Trails

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Alder Trail

There is a short but decent trail that can be found right at the Alder Medical Center, it is accessed from the upper parking lot, at the back end. When I take one of our family members to see the doctor, I usually head out to walk this trail while I wait for them to finish up at the docs. I have seen many songbirds but there are also squirrels and the occasional raccoons that can be found here in this hidden urban oasis. Read More….

 

 

Blinkhorn Trail

The Blinkhorn Trail is a beautiful, well-marked trail that wanders through rain forests overlooking Telegraph Cove. There are huge old trees and giant rock bluffs along the way. We always see amazing sights along this trail, Sometimes its whales in the ocean or black bears on the trail. Other times its some sort of mushroom or plant, you just never know what you might see, so keep your eyes open. Read More….

 

 

Canyon View Trail

The Canyon View Trail is a 6 km long hike through forests of giant fir trees, huge cedars, and thick rain forest. The hike is a great place to walk, taking about one to two hours to complete. The trailhead is located at the John Hart Generating Station off Highway 28. This trail is a loop that starts at the Hydro station and runs on both sides of the river, on the north side, you travel along and over many man-made salmon spawning streams where you can get great views of spawning salmon in the fall. Read More….

 

 

Crest Mountain Trail

The Crest Mountain Trail is a premier trail on north Vancouver Island. It is steep but the views of Kings Peak and Elkhorn Mountain along with the other Island mountains seen from the top make up for it. This a pretty demanding trail. It will take you from 3 to 4 hours to reach the top, climbing steeply for most of the way, its a great trail. The trail is well defined and easy to follow, but it is physically demanding due to the steeply ascending terrain. This is a trail that only those in good physical condition should attempt it. Read More….

 

Forbidden Plateau Trail

Looking at the map of Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, you will notice a odd shape jutting out on the eastern side, this is Forbidden Plateau, The Forbidden Plateau Trail is easily hiked, incredible beautiful and an awe inspiriting alpine plateau of open meadows and lush forest studded with lakes and ponds surrounded by high mountains. The area’s name creates curiosity in visitors and locals alike. Read More….

 

 

Leiner River Bouldering Trail

The Leiner River Bouldering Trail wanders along a scenic stretch of the Leiner River, Its a beautiful little river just outside of Tahsis on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Rock climbers like to practice their skills on the numerous, house-sized boulders that litter the slopes of the narrow valley. You climb under and over these boulders as you move along the trail. Read More….

 

 

Leiner River Estuary Trail

There are a parking lot and restroom at the trailhead. You can enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll on the Leiner Estuary Trail, this trail is very nice with some great views of Tahsis, right across the inlet. This 2 km trail is a level trail with boardwalks and viewing platforms that are located in the Leiner River estuary. The trail access is from the Tahsis Road, just 500 metres short of town and is well marked. Read More….

 

 

Quinsam River Trail

The Quinsam River Trailhead, is located at the Quinsam Campgrounds Park, to reach the park, take Hwy 28 from Campbell River until you reach the Quinsam River bridge, you will find parking on the side of the road just opposite from the campground. The trail runs through the campgrounds and continues up along the Quinsam River to the Argonaut road. Here you will find another parking lot and the trail continues up until you reach the Quinsam River Hatchery. Read More….

 

 

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Botany Bay Trail, Vancouver Island, BC, Coastal Region, Trails
Botany Bay Trail, Photo By Bud Logan

The trail between Botany Bay and Botanical beach is an incredible walk through a forest of windswept and twisted trees, its a beautiful place, a place of wonder.

For 7 years researchers and students journeyed here to study at the seaside Marine Station. To get here, they would travel from Victoria to Port Renfrew by steamer, then traverse some very steep, muddy and narrow trails to the station. There was talk about building a better road to the bay, but it never got built, this all but sealed the fate of the station, it was closed in 1907.

When you are hiking in the area, if you look close, you can still see remnants of the buildings sticking out of the west coast rain forest. There is a lot of history here, but you need to look close, as the west coast rain forest is claiming the land back once more. The area became a provincial park in 1989.

Botanical Beach, photo by Bud Logan
Botanical Beach, photo by Bud Logan

The beaches at both botany bay and botanical beach are full of a wide variety of sea life. Both plant and animal life is in abundance, and each has adapted to contend with the variable conditions found here.

Black bears and cougars can also be present at any time. Black bears can become used to feeding on garbage, so to avoid teaching bears about trash, please pack out what you pack in. Cougars normally avoid people and are rarely seen, but please leave pets at home if possible and watch over young children.

Pachena Beach and the start of the west coast trail, photo by Bud Logan
Pachena Beach and the start of the west coast trail, photo by Bud Logan

British Columbia’s toughest and most beautiful trail is the West Coast Trail, situated in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of the island. Considered by some to be the toughest trail in North America, the trail traverses 75 km of wind-worn and storm-tossed coastal shoreline, you will see giant cedars, huge hemlock and unending spruce forests, cliffs, beaches, sandstone ledges and suspension bridges spanning rivers and streams. This is Vancouver Island wilderness, wild and wet even in the summer. Hikers who attempt this trail must be fit and well equipped for the backcountry.

China Beach Trail, Vancouver Island, BC, Coastal Region, Trails
China Beach Trail, Photo By Bud Logan

Then there is the 47 km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park boasts scenery similar to West Coast Trail, but with vehicle accessible points at several spots along the trail, making it a favorite for beginners and day hikers. The trail begins at China Beach and ends at Botanical Beach. It’s a pretty awesome hike.

China Beach is a very beautiful beach, a great place to go for a weekend walk. China Beach also has a great campground that is located in the west coast rain forests that grow so lush on our coast. The trail down to the beach is quite pleasant with some incredible views, not to difficult to walk and the beach at the end is awe-inspiring to say the least. There are 78 drive-in campsites available at this campground.

China Beach, photo by Bud Logan
China Beach, photo by Bud Logan

Campsite reservations are accepted and a few first-come, first-served sites are also available. Some facilities are wheelchair accessible; pit toilets and water taps are located throughout the campground. China Beach itself is a great place to picnic and beachcomb.

Remember that black bears and cougars may be present. It would be a good idea to leave pets at home and keep your children in your sight. Lately, we have seen a number of wolves showing up along the trails of the west coast, more north of here, but you should keep pets on a leash at all times.

Take a wander to the western end of the beach during the wet season and you will see a waterfall that will take your breath away. You can walk along the shore to second beach or if you are camping, you can reach it by taking a wonderful trail through the forest to reach it. The waterfall is pretty awesome during the wet season.

Gray Whale, Vancouver Island
Gray Whale, Vancouver Island

In the spring and fall, you might get to see a grey whale as they migrate along the coast. So keep your eyes open and your camera ready. The best times to see whales is in March and April, as they migrate past the island on their way north to the feeding grounds.

Then there is Strathcona Park with trails that can take into some incredibly beautiful backcountry with awesome mountain vistas, trails like the Forbidden Plateau trails, or the Flower Ridge Trail with its display of flowers in the spring. You can hike into Della Falls, the highest falls in Canada, or run across Buttle lake and hike up to Marble Meadows and be blown away by the expanse of these meadows and maybe see a Marmot.

Woss Lake Trail, Vancouver Island, BC, Coastal Region, Trails
Woss Lake Trail, Woss Lake, Photo By Bud Logan

There are many other mountain trails on the coast and some very historical trails like the Woss grease trail, First peoples used this trail to take grease for trade to the west coast areas. This trail runs from Woss to Tahsis, it is hundreds of years old if not older.

So put on your boots, grab your pack and camera and head out into the backcountry to see what the coast has to offer.

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