If you love swimming but aren’t an ocean person, there are plenty of magical swimming holes to discover in BC. One of the best opportunities for freshwater swimming on the Island can be found near Sooke, at Sooke Potholes Park. It was here that ancient glaciers carved out natural pools, or ‘potholes,’ deep into the canyon bedrock some 15,000 years ago. The result? A sought-after day-use destination for locals and tourists alike.

Adjacent to the Sooke River, the natural pools offer visitors a great spot for swimming during the warmer months, especially as the river serves as an important chinook salmon spawning spot. Speaking of, the provincial park provides visitors with an excellent spot to witness the annual salmon run, as well as near year-round catch-and-release fishing opportunities.

Visitors can explore shorter, forested trails and enjoy some spectacular viewpoints at Mary Vine Falls, if you’re keen on hopping to the nearby Galloping Goose Regional Trail. And if you see the wilderness journey to the end, you’ll be rewarded with striking views and wildlife at Roche Cove Regional Park.

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sooke potholes park bc
Photo via Shutterstock

Note that the park is for day use only, and there are no available facilities onsite. The District of Sooke has instead provided parking, toilet, and garbage can facilities adjacent to the park.

Those intent on camping can head to the 67-site RV and tent Spring Salmon Place Campground at the north end of the park (open until September 11th), where there are garbage bins, toilets, drinking water stations, picnic tables, and fire rings available for use.

So there you have it, BC! Another wilderness experience for the books.

Sooke Potholes Park

Where: Sooke, BC

Information on Sooke Potholes Park is from BC Parks and is accurate as of the publication date.