Updated 07.01.2018: On a Vancouver Island road trip, walking the Wild Pacific Trail offers visitors to Ucluelet, the opportunity to get out of the car for an exercise break. But don’t move so fast that you fail to appreciate the dramatic ocean views and serene forest setting. This moderately easy walk is a must-do when travelers visit the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C.
Alan and I attended a Porsche Club event at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet, B.C., on a May trip filled with sunshine. It was tempting to spend the entire weekend drooling over Porsches, from antique versions to the latest jazzed-up model. But the dramatic Vancouver Island coastline kept calling us to walk the Wild Pacific Trail.
We enjoyed a portion of The Artist Loop section of the trail, which begins near Black Rock Resort. The path winds in and out of the forest and along the cliffs. Many detour trails lead to benches for sitting and contemplating the view. You’ll also find wooden platforms—called painters’ perches—for photographers, painters, birdwatchers or those who want a better view of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the cliffs. I recommend taking the detour to every one of them.
And the Pacific temperate rainforest holds its own special appeal. Walking beneath the forest canopy is like traveling through a green tunnel perfumed by the fresh scent of evergreens. Stop to listen to the wind rustle the trees or birds singing their song. Talk about a stress reliever.
Although we didn’t have time to walk the Wild Pacific trail in its entirety, The Artist Loop section connects to Ancient Cedars—an 800-year-old cedar forest—and on to Rocky Bluffs for a cliffside view of surge channels. The trek is approximately 5 miles one-way from Black Rock Resort to Rocky Bluffs.
Big Beach Park hosts another section of the trail, where visitors stop to read interpretive signs or view an ancient shipwreck. The beach, littered with the twisted remains of tree trunks that have been sculpted by the tide, is also a good place to spot sea lions. Or, if you had been traveling to this particular Porsche event, a barbecue completed by a fireworks show ended our evening at Big Beach Park.
Alan and I still have more exploring to do on Vancouver Island’s west coast. On our next visit to Ucluelet, we’ll include the Lighthouse Loop portion of the Wild Pacific Trail. For a little over 1.5 miles, the path winds along more of the wind-swept coastline. Or maybe you’ll find us walking the Wild Pacific Trail in its entirety. Now that would be a fun boomer travel adventure.
Check out the articles from our Vancouver Island road trip before planning your trip to this lovely corner of British Columbia, Canada.