Posted on May 3, 2016
Mystic Beach at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
An easy day trip from Vancouver, Mystic Beach is found in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park north of Sooke.
Having been born and raised on Vancouver Island, one would assume I’ve been everywhere and seen everything the island has to offer. This couldn’t be further from the truth and I recently discovered a new-to-me gem that I’ve been wishing and waiting to finally visit.
I recently went to Victoria for a much-needed girls’ weekend with my friend Lindsay. We didn’t have any specific plans, so she suggested we drive out to Mystic Beach and go for a short trail hike. She’d assumed I’d been there before many times, but the truth was I’ve never explored the southwest coast of the island beyond Sooke!
Not wanting to waste an opportunity, we got up early on a steely-skied Sunday, grabbed coffees to go, and headed west. Once we neared the Pacific Ocean, the clouds parted to reveal slivers of sunshine – a beautiful promise of things to come.
As we reached the trailhead, a 75-minute drive from downtown Victoria, we laced up and set off towards the ocean. The beauty of hiking is that most of the people I encounter are like-minded, so it ends up being a friendly experience. This trail was no exception.
The two-kilometre trek was a quick scramble over roots, rocks, fallen trees and a soft forest floor of moss. I knew instantly when I was only steps from the ocean. The smell of the air changed. I could hear the constant hum of the surf raking the shoreline. What I finally saw with my eyes was beyond what I imagined it to be.
Mystic Beach stretches over a short span of shoreline, hedged in by a sea cave on the north end and a cascading waterfall to the south. There is nothing that makes my heart sing more loudly than standing on the edge of the ocean, feeling amazement that never fails to overwhelm me. I was born by the ocean and it will always be a part of me.
Lindsay and I found our inner kids and laughed as we soared over the surf on a rope swing and ran screaming from the tide when it threatened our toes. We ducked under spiderwebs to explore the sea cave, and carefully selected rocks to build and add our own rock sculptures to the growing collection.
Moments like these deserve to be deeply embraced and tenderly held on to. Life’s obligations and responsibilities will always be present. They will always press against me. But it is times like the afternoon I spent on Mystic Beach that remind me of what I truly value above all else.