Easy-Medium Hiking on Vancouver Island for CSM Vancouver
Island is a year round hikers paradise. A wide variety of hikes can be found here ranging from a leisurely stroll to a multiday trek. Summer is an obvious choice for hiking and while you have the best chances of decent weather and clear skies, many popular hikes can be crowded. While many people associate Vancouver Island with rain, this generalization is not entirely accurate. While parts of the island get an incredible amount of precipitation (like Port Hardy), Victoria gets half the rain of Vancouver, and enjoys 308 days of at least partial sunshine a year.
Nanaimo gets under 600mm a year of precipitation, making it one of the driest places on Van Isle. Even on rainy days, many hikes are through the forest, with dense canopies, these forests offer partial protection. Here are a few great year round hikes to enjoy on Vancouver Island.
Easy: Nanaimo Harbour Walk.
This hike is close to downtown and has a beautiful stone walkway around a park and marina with float planes bound for Vancouver. There are restaurants along the walk in case you become peckish.
Medium: Roberts Roost
This hike has beautiful views of Nanaimo and the islands beyond. This is not a popular hike and if enjoying the off season, you may have it yourself.
Easy-medium-Paradise Meadows-With several trail options to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect one for your mood in this area of Strathcona Park. Hikes range from 30 minutes(2km)to 4 hours (8.5 km)
Easy-Wild Pacific Trail-This trail is broken down into 2 sections-The Lighthouse Loop (45-60min)and the Big Beach to Rocky Bluff section. The trail follows the rugged coast, is very well maintained and scenic at every turn. This trail is suitable for strollers, and dogs. Several side trails such as The Bog Loop and Ancient Cedars Loop make this trail worth of a full day of hiking or several visits.
Medium-Mt. Ozzard -This trail boasts incredible views of Ucluelet and the open Pacific Ocean beyond. The hike follows a gravel service road, but does gain 766 m of elevation.
Easy-Tonquin Beach–This trail leads to a small but beautiful sandy beach. This is a great place to walk your dog, and avoid the crowds on the bigger beaches. The beach is very close to downtown and has protected waters.
Medium-Lone Cone Trail-This trail is located on nearby Meares Island, and is considered “the” mountain hike for those visiting Tofino. This hike is a constant uphill grind, and takes a full day to do round trip. An overnight is recommended for those who aren’t expert hikers.
Easy-Uplands Park-This trail is perfect for beginners or those looking for a leisurely stroll. A gravel trail loops around this 30 hectare park, points of interest include a sandy beach.
Medium-Gowlland Tod-With 25km of trails, a day can easily be spent exploring this park. The Trails have varying levels of difficulty,. A favourite is Mount Work trail is 5km long and gains substantial elevation gain, but the rewards at the top are well worth it.
Whenever venturing out on a hike, be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. If you are going into the backcountry, dress in warm layers with a waterproof outer-shell. Bringing water and snacks is always a good idea, and you may choose to bring bear spray or wear bear bells.
Vancouver Island is truly a year round adventure Mecca, which each season offering different activities, but there is always hiking.