I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.
Peden Lake Trail From Sooke Potholes Regional Park
The Peden Lake Trail, despite the gross-sounding name (ie. Pee'd in Lake?), is one of my personal favorites. I took it in the summer of 2020 on what was a really hot day.
That made the hike laborious, especially since this is a moderate-to-difficult trail for elevation. However, the hike ending at such a wonderful lake on Vancouver Island certainly created an amazing memory that I will never forget. I spent several days staying in Langford and this was the best hike that I took in the area.
The Peden Lake Trail, an out-and-back trail, is in the Sea-to-Sea Regional Park in the greater Victoria area near Sooke. I actually parked in Parking Lot #2 in the Sooke Potholes Regional Park and hiked into the other park. This was paid parking so there's a bit of a bummer to start off with. However, the parking was not that expensive.
In the following Youtube video, I show the trailhead area for the Peden Lake Trail. The trailhead information said it was a 2.6-kilometer trail and I made sure to pack my bearspray. On this occasion, I did not bump into any wild animals but the trail did feel remote at times with only the occasional hiker in the area. I think I probably saw about ten people during my three-hour hike.
Trailhead for Peden Lake Trail Starting in Sooke Potholes Regional Park
Peden Lake Trail Includes a Waterfall
If you are a fan of waterfalls, then you'll be happy to know that the Peden Lake Trail included one. The Mary Vine Creek Waterfall was on the way and it was only a tiny diversion from the main trail.
This point marks a place that you could aim for if you wanted to keep your hike really short. For me, it wasn't that great of a waterfall but it still was a good spot to rest for water and a snack. If you are into waterfalls, I think you might prefer the Englishman River Falls Provincial Park close to Parksville. Even Nymph Falls, which I didn't find spectacular, was still better than the Mary Vine Creek Waterfall.
The Peden Lake Trail was difficult, in my opinion. It was mostly inclining with hardly a step that was level. There was one 50-minute stretch for me where there wasn't any kind of flat terrain and then there was more upward hiking after that. This definitely isn't a pleasant walk but the kind of trail that will burn the calories fast. The trail was almost 90 minutes one way although other hikers generally walked past me.
I would think most hikers would do the trail to the lake in 60 to 75 minutes. You might go a little fast on the way down for a 2 to 2.5-hour hike that doesn't include stopping at the lake.
Arriving at Peden Lake Near Sooke
The reward of getting to this fantastic lake was definitely worth it. The water was clean, there were hardly any other people there, and the area was certainly sheltered from any kind of city life.
The following video is short but it does showcase the beauty of the area on what was a sunny day. As you can see, this glistening lake is not wide but it did get deep pretty quickly.
I didn't find any kind of proper beach at Peden Lake. Getting into the water is mainly about finding a make-shift spot. For me, I entered off of a smooth rock.
But building up a hot sweat and then having a cool lake to jump into was heaven on Earth in the sweltering summer of 2020. I've thought about my trip to Peden Lake many times since I went there and the trail has my full recommendation. As I write, I wish I was there right now.
Video Footage of Peden Lake in Sea-to-Sea Regional Park
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Shane Lambert