Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Rev. ed.


208 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-1-55365-382-0
DDC 796.51'097112






Reviewed by Ann Turner

Ann Turner is Financial and Budget Manager at the University of British
Columbia Library.


With the addition of two new chapters, this updated edition of the guide first published in 2005 now "covers every major coastal hike along Vancouver Island's western shore."  Some of the trails described in the previous edition were seriously affected by recent windstorms, and the author has walked these again to provide current information.  Though conditions on the west coast can be dangerous and unforgiving at times, pristine beaches, spectacular ocean views, and awe-inspiring rainforests await hikers who venture there.  Chapters of the guide now cover eight areas:  The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail; The West Coast Trail; Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park; the Long Beach, Tofino and Ucluelet area; Hesquiat Peninsula (new); The Nootka Trail; Brooks Peninsula (new); and Cape Scott Provincial Park and area.  Trails range from easy day hikes for novices to challenging multiday treks for the experts.  They are rated using the standard Volkssport trail rating system modified by the author to identify separately the difficulty of forest and beach terrains that will be encountered, as well as the incline of the trail.  There are instructions on the use of tide tables, which are needed for most of the trails as incoming tides can trap hikers or make portions of a shoreline trail impassable, and helpful lists and advice about what to take and wear, and how to protect yourself and the environment while you are there. The guide to each trail begins with a summary table giving the total distance in miles and kilometres, the approximate duration in hours or days, the difficulty ratings, access routes to the trail head, maps and tide tables needed, and hazards or special features to watch for.  The route is then broken down into sections, with similar table information for each section.  Besides easy-to-follow travel directions, the detail includes interesting historical and descriptive information.  Maps outline each trail, and black and white photographs illustrate typical views and points of interest.  The guide concludes with some general chapters on the natural history, First Nations, and conservation efforts in the area.


Leadem, Tim., “Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 6, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/28927.