Project Type Parks & Trails
Project Status Completed
Project Area Juan de Fuca; Langford; Sooke
Estimated Cost $2,000,000
Estimated Start Date 01-Feb-2020
Estimated End Date 30-Dec-2020

Description

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is excited to open Sooke Hills Wilderness South Section. Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park (SHW) is the largest park in the regional park system, protecting over 4,000 hectares of regionally significant hills and forest lands, and providing a natural area buffer to the Greater Victoria Water Supply Area. The new South Section features a network of wilderness recreational trails and a connection to the Sea to Sea Regional Park.

The CRD developed a roughly 60 stall parking lot adjacent to the Sooke Highway, highway access lanes, a pit-toilet building, at least 20kms of trails, and a multi-use bridge over Veitch Creek.

The SHW park management plan identified a preferred location for a southern access into the park. This location was subsequently confirmed through environmental analysis of various options and a detailed design was finalized for the parking lot project.

Background

SHW consists of two separate land areas located on either side of the Goldstream catchment. The north section opened in 2017, and the south section opened late 2020. SHW is part of the Sea-to-Sea Green Blue Belt, a protected 10,200 hectare corridor stretching from Saanich Inlet in the east to the Juan de Fuca Strait in the west.

The province established the park in May 1997 with Bill 17 (Capital Region Water Supply and Sooke Hills Protection Act), which designated non-catchment lands of the Greater Victoria Water Supply Area as regional park. The province identified as the highest priority in the management of the park the protection of the adjacent water supply lands and secondarily, the protection of the park’s natural environment and provision of compatible outdoor recreation activities. Bill 17 required that a park management plan be prepared; this plan was developed with the assistance of a public advisory committee and it was approved by the CRD and the province in 2001.

Opening the Sea to Sea and Sooke Hills Wilderness regional parks to the public was subsequently identified as a Board priority in the 2015-2018 CRD Corporate Plan. Since 2015, Regional Parks has undertaken a multi-year, phased approach to opening the two parks.

The Sea to Sea Regional Park was opened in two phases between 2016 and 2019, and the north section of SHW opened in 2017 with the completion of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail.

Whats New

Last updated December 15

  • Updated Project Status and Description
  • Added Park Map under Additional Information

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Additional Information