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Beach Hikes and Forest Celebrations

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

“Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable…a beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.” – Economist John Kenneth Galbraith

Juan de Fuca Park and Marine Trail

This trail is a living legacy created by the Commonwealth Nature Legacy as an accessible to all tribute to the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games.  The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail follows 47 kilometres of wild scenic beauty, and marine and wildlife viewing along the coastline of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  The trail offers panoramic views across the strait to our neighbours on the Olympic Peninsula.

Most of the trail is designed for multi-day hiking, however, a variety of opportunities for easy to moderate day hikes are available at China Beach, Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek, and Botanical Beach.

The Trail does not connect to the West Coast Trail.  Contact West Coast Trail Express for information on their shuttle bus service.

Recognized for over a century by academics as a very special part of the world, it became a Class “A” Provincial Park in 1989; the highest level of park protection and is the terminus for the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.

This bio-diverse area is one of the richest intertidal zones on the West Coast.  The abundance of marine life at Botanical Beach offers a psychedelic experience.  Marine mist contributes to this otherworldly ambiance year-round. “Fog-ust”, the month of August is especially susceptible.

You will find your best experience at a low tide. Check the tide tables.

Safety Notes:

  1. The waves and tides are unpredictable here. Be cautious of their force.  They can be VERY DANGEROUS.  Please check conditions before you go and keep one eye on the water at all times.

  2. Enjoy the flora and fauna but please leave it where you find it — this is a sensitive ecosystem. Even touching the water in a tidal pool can create an oil slick that could kill the vulnerable creatures.  Remember to bring your camera. Photos last a lifetime and speak more than a thousand words can!

Explore the mystical shoreline of the famous West Coast Trail within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This rugged 75km hike was once a telegraph line trail and lifesaving route for shipwrecked mariners and passes through the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations. The rugged shoreline is the final resting place for over 137 sailing ships and their crews.

All hikers must first register with Parks Canada before embarking on this 5-8 day hike that is considered one of North America’s hardest.  Every expedition is an adventure rich in history and culture. 

This beach is a short trek to the head of San Juan Bay; located on the First Nation Reserve.  This is a popular place for all; locals and travellers, campers, and beach lovers.  Hit the surf in the winter; walk the dog year-round.  You can’t miss the broad white sandy beach!

These two popular swimming, camping, and paddle spots are a hop, skip, and a jump from our cottage. Easily biked to or if you pay close attention to the tides, you might just be able to paddle your way into Fairy Lake.  Check out the Canadian Government’s Topographical Map Site for roads and waterways.  Both lakes are stocked with a variety of rainbow and cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden and offer good fishing in Spring and Fall.

We were thrilled to find these easily accessible hikes online; thinking here was real insiders’ knowledge and all seemed moderately easy. Sometimes, the ease of finding treasures indicates it is just too easy.  We have tried three of these hikes to date, and three times we have struck out but we are not giving up.  Working through the directions, having failed, and then re-reading the instructions we think we’ve had an ‘a-ha’ moment….three times!  Stay tuned. Having said this, we did have three very distinct hikes through some great treescapes and would encourage you to give them a try.  Let us know about your successes!

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