Exploring The Secrets of Sooke
Tucked away in Sooke, BC, Ryan LeBlanc knows this remote area like the back of his hand. We recently ventured out with Ryan while on a trip out to Vancouver Island and discovered the secrets of Sooke! He shared the best local spots to take in a view, get lost in nature, or see a sunset.
During our Adventure, Ryan led us to the funky geographic beauty of the Sooke Potholes, along with a stunning ocean facing waterfall at Sandcut Beach. To get there, we trekked through towering trees and bountiful berry bushes, learning about local plantlife along the way.
A Lifelong Local
Because he grew up only five minutes from the Sooke Potholes, Ryan has been exploring the area since childhood and can offer fun facts about the local flora and fauna. While out, we sampled edible berries, learnt to distinguish between different plants, and discovered fascinating tidbits about the history of the land and the importance of preserving it. If you want to do some foraging, Ryan’s Tea in the Trees Adventure is the perfect intro. Bonus- you’ll get to sample forest-sourced freshly brewed tea!
With 4 years of guiding experience under his belt and 5 years as a deckhand with the Coast Guard, Ryan’s breadth of knowledge makes him a perfect hiking companion. Whether you’re after a peaceful walk, an educational afternoon, or a meaningful chat, he will make both quiet observers and conversationalists feel at ease.
Typically, Ryan customizes day hikes for his guests. With hundreds of kilometres of trails to choose from, he’ll tailor his Adventures to fit your timeframe and what you want to see and experience. Sooke is filled with so many hidden spots, it’s hard not to get pumped about exploring this remote area with such an interesting, knowledgeable Local!
For the Environmentally Conscious Explorer
As someone who spends so much time in nature, Ryan understands the importance of sustainability and provides a zero waste lunch as part of the Adventure. He always tries to source fresh ingredients: veggies from local farms, smoked salmon and other local specialties. By storing lunch or snacks in reusable containers and steering clear of foil or plastic wrapped granola bars, Ryan makes a conscious effort to design sustainable tours and makes sure to leave as little impact as possible on the trails.
Handpicked Bites & Brews
Ryan has nailed apres Adventure time too. His time working at various breweries in the area means he can recommend somewhere for a refreshing glass of beer after a long hike. Ask him about his favourite breweries to sample some of the best beer Sooke has to offer.
If you’re feeling hungry, Ryan’s partner also runs the Road to Sooke Cafe. This locally owned gem offers organic choices and has some of the best cinnamon buns we’ve ever tasted!
If you want to try something different, they also have a chagga (mushroom) coffee that is simply delicious. It’s the perfect place to charge up before a long hike or relax after an Adventure.
Above all, what Ryan brings to the table is an unbridled enthusiasm for the beautiful region he calls home. He loves bringing guests to these special places so they too can share in the beauty and benefits of nature. Ryan knows the importance of spending time outdoors and tries to get out as much as he can. He also acknowledges that for many people, just getting out into the forest is the first step.
“Time spent in nature, either alone or with the company of others… it’s healing,” Ryan says. “It’s all about having a chance to sit down, and take it all in.”
If you’re planning an Adventure on the West Coast of Canada, take a trip out to Vancouver Island and explore Sooke with a Yervana Local. View all of Ryan’s Adventures, along with our guide to Victoria, BC for more travel inspiration!