The Troop 186 summer 50 mile hike in 2015 was the West Coat Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. We had 5 groups of people hike from the South (2 groups including ours) and from the North (3 groups). Our group included Two Fassers (Jackson,Scott), Four Meades (Barb, Rick, Thomas, William), Three Friedlands (Eric, Jordan, Lawton) and a Friend of Jordan’s. We completed 47 miles over 5.5 days of hiking and 6 nights on the trail. One fun thing was that we crossed with the other groups heading from North to South and were able to say hi and swap car keys.
We tacked on a night in Victoria at a swinging motel (Hotel Zed) on our way out for an incredible trip.
Full album of photos is here.
It is a bucket list type hike that requires planning, teamwork and long days of hiking on a variety of surfaces. While a relatively flat hike (coastal), the trail is re-pleat with cool features such as:
- Miles and miles of board walks over wet, soppy ground. Some new and dry, most wet and rickity which makes for treacherous hiking (eg. slipping).
- 5 hand propelled cable cars that cross large rivers
- 60+ bridges
- 30+ ladders
- Beach hiking – both hard sandstone as well as soft sand
- Sand Dunes
- Rain forest (and mud)
- Boats to cross inlets and the NitNat Narrows
- Two places to get food on the trail – Chez Moniques (Burgers and semi-cold beverages) and First Nation Crab Shack on the NitNat Narros (Crabs, Potatoes, Sodas, Candy)
- Managing tide schedules to make it around specific points on the trail when the tide is out
- Waterfalls and clear pools to swim in
- Sea Lions and Whales!
- Kids sleeping in hammocks – wow.
I would love to do this trip again from the North – more info on the official site here. But a more helpful site is here.