Running on the Edge: The Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, running, hiking

Location: The seaside village of Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. It is a 1.5 hour ferry ride from the city of Vancouver to the town of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. Ucluelet is located on the wild west coast of the island, a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from Nanaimo.

Distance: The main trail is 10 km long, (including a 2 km road section). With the many linked side-trails you can easily turn this into a 20+ kilometre out-and-back run.

Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, running, hikingTerrain: Two sections of wide groomed gravel pathway (2.5 km and 5.5km) plus numerous side-trails, separated by 2 km of paved road. Topography is rolling, no big long hills but many short steep ones.

Highlights: This route offers stunning views around every curve. The trail follows the shoreline of the open Pacific Ocean, meandering in and out of ancient coastal temperate rainforest that is dripping with mosses, and out over craggy bluffs with frigid surf crashing below. Ucluelet rarely receives any amount of snow, so this is a great route for winter running too (which is when the big-wave stormwatching is at its peak) – but dress for rain. Possibilities of seeing bears, deer, whales, sea-lions and more.

Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, running, hiking

Directions to Trailhead: There are numerous access points to the trail, with parking lots, in and near the village of Ucluelet. Click “Location” on www.wildpacifictrail.com for a map of the trail and its access points.