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Hike

Where to next on Vancouver Island: Roche Cove Park

•  Easy-Moderate
Time:
2hrs
Length:
4.5km+

Activity:

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Accessibility:

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Roche Cove: Old Growth and Natural Beauty on South Vancouver Island

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Roche Cove Park Photos:

Located 40 minutes from Victoria and 17 minutes from Sooke. Roche Cove can be found on Gilespie Rd on the way to East Sooke. Roche Cove Regional Park is a picturesque destination offering three different trail options.

With 162.59 hectares of lush temperate rainforest, an old-growth grove, and a multi-use trail, this park provides a fantastic opportunity for nature lovers to explore the region’s breathtaking beauty.

Standing next to an Old-Growth large tree in Cedar Grove

Roche Cove Regional Park has three trails that each offer their own unique experience.

Galloping Goose Trail

The Galloping Goose Trail is a versatile multi-use trail that passes through Roche Cove Regional Park. It spans 55 kilometres from downtown Victoria to Sooke and is open to various activities like walking, cycling, and horse riding.

The trail offers scenic views of the Sooke Basin and beyond, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a longer adventure. The Galloping Goose Trail was a former railway line, making an excellent trail for strollers, wheelchairs and any age or fitness level to enjoy.

Cedar Grove Trail

In search of some old-growth trees? The Cedar Grove Trail is perfect for a peaceful walk through the park’s lush forest, an easy to moderate hike with 50 meters of elevation gain. As you hike along this trail, you’ll be engulfed by the beauty of nature, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

About 1.7km from the parking lot, you will notice a few giant cedars and Douglas firs. It’s unknown why this small grove was spared from logging, and are some of the only large old-growth trees still left in the area.

Looking up at a large old-growth cedar tree in Roche Cove Regional Park

Matheson Creek Trail

Matheson Creek Trail is another lovely choice for hiking and walking at Roche Cove Regional Park. This trail takes you along a creek that dries up in the summer months and provides a refreshing and calming experience during your visit in the rainy season. The trail is also rated as moderate, making it appropriate for various fitness levels.

Roach Cove Regional Park extends into Matheson Lake Regional Park, offering a nother scenic hike around the lake and a great freshwater swimming spot.

Now that you’re familiar with the different trails, head out to Roche Cove Regional Park and enjoy the natural beauty and the peaceful experiences it has to offer! 

Nearby trails to Roche Cove Regional Park

Not far from Roche Cove Regional Park is East Sooke Regional Park which offers more unique South Vancouver Island experiences. A popular stop is Aylard Farms with a small white sand pocket beach and the East Sooke Trails offering views of the Juan de Fuca and classic rugged West Coast shoreline.

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Location and Facilities

Roche Cove Regional Park is located in South Vancouver Island on the way to East Sooke along the shoreline of the Sooke Basin. The park is easily accessible by car, bike, or even bus. Here’s what you need to know about getting there and parking facilities.

Directions

To reach Roche Cove Regional Park, take Highway 1 to Exit 14 and follow the signs to Sooke. Take the underpass to Gillespie Road and follow it for about 5.5 kilometres until you see the park entrance on your left. The park is located about a 45-minute drive from Victoria. Google Map Directions

By Bike

By bike or foot, access is easy as the Galloping Goose Regional Trail runs straight through the Roche Cove Regional Park. The trails also connect to the Matheson Lake Trail Loop

Public Transportation

Public transportation options are limited, but on weekdays, Bus 64 & 63 do have stops nearby. Realtime bus updates Next Ride.

Out house pit toilets beside the parking lot in Roche Cove Regional Park at the trail head

Facilities/Amenities

Roche Cove Regional Park has a parking lot with ample parking space for visitors. The parking lot is located at the park entrance and is open from sunrise to sunset. There is no overnight parking allowed in the park. If the parking lot is full, visitors can park along Gillespie Road, but they must be careful not to block any driveways or impede traffic.

The parking lot has basic amenities, including a picnic table, bench, information boards and wheelchair-accessible outhouses. 

A man with a backpack walking away on a dirt path surrounded by lush green rainforest. Located on Cedar Grove trail in Roche Cove Park, South Vancouver Island

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Gear Tips For Vancouver Island

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When you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure on Vancouver Island, the key is to dress in layers, no matter the season. The island’s weather can throw curveballs, with conditions varying significantly from the sheltered forests to the breezy coastlines.

For those cool winter escapades, your go-to should include quality rain gear, topped off with a cozy beanie or toque, and a pair of light gloves to keep the chill at bay.

Summer explorers, don’t be fooled by the warmer temps; that same waterproof shell that kept you dry in the winter will be your best friend against the cool ocean breezes.

Remember, the right clothing and gear can make or break your outdoor experience on Vancouver Island, ensuring you enjoy every moment, come rain or shine.

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Original Author:

Modified: January 3, 2024
Last Visit: October 23, 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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Pack Out:
We love Vancouver Island and want to keep the natural beauty. Please respect the places you visit and pack out what you pack in and leave the area better than when you arrived. We all know how much trash can spoil an experience and the environment, so please help us keep it clean!

Wildlife:
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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The information on this website should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. Please check and look into the information yourself. We do not assume any liabilities for the use of this information. It is unreasonable to rely solely upon the information from this website. 

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