A Walk in the Forest Trail - Tofino & Clayoquot Sound Trails
A Walk in the Forest is a very nice and very hidden trail that is easily missed on a visit to the area. Located just before the T junction between Ucluelet and Tofino, keep your eyes out for it on your right and you will spot it. A large parking area at the edge of the highway, a wonderfully ancient seating area and rain shelter mark the start of the interpretive trail.
A Walk in the Forest Trail has a peculiar, though recent history. Originally built in 1997 by the District of Ucluelet and the Ministry of Forests. Unfortunately it fell into neglect for several years. The boardwalk rotted and vandalism and garbage took over the trail.
Restoration began in 2010, funded by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and Iisaak Forest Resources Limited. In 2012 the Central Westcoast Forest Society extended the boardwalk and created a large viewing platform that overlooks Lost Shoe Creek. This new platform will be used to host outdoor educational programs.
The Central Westcoast Forest Society has joined with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts to co-manage this now designated BC recreational site. Parks Canada has created new interpretive signs. These signs are frequent and keep you interested and informed.
"You are now standing in an old-growth coastal temperate rainforest, a perfect home for salmon. Close to the ocean and shadowed by vast mountain ranges, coastal temperate rainforests are cool, wet and mysterious places which have taken many centuries to develop. This ancient rainforest stream is where salmon begin and end their lives. Adult salmon look for the best environment to lay their eggs so that their young can survive and grow strong."
"This forest is starting to heal. It is also second-growth, but under the coordination of the Central Westcoast Forest Society, restoration crews are repairing the damage logging caused. This forest is now getting ready to support different wildlife, including salmon. These restoration efforts will speed the return of healthy old-growth rainforest conditions, as salmon continue to look for the perfect home."
A Walk in the Forest Trail is almost entirely boardwalk with some dirt trail sections. It should take you about 15 minutes to do the 600 metre circle route at a normal pace or 30-40 minutes if you take the time to appreciate the brutalized, yet beautiful forest around you. The viewing platform at Lost Shoe Creek is a great spot to relax in the sun as the forest surrounds you and you feel miles from civilization, despite being just a couple hundred metres from the highway.
The amazing people at the Central Westcoast Forest Society do all their work by donation. They are a registered, non-profit, charitable society and tax deductible donations can be made through their site here. If you would rather help out by working or volunteering for CWFS, contact them here.
Directions to A Walk in the Forest Trail
The trailhead is located 1k from the junction on the Pacific Rim Highway (highway 4). On your right if coming from Port Albernie. On your left if coming from Tofino or Ucluelet. Located outside Pacific Rim National Park, this trail is free to use and has free parking. Owing to its convenience and wonderful attention to detail, the A Walk in the Forest Trail is highly recommended. Almost always serenely quiet, bring a coffee and a book to enjoy at one of the idyllic bench seats along the trail.
More Trails & Beaches Near A Walk in the Forest Trail
The Nuu-chah-nulth Trail is an amazing interpretive trail that gives a glimpse of First Nations culture as it meanders 2.5 kilometres through the rainforest from Florencia Bay to Wickaninnish Beach. At Wickaninnish Beach there is the wonderful small museum, the Kwisitis Visitor Centre, as well as the spectacular . Previously known as the Wickaninnish Trail, the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail Trail is one of the most interesting and beautiful trails between Ucluelet and Tofino. The interpretive trail has several beautiful and informative stops along the way identifying the history and fauna of the area. After about 30 minutes of hiking through the deep forest, mostly along the nice boardwalk you come to a great viewpoint. From here you can turn left and in just 200 metres reach South Beach, or turn right, continue on the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail and in 600 metres arrive at the amazing Kwisitis Visitor Centre and Kwisitis Feast House. Hiking/walking the Shorepine Bog Trail in Pacific Rim National Park is a surreal experience. As you wander through this weather beaten forest that looks nothing like anything else you've seen in the rest of the park. It is absolutely bizarre. Pacific Rim National Park is almost entirely rainforest. Giant trees, wet, mossy ground, dead and decaying giant trees, laying on the dark, wet forest floor. And yet the Shorepine Bog Trail looks more like a desert. Everything looks blasted by wind, and unexpectedly dry, very dry. The Shorepine Bog Trail is not so much a trail as a continuous boardwalk. This makes it a very easy and relaxing trail that keeps you from damaging the bog beneath your feet as you walk. The Rainforest Trail is a fantastic, deep, dark, wet and wonderful walk through a giant tree forest. There are, in fact, two beautiful 1km rainforest loop trails. One on the ocean side of the highway, the other on the forest side. Both are equally nice and both have an elaborate boardwalk system that at times seems luxurious as it keeps you tidily above the deep, mossy, wet, and chaotic forest floor. For an amazing, jungle-like experience this is the place to go. The forest is deep, wet and massive. Very massive. The wonderful aroma of nature fills your lungs as this incredibly elaborate boardwalk runs along massive nurse logs, huge cedars and an astounding array of young and ancient trees. You come out of this forest in awe of how beautiful this Tofino - Ucluelet stretch of land is. Radar Beach is one of the innumerable places that makes this part of the world so amazing. It is difficult to get to due to it having an unmarked trailhead, steep and muddy trail, and considerable climbing and crawling above and below fallen trees. Where the other popular beach trails in the area have elaborate and expensive boardwalks and stairs, Radar Beach does not. And hopefully never will. This difficult trail ensures Radar Beach as a secluded paradise in the midst of the sometimes crowded and chaotic, nearby beaches. The unmarked hiking trail begins at the end of the Radar Hill parking lot. Indiscreetly, a well used trail disappears steeply down towards the ocean, and within minutes you find yourself clinging to a rope as you ascend steeply. The trail is easy to follow in the daytime, however, you would have great difficulty keeping to the trail after dark. Radar Hill should not be missed while visiting Tofino. The views are beautiful, one of the few places in Tofino where you can see where you are. Usually you are engulfed in trees or down by the water. From Radar Hill you rise above everything. This is not really a hiking trail, but rather a short, very scenic, uphill walk to the monument and views. A wonderfully written memorial sits at the top of Radar Hill which describes the harrowing battle during the Korean War that involved the 27th Commonwealth Brigade. Grice Bay is not really a hike but a setting off point for kayakers and boaters. Tofino Inlet, Cannery Bay, Tranquil Inlet, Fortune Channel, Dawley Passage Provincial Park as well as Kennedy River are all attractions for boaters from here. There is a nice boat launch and lots parking. Kayakers frequently depart from here to explore the sheltered waters away from the open ocean out past Tofino. The beautiful trail to Schooner Cove starts just at the top end of Pacific Rim National Park near Tofino. Schooner Cove also sits near the top or northern end of Long Beach which continues south from here for 10 kilometres! Almost immediately you are struck by the enormous trees. Hundreds of years old, these monsters are everywhere along this trail. The Schooner Cove trail and Schooner Cove itself is much quieter and even at times secluded feeling when compared to other Pacific Rim National Park beaches and hiking trails. Chesterman Beach is a wonderful 3 kilometre beach just a 10 minute drive from Tofino. The walk to the beach from your car takes just 3 minutes with the roundtrip distance covered to the beach and back to your car is about 500 metres (or a third of a mile).