Hiking to Peden Lake makes for a beautiful trek all year long, but to see the waterfalls, you may want to visit during the rainy season. In winter, you will see the creek filled with water creating the popular Mary Vine Waterfall and smaller falls on your way to Peden Lake.
Located ten minutes from the town of Sooke, Mary Vine Waterfall and Peden Lake is a great hike that’s less than a kilometre from the parking lot. The trailhead can be found at the back of parking lot #2, in Sooke Potholes Regional Park.
The hike starts off relatively easy, crossing the Galloping Goose trail and following Mary Vine Creek. It’s worth making a couple of stops along the creek to get a closer look at the babbling brook.
As you reach the 500-meter mark the trail starts to get a little vertical, but it only lasts for a short time as you come upon the Mary Vine sign pointing left to the waterfall. A few more steps, and you are at the little oasis.
Have you heard of the flowline? You will cross over a large concrete pipe on the main trail just up from the waterfall sign. This 44 km flowline transported fresh water to Victoria from 1915 to 1970. However, sections of the flow line were still used to support Sooke until it was replaced by PVC pipe buried under the Galloping Goose Regional Trail in 2009.
Mary Vine Creek was named after a Metchosin midwife who often walked the local trails to assist Sooke women. Locals requested that Mrs. Vine’s name be given to this outstanding place.
From the parking lot, Peden lake is a 5km out and back trail. After the Mary Vine Waterfall, the path does get more challenging as there are a few places of steepness as you make your way up. You will gain 195 meters in elevation over the next 2.5km.
Around the 1.5km mark, you may hear some water off to your left. There is a trail maker that is rubbed off, telling you to go straight, but you may notice an obvious trail veering off to the left. Just a few metres in a jungle-like refreshing waterfall is hidden in the trees and it’s worth the quick stop.
You’re getting closer to Peden Lake. After the hidden waterfall you have one more stretch of elevation gain. As it flattens out there are some great moments crossing shallow creeks, peak-a-boo views of small waterfalls along Mary Vine creek and, of course, the natural beauty of the rainforest.
You made it! You will see signs of the small freshwater lake along the trail – veer left to the rocky outcrop with a wood bench and take in the view. Although there isn’t a beach or easy access to the water, it doesn’t stop people from swimming in the cool water.
Not all that long ago there was a rustic cabin looking over the lake at one point, but unfortunately it was recently removed by the CRD due to vandalism.
When is the best time to go?
The more rain, the better! Mary Vine is a seasonal waterfall and keep in mind that from July to September, there won’t be much to see. The hike to Peden Lake is still great!
Are dogs allowed?
Yes, but they must be leashed and picked up after.
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