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Picnic tables french beach

French Beach Provincial Park

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Activity:
Beach, Picnic
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Shirley
Time:
0.5 - 2hrs
Distance:
0.3km (0.2mi)

Activity:

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Picnic Icon
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Accessibility:

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All ages elderly Icon
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Highlights Include:

Info Map

French Beach Provincial Park - The Perfect Family Lunch Stop

Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: French Beach A Family Friendly Afternoon

It’s hard to choose where to spend your day with so many great beaches along the highway from Sooke to Port Renfrew. French Beach Provincial Park offers amenities that make this a perfect spot for a family adventure!

Don't Get Lost — Stay Safe

If you’re travelling along hwy 14 near the Juan de Fuca Strait, French Beach is an ideal year-round stop. The provincial park offers various amenities such as picnic sites with tables and fire rings, plentiful parking, drinking water, a playground, and camping.

Trail down to day use area at French BeachThe day-use area is wheelchair accessible. There is a bench and a an outhouse by the parking lot. The trail down to the water is paved and wide but a bit steep.

Once at the bottom of the hill, you will find more outhouses, a playground and a bridge to yet another grassy area with picnic tables and group fire pits.

Unfortunately, the beach access is not as accommodating and can be tricky to get to for people with mobility issues, as driftwood can often pile up at the shoreline.

The Beach

The white sand of French Beach at Low tideThis kilometre-long sand and pebble beach offers a fantastic place to hang out and enjoy the ocean air or wander along one of the forest trails.

If you explore the area, you will discover a forest trail behind the playground heading south towards a footbridge. Cross the shallow creek at the end of the beach to find even more walking paths.

french beach tide pools and fossilAnother adventure can be found by heading north along the beach as far as you can to discover the shallow tidepools and seashell fossils locked in the rock formations making an appearance from years of erosion.

French Beach Provincial Park offers green space for the family to play, and beautiful scenery riddled with driftwood, lush forests and creeks. Take in the fantastic views of Juan de Fuca Strait and always keep your eyes open for gray whales, orcas, seals, otters and eagles.

If you are looking for a short but challenging hike with a beautiful overhead view of French Beach and the Juan de Fuca Strait. You can find the Priest Cabin Trial just two minutes down the road—the 2.5 km hike has amazing views.

French Beach Map Vancouver Island

Parking: Large parking lot separate from the campground room for RVs if arrive early on Weekends.

Amenities: Toilets, picnic tables, water and playground

Cell Coverage: As of August 2023, there is cell coverage for Shaw and Rogers users, but as for Telus and Bell customers, the service is not great, most likely reaching American towers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

IS THERE CELL SERVICE?
As of August 2023 there is cell coverage for Shaw and Rogers users, but as for Telus and Bell customers the service is not great, most likely reaching American towers.

IS THERE A FEE FOR ACCESS?
It’s free for day parking and beach access. There is a cost for camping.

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How to Get to French Beach

French Beach is located 20 minutes east of Sooke between Shirley and Jordan River along Highway 14 in the south island zone. The parking lot is a fair size and easy to access. The walk is short and easy, with an incline down to the day-use area just back from the beach area.

Directions – Google Maps

Parking at French Beach Day Use Area

Parking lot at day use area French BeachThe parking lot is quite spacious, although it tends to get busy in the summer and on weekends. The gates are closed from 9:00 pm to 8:00 am and overnight parking is not allowed. There is only individual parking spots for cars are provided, which means there is no space for motorhomes or trailers during the busier season.

"French Beach is great. The drive is nice, the parking lot was spacious and clean, the bathrooms were immaculate, no garbage anywhere, great park and grass area, and amazing long beach to explore."

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Don't Get Lost — Stay Safe

Camping French Beach

French Beach Campground camp siteThe campground offers year-round vehicle-accessible camping in a beautiful natural setting within only a few minutes walk to the ocean.

The 69 site campground is open year-round. With more services offered from April 1st to Oct 26. Winter rates Oct 27 – March 5th with no services.

French Beach Campground is one of the busiest campgrounds in the area, it books fast and once school is out the “Campground Full” sign rarely comes down.

There can be a few first come first serve sites that open up but during summer camping season, reservations should be made through Discover Camping. In winter when reservations are not available on the website all campsites function as first-come, first-served.

Group Campsite Reservations are available during the summer camping season.

You can also try the China Beach Campground in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, it’s larger and not too far down the road. Booking

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FAQ:

IS THERE CELL SERVICE?
As of August 2023 there is cell coverage for Shaw and Rogers users, but as for Telus and Bell customers the service is not great, most likely reaching American towers.

IS THERE A FEE FOR ACCESS?
It’s free for day parking and beach access. There is a cost for camping.

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Original Author:

Modified: April 17, 2024
Last Visit: August 4, 2023

Thank you for visiting – I hope you found the information you were looking for at VIBL (Vancouver Island Bucket List) please continue to discover all of the great places that makes Vancouver Island so great! 

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Vancouver Island is a land of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Please be aware of your surroundings and take the usual precautions for personal and wildlife safety.
Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here 

Tide and Seasonal Safety:
Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey! Click here for the tides in your area. 

Be aware of ocean currents before swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking.

Land Acknowledgement:
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .

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