The Wild Pacific Trail curves round the rugged and rocky shoreline of the Ucluelet Peninsula in the village of Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, with incredible views of the expansive Barkley Sound, the Broken Group Islands, and the open Pacific Ocean.
The Wild Pacific Trail begins near the mouth of Ucluelet Inlet, at Amphitrite Point Lighthouse, and travels north along the open Pacific Ocean coastline through Big Beach Park to the bike path just outside the community of Ucluelet. The final section will extend the trail to Halfmoon Bay in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Most of the trail system consists of a smooth gravel walkway, but there are some wooden boardwalk sections and stairs. The gravel pathways and boardwalks wind through ancient spruce and cedar rainforest, and along rock bluffs with ocean vistas. Note that the boardwalk sections can be very slippery when wet. Benches are provided at viewpoints, and hiking trails expose visitors to the miles of shoreline. The trail is accessible to all ages and abilities including wheel chairs in most areas. Bikes, horses and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the park’s beaches or trails.
The trail is presently divided into 3 sections: Lighthouse loop, Big Beach and Brown’s Beach. Brochures with trail maps are available at the visitor centres in Ucluelet or at the Tofino/Ucluelet highway junction.
The Lighthouse loop of the Wild Pacific Trail is a 2.7-km loop (30-45 minutes) passed Amphitrite Point Lighthouse ending at He-Tin-Kis Park. The trail is wide enough for 2-3 people to walk side-by-side. Start at the new parking lot at the 0 km point, midway on Coast Guard Road. Walk through a short section of mossy rainforest that provides dramatic views of Barkley Sound and Amphitrite Lighthouse. Stay on the coastline trail, which will loop back to the parking lot. The two parking lots at each end of the loop are just 200 metres apart.
Park at the intersection of Marine and Matterson Road. Either follow the roadside along Marine Drive to your right, or go straight down to the beachfront picnic area for the scenic route. Turn right up the stairs to the boardwalk overlook. After the bridge, the trail crosses Marine Drive. Turn left passed a newly-built resort before returning to the coastline trail. This section runs from 4.5 to 5.5 km.
The Brown’s Beach section of the Wild Pacific Trail runs to the bike path just outside of Ucluelet (5.5 to 8.4 km). The trailhead is located at a parking lot just passed Black Rock Resort on Marine Drive. Turn right to follow a short section of forested trail near a new road to a wilderness coastal trail. Follow the coastline and double back for the most scenic path. You can also walk in a loop via the forested access trails to Forbes Road sports field, or exit at the Pacific Rim Highway. Turn right to follow the bike path back to town.
The Wild Pacific Trail is accessible year around, and when completed, the trail will stretch for 14 kilometres. The final section will extend the trail to Halfmoon Bay in the Long Beach section of Pacific Rim National Park.
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