Trails on Vancouver
Island accommodate hikers, bikers, horse riders and cross-country
skiers. They are built and maintained by volunteers from clubs, BC
Parks, the Forest Service, municipalities and logging companies. Generally,
urban and frontcountry trails are built to a high standard. Backcountry
trails are normally primitive, doing no more than necessary to get
you to your destination. What all these trails have in common, is
a need for their users to be able to look after themselves, as telephones,
ranger cabins and trail checks are almost non-existent - and that's
the attraction of hiking the wilderness of Vancouver Island!
So, be well prepared, carry a map and emergency supplies - especially
rainwear and a flashlight. Remember, away from the road it's a wilderness....
and it sure is beautiful country!
Some of the best wilderness hiking on Vancouver Island is to be
found in Strathcona Provincial Park (Central Island), especially
for those who like to hike in the middle of rugged and heavily glaciated
mountains. The park was created in 1911 for those who seek adventure
in remote wilderness surroundings. It may be easier to reach the
Park's trailheads today, but the hiking routes still remain as challenging
as ever. To really experience the beauty of this enormous park,
come prepared to explore the backcountry.
At the northern tip of the island, Cape Scott Provincial Park
is one of the wildest, windiest, most woebegone locales in the province
for human habitation, Journeying to either Brooks Peninsula or Cape
Scott is only for those whose mettle has been tested by repeated
exposure to the bellows and blast-furnace of nature in the raw.
The mother of all hikes on the island is the very well-known West
Coast Trail (Pacific Rim), which runs for 48 miles (77 km) along
the west coast of Vancouver Island, and lies within the southern
boundaries of the Pacific Rim National Park. This 7 to 10-day adventure
trek draws hikers from all over the world.