Natural Beauty of Vancouver Island – Tofino

Vancouver Island highlights Canada’s alluring features with a complete assemblage of ocean, mountains and forest. I reminded myself many times over that, “April showers bring May flowers”, which helped me to see through the rain clouds and appreciate the sun shining on the natural beauty of the west coast.

The rain is a blessing in disguise as the west coast foliage thrives in this dreary atmosphere. Indeed, the entire coast is at least 2-3 weeks ahead of Ontario.

My passion for anything soft immediately attracted me to the colourful and smooth Arbutus tree which sheds its bark to reveal Mother Nature’s artwork.

The tones of the wood under the bark range from a gold to a deep clay red that is simply soft to the touch. It is truly a unique tree.

The greenery spiked my desire to get out and explore within the forests on the sunny days to see what the rain made of the landscape.

I found twin fallen trees in the woods and decided to jump up and practice my gymnastics between the two balance beams.

On our way to Tofino we were amazed at the number of birch trees that painted the mountains. The birches looked like ghosts standing among their companions.

The Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet was a stop along our way to Tofino.

We opted to march along the Ancient Cedars path and head towards the Rocky Bluffs for a short loop around.

The views did not disappoint us as we saw our first peek of the Pacific ocean beating on the rocks.

The day would be considered calm compared to most, but the sounds still surrounded you like holding a conch shell to your ear and listening to the “waves” roll in.

The trail was situated right along the waters edge. During the storm season, the trees undoubtedly receive a beating from the ocean.

 After the forest walk, we headed towards our final destination, Tofino. The first stop was to get lunch at Tacofino which is nestled at the back of a small community of shops along the highway. You must stop here to get some tacos!

Facebook: Tacofino Tofino

Website: tacofino.com

1184 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC

After some delicious tacos we grabbed our boards and wet suits at the surf shop so that we could play be beat up in the enormous waves on the beach of Cox Bay which we overlooked from our resort.

Hungry after being swept around by the waves, we headed back to our favourite community off of the highway where we picked up take-out at Wildside Grill. The food was exactly what you would expect from a take-out place, except that it was not overly greasy and it was very enjoyable despite the ratings online!

Photo Courtesy of Facebook

Facebook: Wildside Grill

Website: wildsidegrill.com

1184 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC

 We headed back to our resort with our brown bagged take-out and ate happily in our comfortable clothes as we watched the hockey game and drank wine in front of the fire while glancing out the window every now and again to watch the surfers tackle the waves until darkness fell.

The next morning the waves were just as vicious as the tide was heading out. We took advantage of the tide to see what unique objects washed up on shore.

The broken sand dollars and the drift “trees” (wood is very much an understatement) acknowledge the power of the direct coastal Pacific waves that hammer the shores of Cox Bay and Long Beach. With that said, please do us all a favour and pick up any garbage you find along the beach. Nature thanks you in advance!

Notice the mist from the ocean that is being thrown around by the wind. Just imagine how my hair looked after our walks along Long Beach and Cox Bay!

Soon enough it was time to head back to the east coast of Vancouver Island. Backtracking our original path ensured that we saw all corners of the meandering highway. We stopped this time to see the BIG trees of Cathedral Grove.

Cathedral Grove is nestled in the mountains along the highway to Tofino in MacMillan Provincial Park. It is an old growth forest consisting of 136 hectares of land donated in 1944 by H.R. MacMillan to the province. The tallest tree in the grove is an 800 year old Douglas fir standing at 250 feet, and growing.

 The rain poured down steadily as we opted to take in only a few of the spectacular views of Cathedral Grove.

Port Alberni was our next stop for lunch at The Clam Bucket where we grabbed another delicious, budget friendly meal that proved good food can be fast and affordable.

Photo Courtesy of Facebook

Facebook: The Clam Bucket

Website: clambucket.ca

4479 Victoria Quay, Port Alberni, BC

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