Pick any Sunday during the dog days of summer. Chances are it’s sunny, about 25 degrees outside and you wish you could peel your skin off to beat the heat. But instead of practicing your Robbie Robertson impersonations, why not just go to the beach instead. If you’re willing to travel somewhere picturesque, then the Sooke Potholes is where you should be headed. This cool swimming spot is a scenic half hour drive from the city centre. Most traces of Victoria disappear the closer you get to Sooke and are rreplaced with lush forests and single lane traffic each way along Sooke Road.Sooke Pot Holes swimming Sooke Vancouver Island

The water is clear and cool, and the scenery looks a lot like a Tourism B.C. brochure photo shoot. But just because this place is tucked away off the Sooke River, and is at least half an hour outside of Victoria by car, that doesn’t mean it isn’t popular with locals. Parking can be a problem during the peak of summer. Either get down to the river early or be prepared to park further up the road.

There’s more to the Sooke Potholes than just swimming. A small creek runs under a wooden bridge on the way from the parking lot. Further upstream along the creek, there is a modest, but photo worthy spot, complete with a waterfall, mossy rocks and shallow pools of clear water. Since most people will be heading for the beach, there’s a chance that you will have this waterfall to yourself for a while.


Potholes parkland thanks to Shaw
 
 
photo contributed

Sooke Potholes will soon be a Capital Regional District park after The Land Conservancy reached its donation campaign goal.

By Jennifer McLarty
Weekend Edition

May 27 2005


Canadian media giant Shaw Communications has dipped into its wallet to help protect one of B.C.'s most spectacular swimming holes.

The company announced Wednesday it's contributing $200,000 to The Land Conservancy's Sooke Potholes campaign, which will finalize the famed property's transformation into a regional park this summer.

"It took 2,700 individual donations to hit the $700,000 mark. Now with Shaw's generous donation, we've reached our $900,000 goal," said TLC executive director Bill Turner.
"That's it. There's no more fundraising to purchase the land. Our focus now is getting ready for visitors next month."

Altogether, the 63.5-hectare property cost $3.3 million - $2.4 million coming from the Capital Regional District and $900,000 from TLC.

The new park will be overseen by the CRD, but The Land Conservancy will get 8.5 hectares, including an existing campsite, industrial area and abandoned lodge.

Over the next three years, it hopes to build an environmentally friendly visitor centre to attract eco travelers from the world. "We'll be having a contest for the best design concept," said Turner.

"Then it will be back to fundraising to actually complete the building,"

For now, trail and parking improvements are on the to-do list this summer. A grand opening is planned for June 26.

 

Celebration to mark park at Potholes

By Norman Gidney
Times Colonist staff

June 25, 2005


Sooke Potholes Regional Park will open officially on Sunday with a series of special events starting at noon at the scenic riverside property.

The newest Capital Regional District park is a five-kilometre strip of land by the Sooke River purchased by The Land Conservancy and now being sold to the CRD.

The two groups are organizing “a big celebration,” said Jeff Ward of CRD parks. It will be an afternoon of family activities, plus talks by a naturalist, displays, classical music and refreshments.

“There’ll be lots to do for people,” he said. Organizers are expecting hundreds at the park. Main events will be beside the former lodge building, now demolished.

Formerly known as Deertrail, the property was a development site and is upstream from Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. Ward said the land had been cleared of most of the old tanks, sheds and industrial equipment.

“The transformation has been amazing over the last couple of months,” said TLC’s Tom Arnold.

Two new access points into the park have also been created and it’s easier now to get down to the swimming holes.

Opening ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. with speeches by CRD chairman Don Amos, parks committee chairwoman Karen Watson, Sooke Mayor Janet Evans and TLC executive director Bill Turner.

Some Deertrail major fundraising sponsors will be there: Spinnakers offering smoked and barbecued salmon, Sooke Harbour House with fresh-made cookies and ice cream, Sooke Lions grilling hot dogs and hamburgers.

Sooke Cycle will be there to fix flats and repair bikes, and the Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue group will rappel down the canyon wall.

Parking is limited. Visitors are encouraged to park at Edward Milne School on Sooke Road and ride a shuttle bus to the park. Cyclists or pedestrians can take the Galloping Goose trail, which goes right to the park.
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Sooke Pot Holes swimming Sooke Vancouver Island