Head west from Victoria along Highway 14 past Sooke and Jordan River until you see the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail – China Creek trailhead about 5km past Jordan River on the West Coast Road. Ample signage, parking, and outhouses are available here.
The trail taking you to Mystic Beach is just one section of the well-known 47km long Juan De Fuca Marine Trail that attracts hikers worldwide. This 2km portion of the trail is a popular day hike, and with a distance of only 2km (one way) with little elevation gain, it is perfect for hiking with kids that are capable of hiking for 30-40 minutes.
The trail is well worn and often wet and muddy so I recommend good footwear, and bringing a change of clothes for young hikers to change in the case of an accidental fall.
The trail starts out on a gradual ascent through the lush green forest and over many many roots. At approximately 1km you will come to the Peter Wolfe suspension bridge – great fun for the kids, who usually like to run across it and bounce on several times before they are ready to moving on. From here the trail begins to descend more quickly, but doesn’t become steep until the final section where a staircase, which is notched out of a huge felled tree, leads you down to the beach.
Once you arrive at the beach be sure to head East (i.e. left as you exit the trail) along the beach to check out the hanging waterfall (size varies depending on time of year) and take turns sailing out over the crashing surf on the beloved Mystic Beach rope swing; a definite highlight for kids and adults alike. The beach is also a great place to enjoy a picnic, watch for seals and bald eagles, explore tide pools, and collect rocks – creating a lasting impression for your wee hikers.
- Hiking boots or running shoes
- Change of clothes for young kids