Added by Brenda Lin
Easy 5km round trip hike along an elaborate wooden boardwalk. Rain forest and rugged coastal views. Wildlife sightings: bald eagles, sea birds, and if you are lucky, a bear. Beach access for frolicking and further exploration.
The staggering coastal and rain forest beauty of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve ensures Vancouver Island’s place as one of BC's most deeply rewarding hiking destinations. The Nuu-chah-nulth Trail is just one of many trails that will leave you with a billowing sense of wonder.
Starting at the south of the Kwisitis Visitor Centre on Wickaninnish Beach, this interpretive trail takes you along the beautiful coastline, through the thick old-growth rain forest, towards Florencia Bay. It boasts ocean views and teaches you about the history and culture of the Nuu-chah-nulth people.
At the beginning, the trail skirts the shoreline towards South Beach. Along the way you'll see a traditional totem pole. This marks the old site of a whale hunting village.
Soon you will reach a junction. Head right to visit the pebbled South Beach or stick to your left to go up and continue on the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail. After a short climb, look back and enjoy an expansive view of the beach, ocean and forest.
Continue further and you'll reach a west coast wetland. In this type of bog, the trees are stunted due to high acidity in the soil. Even old trees seem small. Walk along the boardwalk through the bog. After some time you will notice the trees change. Soon you will be walking through an ancient old-growth forest. Cedar trees that are nearly as wide as a car reach high into the sky, becoming a part of the great canopy above.
Near the end of the hike, the boardwalk turns into a dirt trail that threads you through lush forest and eventually towards Florencia Beach. To continue your exploration, head down the path towards the beach. It’s a gorgeous and rugged beach featuring large, smooth black boulders and a river mouth further south.
Return to the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail back the way you came making it a 5km hike along some of the most beautiful coastal scenery on Vancouver Island.
- Water and Snacks
- Sturdy shoes
- Rain Jacket
- Bug Repellent
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
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