Trees are such amazing organisms. They can get so big, and I love walking among them and feeling so small. Just imagine if these trees that are hundreds and thousands of years old could talk! Ambassador Lori writes about visiting a park with magnificent trees on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
What can I say, I’m guilty…I’m in love with trees. I love being in company with them, looking at them, touching them, talking to them, taking their pictures but mostly hugging them. So, I went in search of some real giants, some old gems and some real beauties.
I decided a get-a-way was a good start in finding my tall timber. I live in beautiful British Colombia, Canada, and I traveled to Tofino, BC which is in the Clayoquot Sound. It’s on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It was a 2-hour ferry ride and a 3-hour drive to reach my destination.
Once off the ferry we drove west passing many places of interest. The first stop was Cathedral Grove in MacMillian Provincial Park. In here was many tall Douglas Firs and ancient Red Cedars, some 800 years old, and I could have spent days there. They were stunning.
Just before the fork to Ucluelet and Tofino is, The Lost Shoe Trail; A Walk in the Forest. It’s just a 600-meter walk through some second growth forest and some tall giants.
At the fork we went left to Ucluelet, before heading to Tofino. That’s where we hiked the Ancient Cedar Trail which is part of the Wild Pacific Trail. We found more old-growth Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, and giant Red Cedars; these are the oldest trees on Ucluelet peninsula.
Once in Tofino, I visited Meares Island which has history. In the 1980’s this island was almost a thing of the past as MacMillan Bloedel had permits to log it. Protesters blocked the loggers and 2 bands claimed it was a Tribal Park. The Nuu-chah-nulth people went to court and protesters blocked the loggers. This granted an injunction that favoured of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. It was the first time in British Columbia’s history that the province had been overruled on a land claims issue. There is now a land claim and a treaty that exists between the Nuu-chah-nulth people and the province of BC. This Tribal Land is protected, and these beauties will stand tall for centuries to come.
I took a water taxi over to Meares Island. It was just a couple minutes by water taxi. It cost $30 return for the water taxi and a trail $5 fee for upkeep. Once there, I slogged through mud for a short part of the trail. It had rained the day before. Once at the official trailhead start there is a boardwalk made of wood pieces found on the island. There were also funky railings made from deadfall and branches. There are many trees; big Red Cedars. Sixty feet wide. There is the Tree of Life-Cedar. Some of the trees on Meares Island are estimated to be 1000-1500 years old.
I come alive when I see these towering beauties. Oh, the stories they could share with us. Tales of the forest in trails of time. These are the twisted trails I never get tired of.