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Only thirty minutes from downtown Victoria, you'll find peaceful pastures of grazing sheep, meadows filled with wildflowers, groves of oak trees, quiet ocean beaches, hiking trails winding through forest land, and a variety of wildlife including deer, bald eagles, seals and otters. For birders there's a variety of forest, meadow, and seashore birds.
Nearby attractions include Fisgard Lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill, the first lighthouse to be constructed on Canada’s west coast, and Hatley Castle situated on the grounds of Royal Roads University.
One of Metchosin's best kept secrets is Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific. This unique educational facility, dedicated to promoting peace and "educating leaders for a changing world" is one of only ten such found worldwide. Although most of the buildings are private, visitors are welcome to stroll around the campus and explore the hiking trails that wind through the beautiful rainforests that surround the college.
Just offshore lies Race Rocks, Canada's first Marine Protected Area. Rich in marine life such as whales, sea lions, seals, birds and a wide array of underwater plants and animals, this area offers spectacular diving and a fascinating cultural history reaching back thousands of years.
Metchosin is one of Vancouver Island's oldest farming communities [circa 1850's]. Historic sites include the old one-room schoolhouse - now one of B.C.'s tiniest museums, and St. Mary's church both built in the 1870's. There are also many craftspeople and artists creating unique and beautiful paintings, pottery, carvings, jewellery, furniture and much more.
A nature-lovers paradise, Metchosin offers great outdoor activities. Hire a fishing charter at Pedder Bay Marina or take in a round of golf at Olympic View Golf Club with 18 holes of par 72 championship fairways.
There are miles of trails for hiking, cycling, or riding; the Galloping Goose Trail, one of Canada's first rails-trails parks, is 60 km long. Ocean beaches such as Witty's, Taylor, and Weir's are great places to beach comb or just sit and enjoy nature's beauty, while Matheson Lake offers a refreshing swim.
Known to be "Where The Rainforest Meets The Sea", Sooke Region offers tranquillity and natural splendour. The harbour-side town of Sooke, where most of the 12,000 inhabitants live, is the gateway to miles of unspoiled beaches, hiking trails, and wilderness.
The Galloping Goose Trail extends past Sooke to Leechtown, where there was a gold rush in 1864. Sooke Potholes Provincial Park is a refreshing summer swimming area. Visit the park in October to view spawning salmon fighting their way upstream. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail follows 47 km of shoreline and rainforest, from China Beach to Port Renfrew. Botanical Beach Provincial Park in Port Renfrew provides visitor access to extensive tide pools.
Port Renfrew is also the southern access to the Famous West Coast Trail, one of the most arduous in North America, which follows the western coast through Pacific Rim National Park. The Kludahk Trail on the San Juan Ridge offers alpine hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
From Sooke Harbour you can board a boat and go whale watching, rent ocean kayaks, go sailing or windsurfing (one of the best high wind locations on Vancouver Island is at Gordon's Beach), charter a boat and catch salmon or halibut.
Those who stay on land won't be disappointed either. You can rent mountain bikes, catch crab off of the Government Wharf, go beachcombing then have a picnic on a secluded beach, visit artist studios, etc. Also available are workshops to make crafts, everything from fused glass to honey making.
Dining in Sooke can be world-class or down-home: it's your choice among many great restaurants. If you go up to Leechtown, you probably won't find gold. However, you will leave with lots of great memories of our area and people. Sooke Region, "The Natural Choice".