We went over to Tofino November 14th to November 18th and hiked along the beaches within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, enjoyed the eclectic community of Tofino and met up with an old colleague of Rob’s from Nunavut, Bob Hansen, who lives in Tofino. Bob was the Wildlife Deterrent Specialist with Rob’s Division with the Government of Nunavut before he retired in 2013.
Middle Beach Lodge is located on the point of a rocky headland between Middle Beach and Mackenzie Beach with almost a mile of private beach, rugged headlands, two rustic lodges and twenty self-contained cabins that fit in wonderfully with the West Coast. It was a wonderful way to spend a few days away from working on the boat.
Mackenzie Beach is a small sandy beach located near the lodge and a wonderful way to start or end the day by walking along the water enjoying beautiful sunrises or sunsets.
Long Beach is one of the longest sand dune beaches on Vancouver Island stretching for over 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) and perhaps Canada’s most famous beach. We started our walk at Incinerator Rock and walked along the beach till Green Point where we found some lovely ‘red chairs’ to relax in for a while. Along the beach there were also some very interesting driftwood shelters that we believe are used during the summer months by surfers, campers and kayakers to rest in and get some shelter away from the wind and sun.
Wickaninnish Beach is situated within Long Beach as part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It has an impressive amount of logs and driftwood that has collected over the years and extensive sand dunes that are great for exploring and trying to find or view wildlife. We came across tracks of wolves and cougars but no sightings of these illusive animals. Part of the dunes also had signs around warning walkers and hikers of the possible presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) from World War II. The dunes were closed in 2012 when a UXO was discovered, but re-opened after the Department of National Defence (DND) kicked off an extensive investigation to locate any other remaining and hidden explosive relics. The beach is also a great place for surfers and we saw many out practicing and catching a few big waves.
The last beach we visited was at the Radar Hill with Rob’s friend Bob. We were both glad to have such an experienced guide taking us out for the day as we would not have easily found the trail or the beaches. The trailhead is unmarked and the trail is steep and muddy with considerable climbing, crawling above and below fallen trees, scrambling over rocks, clinging to ropes and pulling rubber boots out of the muddy trail. Once down on the beach, we followed the shoreline, scrambling along rocky ledges towards Schooner Cove. We finally had to turn back as the tide was coming in and our path might have been blocked by the water. We did come across some wolf tracks that were very fresh but we did not get to see any wolves. Once back at the parking lot, we also made our way over to Radar Hill for a view of the mountains, ocean and beaches. Radar Hill dates back to the 50’s and the early days of the Cold War when radar stations were built as part of the early warning radar line against potential attacks from long range bombers. Radar Hill was part of the Pinetree Line.
We ended the day having dinner with Bob and his family. What a great way to end our time in Tofino. ~ Sophia & Rob
Some wildlife seen during our stay