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Hiking in Nootka Sound!

Nootka Sound is one of the most popular hiking places on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. There are also many trails, abandoned logging roads and creeks, perfect for both new and experienced hikers. Nootka Trail on Nootka Island is a long and exciting trip. Nootka Sound can be a dangerous place to hike, so it's best to do it with professional guides or with a group of experienced hikers. You can expect to run into Bears, Wolves and Cougars on your trip. You might not see them, but they will see you.

Nootka Trail

The 35km Nootka Trail is the most well known destination for experienced hikers in Nootka Sound. The Nootka Trail is located between Louie Bay on the northern part of Nootka Island and the southern area Yuquot (Friendly Cove). Typically hikers start the 5-7 day trip from the north of the Island and hike down the beaches and tidal shelves, as well as going inland to avoid rocky and deep river mouths. This hike requires no reservation and no permit. The First Nations at Friendly Cove do charge a landing/hiking fee, so be prepared for this as well as your travel expenses for getting to and from Nootka Island.

Nootka Island is a fantastic location with lots of old growth forest, tidal pools, rocky mountains and sandy beaches. During your hike, you have the opportunity to see a large amount of wildlife and sealife from the shoreline, including orca whales, humpback whales, pacific dolphins, eagles, squirrels, bald eagles, deer, sea otters, sea lions, seals and more! Nootka Sound can be a dangerous place to hike, so it's best to do it with professional guides or with a group of experienced hikers. You can expect to run into Bears, Wolves and Cougars on your trip. You might not see them, but they will see you.

Peppercorn Trail

Located in Gold River, this day hike starts from the Gold River bridge and ends at the Peppercorn Park, which features a swimming and diving cliff. The suggested hiking time is 40 minutes each way.

Heber River Trail

Starting at either the bridge on Matchlee Drive or beside 435 Maquinna Crescent in Gold River, this 40 minute return trip allows you to view the canyon for most of the trail. There are many excellent views of the river for photographic opportunities.

Antler Lake Nature Walk

The 60 minute (oneway) trail starts at the end of Scout Lake Road and parallels Scout Lake for a short distance before starting up the mountain. This is an easy hike through the bush and is often shaded. When reaching the side of the mountain, the trail then starts a steep descent down to Antler Lake. When you reach the dirt road, you can view the lake from a distance. Head down the road for ten minutes to the lake for a picnic or refreshing swim.

Random Trails

When driving across the island from Campbell River to Gold River/Tahsis, you will come across many starting areas for hiking trails. When you reach Buttle Lake near Strathcona Park, you will find more than a dozen trails, including Elk River Trail, Landslide Lake, Crest Mountain Trail, Karst Creek Trail, the Wild Ginger and Shepard Creek. Contacting the local information centre for detailed information is highly recommended.

Staying Safe!

When hiking in Nootka Sound, it is essential that you stay safe. You can encounter black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer, tics and other harmful animals, insects and things along your adventure. Taking proper gear for a wide range of situations is important. Make noise that scares away wildlife and don't leave your food out. You should also plan for the worst and carry additional essentials you might need like first aid, flashlights, gps, satellite phone, water, sealed containers or ziplock bags, extra clothing, etc. We will be putting together a more detailed list of hiking supplies you might need for your trip!

Have you hiked in Nootka Sound?

If you're an experienced hiker and want to share your experiences with us, please contact us!