Whiffen Spit, one of Sooke’s special treasures

Whiffen Spit, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Whiffen Spit, Sooke BC by Jason van der Valk

(Exploring this rugged and beautiful coastline).

Whiffen Spit: this quiet waterfront community in Sooke, South-west Vancouver Island, is noted for its coastal ambiance, picturesque scenery, and bird watching activities.

Length-wise, Whiffen Spit extends almost one mile and is a narrow tract of terra firma. It reaches into Sooke Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Since one of its points is bridged to the larger landmass, it is not an island. However, it is flanked on both sides by Sooke Basin and Juan de Fuca Strait, respectively.

You can walk to the tip in about 30 minutes, and explore the nature parks and wildlife habitat. Traversing on foot, you will notice a track leading in and beaches. Far from being overrun with people, on the trail, there are residents who come to walk their dogs and visitors to discover this side of the coast off-the-beaten-path.

Along the route, you will see the ocean and Olympic Mountain in Washington state. The region is also appreciated for it spectacular sunsets. A number of family owned cottages and guesthouses cater to travelers and hosts are usually eager to share information about the native flora and fauna.

Golden-crowned Sparrow, Edward Kroc, Flickr
Golden-crowned Sparrow, by Edward Kroc, Flickr.

An estimated 500 birds flocked to Whiffen Spit’s shore; some resides here throughout the year while others stop over during their annual migration period in spring and fall. Among them are the bald eagle, ducks, herons, swan, quail, South American owl and Canada geese. Other wildlife here includes sea lion, seal, otters and deer. It is common to see them basking on tree branches, close to shore, and on rocks.

Whiffen Spit is one of those places that doesn’t seems to garner a lot of traffic and noises. And when you see it you are pleased to have come. Not to say that residents aren’t proud of the Spit. It could be that they are used to indulging the beautiful landscapes that abound in British Columbia. In fact, the appreciation is definitely there. In her article, Elida Peers at the Sooke News Mirror described Whiffen Spit as ‘one of Sooke’s special treasures‘ and at L’ EcoResorts we couldn’t agree more.

How to get to Whiffen Spit

By driving, it takes approximately 1 hour to get to Whiffen Spit from downtown Victoria.

Travel on Douglas Street and heads to Highway 1 North.
Continue to Colwood/Sooke/Port Renfrew exit #14.
Take exit and travel on Veterans Memorial Parkway 4 km to Highway #14 (Westcoast Road).
Turn right, head west. You will pass through downtown Sooke. Go through 3rd stop light and continue for 1.6 km to Whiffen Spit Road.
Take the turn left on Whiffen Spit Road; proceed left to Dufour Rd. Look out for signage (including that of the Lighthouse).