Last weekend my Dad came to visit me in Ahousaht. On Saturday we hiked the 22km (Return) Wildside Trail which starts in Ahousaht and is operated and maintained by locals from the village.
The trail is a combination of beach walking and forested coastal sections. There is very little elevation change, and while the trail is not a wide and flat stroll through a park, it is better maintained and more accessible than parts of the West Coast Trail, for example.
As you are hiking you will notice many of the cedar trees are missing sections of their bark. This is from cedar stripping for materials to make baskets, headbands, jewelry, hats, etc. Traditionally this is done in June as that is when the bark is best for harvesting.
The landscapes along the trail are spectacular. One of my favourite scenes was the beach at the Kutcous River. There are two options to crossing the river. You can wade across (easy if it is mid to low tide) or hike up river to a bridge where you can cross.
I was extremely surprised to see so many wildflowers, particularly Indian paintbrush, in full bloom in early May.
If you are interested in hiking the trail (It is SO worth it!) – send the trail office an email or give them a call, or send me an email and I can help you with any questions you might have. I can’t recommend this trail enough. Spectacular views and an amazing and unique experience you won’t be able to duplicate anywhere else.