Day 17: Wild Pacific Trail. The day before we visited the pleasant village of Tofino and the islands Vargas Island & Meares Island. Located at the other end of highway 4 in the southeast Ucluelet, from where you can take a nice walk along the rugged coast. The path we followed is called Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop walk and was only recently constructed. But the first hike we took that day was Rainforest Trail A & B in the Pacific Rim National Park on the way to Ucluelet. These two hikes are the best known in the region and are worth the stop. Both are small scenic walks reminiscent of Meares Island, of which Rainforest Trail A & B are the light version.
Rainforest Trail B
The parking is on the south side of the highway (#4) and you have to cross the lane to do walk A. Pay attention when crossing, because the cars drive at high speed. Green Point Campground is only at 3.5 km / 2.2mi from the very small parking lot. The first walk we made was Rainforest (loop) Trail B. This 1km long walk starts at the beginning along a gravel path, after which it becomes wooden ramps. At the junction, turn left and walk in a loop along a winding wooden path between 80 meter high Red Cedar trees and Hemlock trees. There are quite a few stairs at the start of the walk. Along the path there are various signs explaining the fauna and flora of the forest.
Rainforest Trail A
At the end of the course the path rises again and you come to the same intersection at the beginning of the walk. There you turn left to get back to the parking. As I already wrote, you have to cross the road to get to Rainforest Trail A. The distance of this section is also 200 km and runs in a loop through a similar type of forest. They are two beautiful walks, but for me they could not match the walk on Meares Island. There I felt more like walking in a real rainforest with ancient trees.
Ucluelet Co-op store
Perhaps we should have reversed the order of the walks. First Rainforest Trail A & B and only then visit Meares Island. Meanwhile, four cars and campers were waiting for a place to park when we left for Ucluelet. Before we could start the walk on the coast, we had to do some shopping.
Right along highway 4 there is a Co-op supermarket at Ucluelet and just parked next to the road. We could get everything we needed and more. The store has various departments, where you can buy everything from camping gear to fishing gear and buying a sea kayak yourself was possible. Eli wanted to buy an 5kg heavy trap there to take to Belgium. After the shopping we went into a little shop, but was very focused on tourists and the prices clearly too. At this point in the tour we were pretty close to the limit of our budget and we continued to look for a parking space to make the most beautiful walk of the day, the Wild Pacific Trail.
Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop
We parked at the visitor parking of Wild Pacific Trail located along Coast Guard Drive. One of the two car parks has been constructed to easily make the Light House Loop walk. The short walk runs along the parking lot in a loop, so you return to the same place at the end of the walk. The Lighthouse Loop walk is only 2.6 km long, but is one of the most beautiful walks I ever made. Nature here is beautiful and as the founder of the path Oyster Jim himself says: "behind every corner it is like you are streaming postcards".
Lighthouse Loop Walk
To give you an idea how beautiful it was ... we arrived at the parking at 1 pm and after the 2.6 km walk we arrived back at the RV at 5.15 pm. So we did more than 4u over a stretch of path that you normally travel in half an hour. After a 10 minute walk from the parking lot Jessica saw a whale leap out of the sea. Since it was the first whale we saw, she wanted to keep checking whether he would repeat this trick again.
In the distance you could hear a whistling buoy in the sea. It wasn't the whale ;-). The buoy uses air pressure from the waves and whistles louder in a turbulent sea. This is necessary to warn the boats for the rocks and shallow water in fog. There are still ships that get stuck on the rocks and sink, even with the current modern equipment. That is why the whistling buoy and bell buoy are still needed today.
Looking for fish and crabs
While Jessica was sitting on a bench, the children began to explore the tide pools between the rocks and time flew by. Eli had brought his scoop net and his sister as "helper". They were tireless in their search for fish and crabs. They climbed and jumped from one rock to another. Meanwhile, Jessica sat vainly in the distance staring into the sea to catch a glimpse of the whale. Unfortunately, a whale was nowhere to be found. We regretted after a while to leave this beautiful spot at the lighthouse, but thought we should go for a walk.
Deer on the beach
Behind every corner of the winding path we had a wow feeling. Small fishing boats or pleasure boats sailed along the coast, but the small bays were deserted and peaceful. An osprey flew low over our heads when we came to a picturesque cove. We could get to the water via a narrow path. There too the children could indulge themselves with shoveling and playing in the pools. I myself climbed over the rocks to the sea and was able to take beautiful pictures. When I came back, I saw a deer walking behind Jessica. She had not yet seen the deer herself and signaled that “something” was behind her and she had to turn around.
From this place we could see the osprey in its high vantage point. From there he left every 20 minutes to sea to catch fish. At 5 pm we left along Terrace Beach back to the camper. There is a longer walk on the Wild Pacific Trail, also along the coast that we will do next time. Through this link you can view a map with the walks of the Wild Pacific Trail.
To the Shed restaurant in Tofino
We wanted to keep the atmosphere and drove to Tofino. The day before we had something to drink at the Shed in Tofino and wanted to eat there that evening. The prices were very reasonable. I had chosen wild salmon and it was the best salmon I have ever eaten. For the four of us, we paid 95 $ CAD. After dinner we took a short evening walk in Tofino and around 9 pm we were back at Green Point camping. We made a campfire there and went to sleep at 10 pm.
Green Point Campground
This time we had spot #91. They are not the best places, but because we are on a trip all day, it did not matter much where we were. The most beautiful places are on the side of the ocean. Our Last 2 camping pitches were next to the toilets and showers, but that may be an advantage for some people. Even if you get a spot on the sea side, there is no guarantee that you have a view of the ocean. The vegetation is so much in some places that this obstructs the view of the sea.
On windy days I can imagine that the shelter can come in handy. On the southwest coast of Vancouver Island it can sometimes be very stormy.
The next day we left for Miracle Beach, on the other side of the island. Along the way we stopped at Sproat Lake and visited Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park.