The day after arriving in Sooke, I heard a woman in one of the local stores say to to the cashier “…no, I didn’t have time for my walk at the Spit today.” Always looking for easy-to-get-to and beautiful walking opportunities, I quickly found out how to get to “the Spit”.
Whiffen Spit is on the far end of the town of Sooke, at the end of Whiffen Spit Road, just past the renowned Sooke Harbour House. It’s a natural breakwater that has a trail extending right to the end. It’s 3 km return and, depending on how fast you like to walk and how often you decide to stop along the way, can take from 25 minutes to an hour. The terrain is mostly compact gravel and dirt, but there are a couple places where there is loose, larger rock. Water also splashes over the trail when the tide and winds are higher.
Our first experience at the Spit was at sunset, late Sunday afternoon. The trail was busy with lots of families and people walking their dogs. Everyone offered greetings as we crossed paths. With beautiful scenery comes good moods and friendliness (although, I’m beginning to think it’s just part of the Sooke atmosphere)! About half way along the path, we decided to stop and take in the view of the spectacular setting sun. As the waves splashed over the rocks, we enjoyed looking across to the Olympic mountains of the US, partly shrouded by cloud. We decided to settle on a log, but if you like, there are benches you can park yourself on all along the trail. When you step off the trail to sit, you can easily forget there is anyone else enjoying the trail at the same time. Along with the windswept branches of trees, the water and the setting sun, we saw an eagle, many ducks, and I understand herons and otters are regulars there as well.
By the time we got back to the parking lot, the sun had sunk behind the low clouds and many of the cars were clearing out. Some visitors were packing away their cameras after getting in their sunset shots and children were being tucked back in to car seats. What a fantastic way to finish a beautiful Sunday! No doubt, we will make Whiffen Spit a regular place to enjoy…and perhaps next time, it will include a stop in for breakfast or lunch at the Sooke Harbour House!
On to the next Sooke “adventure.”