Family Adventures: Juan De Fuca Trail
Our friend Kathleen Petereit, who lives on Vancouver Island, thought we might like to check out the Juan De Fuca Trail as a family adventure….
The Juan De Fuca Marina Trail, a part of the Juan De Fuca Provincial Park, follows 47 kilometers of wilderness trails and beaches on the southwest shore of Vancouver Island. From what I have read so far, you are rewarded for the strenous hiking with unbeatable views, wildlife viewing, tidepooling, beachcombing, and, of course, outrageous camping.
6 year-old Sonja hiking the Jun De Fuca Marine Trail (1994) photo courtesy of K. Petereit
I was reading your blog about perhaps hiking the West Coast Trail. You should Google info on the Juan de Fuca trail which is also on the west coast of the island. I did that hike with my oldest daughter when she was 6. I chose it because there are more access points if you run into trouble with a child. It is more rugged and much less used than the WC trail, there is no fee and you do not have to make a reservation. There is a shuttle bus as well to pick you up or drop you off at either end.
We had to wait a couple of hours once for the tide to go out. Then at one spot there was a big old bear sitting right where the trail goes back in and he wasn’t moving, just sat there leisurely enjoying the view. There were other hikers waiting there as well and we thought we might have to turn back but finally he moved on. There are a lot of steep up and downs going through ravines. You would have to piggy back Hayden on some portions because it is very tiring going up. The scenery is spectacular and because it is not as well known as the WC trail that makes it even better.
Sombrio Bridge. Photo by Robert Perry, www.Juandefucamarinetrail.com
Thanks for the idea, Kathleen!
Heather, Brandon and Hayden