The Wild Side Hike on Flores Island
For official information about the hike, please visit the Ahousaht-maintained website on hiking the Wildside Trail: www.wildsidetrail.com.
From Ahousaht Village (Marktosis) a trail was used for centuries to reach the wild beaches on the west side of Flores Island. In 1995, under the guidance of the elders from Ahousaht Village, a 16 km trail was completed to restore this vital route. This was no easy task considering the significant undergrowth that had developed over the years.
The results of these upgrades and new energy are stupendous.
Flores Island, 40 minute water taxi from Tofino
2 days or one very long day for super-fit experienced hikers but 3 or more days is more fun!
11 km one way (return hike mandatory, so it's 22 km)
Difficult, boardwalks, beaches and a steep climb at the end. Expect mud.
See bottom of page
Details of the Wildside Hike
The Wild Side Trail winds its way through ancient Sitka forests and visits two of the most spectacular pristine beaches in Clayoquot Sound: Whitesands Beach and Cow Bay. Be prepared for a strenuous hike because the trail ends by ascending Mount Flores offering a spectacular view of the Sound. Bring a backpack with provisions and be prepared for some mud and spontaneous weather changes. A good portion of the trail is boardwalk.
For an even better experience, contract a local Ahousaht First Nations guide at the Trail Office who will point out features such as culturally modified trees (CMT's) and historical landmarks along the way. With a good guide you will learn about traditional Nuu-chah-nulth foods and medicines and get an introduction to this fascinating culture.
Completion of this trail will leave you with fond memories of Flores Island and an appreciation for the lifestyle of an enduring people. To access this trail, you need to take a 40 minute boat ride or a 10 minute seaplane jaunt from Tofino to Ahousaht Village. You can arrange for a water taxi (about $25 per person) by phoning the band office at (250) 670-9531 or wait for the 10 am & 4:30 pm scheduled water taxi for about $20 at First Street Dock. There is a list of water taxis on the Wild Side Trail's website.
We highly recommend Stanley Sam Sr.'s book, Ahousaht Wild Side Heritage Trail Guidebook as necessary reading for trail enthusiasts.
There is a fee for accessing the trail and it is payable at the Trail Office in Ahousaht. These fees pay for trail staff and maintenance needed along the extensive boardwalk system.