The Sooke Town Pole may sound strange - but there really is such a thing as a town pole! Located in Sooke, BC on Vancouver Island at the entrance of the Evergreen Mall, this monument is dedicated to the logging heritage of the region.
At the top of the pole is a figure of a "high rigger", a logger who would scale the tree, harnessed around the waist, to harvest the tree top. Down below, another logger stands on a springboard. His job was to work at felling the huge tree near the base with only an axe (steam engines were used in later years).
Sadly, the Sooke Town Pole (also called the Sooke Logger Pole) was removed because of rot issues in the wood. We're sad to see this iconic piece removed and hopefully one day, we'll see it resurrected in some form!
Today, if you hike in East Sooke Park, you can still see the springboard cuts on the old stumps that remain in the forest.
Logging on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island dates back to the 1860s when the burgeoning city of Victoria was expanding. The ancient forests of red cedars and Douglas Fir trees were cut and shipped for construction in the capital city. The second growth forest is now over a century old, returning to the look of a lush rainforest. The trees are huge and grow relatively quickly in the warm and wet climate along the BC coast. The only remnants of old logging days are the large stumps in the forest from which new trees have grown. A large, protected forest is now in the magnificent East Sooke Park.
Coastal hiking is exceptional in this area and offers scenic trails through thick forests. There are miles and miles of rugged coast line to explore. Protected lands cover coastal hills, rocky shorelines and secluded coves, home to birds, black bears, otter, whales, and other wildlife. The Sooke region is a spectacular area that would delight any nature lover.
Sooke, BC, is located 39 kilometers (40 minutes) southwest of downtown Victoria, BC. A scenic drive takes you in the natural splendor of southern Vancouver Island. Check out the Sooke Town Pole on the drive and other roadside attractions in BC. You can also check out other things to do, or visit some beautiful scenic stops throughout the province.