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accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Asheville, North...
posts: 47
accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Hope this will be helpful to others as well as myself...

In August, my elderly dad and I will be spending a day or so in the vicinity of Sooke and Port Renfrew. Dad walks with a cane, slowly and not too far.

Can anyone advise us about which beaches and big trees, between and in the vicinity of Sooke and Port Renfrew, are most easily accessible from a parking area?

Thanks!

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 9,030
reviews: 57
1. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

This will give you a good start:

http://www.pacificmarinecircleroute.com/

Asheville, North...
posts: 47
2. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Thanks for the link--gorgeous photos, but unfortunately not much info about how far the photographer had to walk, over what sort of terrain, to reach those viewpoints.

We might just have to stop at any place that seems likely to be accessible, and have me go walk it and come back for dad if it's doable for him. Fortunately, I'm a fast walker. :)

If anyone reading this forum has visited beaches and old-growth forest in this area, and can advise about how long and difficult the walking is, between parking area and scenic destination, I'd be grateful if you'd post info here. Thanks!

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 13,831
reviews: 90
3. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

It's been many years since I was there, but I wonder if French Beach Provincial Park would offer what you are looking for? …gov.bc.ca/bcparks/…Location

Victoria, BC Canada
Destination Expert
for Victoria
posts: 1,105
reviews: 13
4. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Whiffin Spit in Sooke is right off the road. I think that French Beach is an easy walk from the Day Parking area. I know China Beach is a hike so wouldn't work. There are a few spots along the road that are right next to the shore.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 17,540
reviews: 53
5. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

The Rick Hansen foundation was working to develop a world wide map that would record accessibility info. While this might not assist you on this trip, you could help others by recording your experiences. Let me just see if I can find it....

http://www.planat.com

Took me a minute - they have a new platform that I didn't recognize right away. As I feared, there is currently no information on that map about those areas, but it would be great if you could add it after your visit.

Asheville, North...
posts: 47
6. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Thanks, all for the help.

And particular thanks, vancouverite67, for that link. What an excellent resource!

Victoria BC
posts: 163
reviews: 3
7. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Between Sooke and Port Renfrew, Sombrio Beach may be one of your best bets for seeing old growth forest without excessive walking. If you don't mind a bit of rough road for the last quarter mile or so, you can get quite close to the beach by driving. Walking a few hundred yards on fairly easy trails will bring you to some huge old cedars, and also the storm beach facing Cape Flattery and the open end of Juan de Fuca Straight. Walking down the beach will not be easy if mobility is a big issue, but that's OK, you will get a good look at the forest and ocean views from where you come out. You may see some waterfalls also, although in August this is less likely.

…gov.bc.ca/bcparks/…sombrio

I assume you will be passing through Victoria on your journey, which opens up some other possibilities. East Sooke Park offers some tremendous views of Juan de Fuca Straight and the Olympic Mountains, with very easy access from the parking lot.

http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/eastsooke/

Todd Inlet, just north of Victoria, takes you past a deep forest ravine to a tiny cove surrounded by mountains. It's a favorite layover for boaters. About 15-20 minutes of walking each way, pretty much level.

explorevancouverisland.com/Tod_Inlet_Marine_…

Asheville, North...
posts: 47
8. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Thanks again for all the good info!

About how close to Sombrio Beach can I get before the road gets rough? I'll be in a rental car....

Victoria BC
posts: 163
reviews: 3
9. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

It's about a mile. A little rough, but we have made it in our low slung chevy without damage. I'd take it slow. And be discrete with the rental company.

Edited: 8:57 pm, May 18, 2013
Asheville, North...
posts: 47
10. Re: accessibility of beaches and big trees, Sooke--Port Renfrew

Thanks! Discretion is my middle name. :)

We live in southern Appalachia, and in years past (before the road got graded and gravelled) drove our own cars up more than two miles of dirt road, the last half mile beyond where state road maintenance ended. So I'm pretty good at dealing with iffy passability.

So much looking forward to seeing your part of this beautiful world. Thanks again for advice.