Nature’s Paradise: Exploring Tofino’s Best Provincial Parks for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Kanika Sharma
Kanika Sharma Travel
22 Min Read

Clothing, Accessories and Lifestyle Store

The provincial parks contain a large area of indigenous culture and many culturally significant areas for indigenous people.

The provincial parks in Tofino are called “BC parks” because they are governed and managed by the British Columbia Parks system, which is a component of the provincial government of British Columbia, Canada.

The BC Parks system is accountable for operating and sustaining these parks, including delivering facilities such as campgrounds, hiking trails, and visitor centers, as well as assuring that the parks are guarded and maintained for a prolonged period.

Here, we will discuss all about the best provincial parks in Tofino.

1. Maquinna Provincial Park

Maquinna Park is one of the popular provincial parks in British Columbia, Canada, located northwest of Tofino in the Clayoquot Sound province on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. It encompasses the Ramsay Hot Springs.

This park is a secured area of British Columbia. The park is a massive natural area with geothermal springs, a hiking area, swimming and kayaking facilities, and wildlife viewing.

Best places to visit

1.1. Facilities

The following facilities are available at Maquinna Provincial Park.

1.1.1 Picnic Area

The Maquinna Provincial Park, one of the beautiful provincial parks, has a designated big grassy area for picnics at the head of the dock. It has a bathroom and a food outlet.

There is another picnic spot near the hot springs in the park. It has a washroom facility only. There is a user payment of $3.00 per individual per daytime to enter the park.

1.1.2 Washrooms

This park has two composting washrooms, one at the beginning of the boardwalk in the picnic spot and the other at the end near the hot springs.

1.1.3 Boat Launch

Maquinna Provincial Park has a dock on the west side of Openit Peninsula, neighboring the park opening. Boats can anchor to this port or in Hot Springs Cove.

saikrishna saketh yellapragada DyDR8oOzuNA unsplash
Courtesy: Unsplash

The 2 dollars per meter docking fee for one evening is somewhat reasonable compared to other provincial parks in Tofino.

1.1.4 Campfires

Only small campfires are permitted, as big fires will harm the environment, for small fires use miniature pieces of wood that will fume down completely.

Fires should be below the heightened tide mark. Avoid building fires around beach logs, as they will soon catch fire in all provincial parks you’ll visit.

The fire should never be left behind, and any amount of trace should not be seen after campfires. Campfires are not permitted in the Openit Peninsula province of the park where the hot springs are.

1.1.5 Hot Springs

This provincial Park has a hot spring known as Ramsay Hot Springs. It is located on the West coast of Vancouver Island, in Clayoquot Sound, about 35 km NW of Tofino, on the west side of Sharp Point.

The hot spring has a boat dock, a 2 km path trail with stairs, and a viewing platform from where tourists can see a beautiful view of nature.

It also contains flush toilets, a shower installation, and dustbins. The picnic shelter is also discovered near the springs.

The temperature of the spring is approximately 50°C. Pregnant women, people with heart disorders, and small children should avoid exposure to hot water.

The usage of the pools should be avoided during high tides in winter because there are gigantic waves in the winter, and big woody debris is also present.

friends enjoying natural rock pool
Courtesy: Vancouver Island

The hot springs have a faint Sulphur odor. At the end of the hot springs is a waterfall that flows into six pools, which are rocky intertidal naturalistic pools.

The pools stream from one level to the other, and water becomes cooler towards the ocean with each level.

The entry and usage fee is 3 dollars per person for one evening, which is also very reasonable for visiting these provincial parks.

1.2. Things to Do

You can do the following things in this provincial park:

1.2.1 Hiking

A hiking track leaves from the dock to reach the hot springs. It is a 2 km broad walk route. Hikers can view Hot Springs Cove and hot springs from the viewing venue, which is present along the trail’s path.

During winter, be careful of the stripper trail as it can be tricky due to frost or rotting leaves falling in the fall and winter. There are direction signs that will help visitors follow the right path on the trail.

1.2.2 swimming

Visitors can spend a satisfactory amount of time soaking in hot springs water in all provincial parks of Tofino. The temperature is 50°C, so people with sensitive skin should be cautious.

erik dungan lNUi7W4iwok unsplash
Courtesy: Unsplash

1.2.3 Kayaking

Adventure seekers can attempt kayaking as the park is near a water body.

1.2.4 Fishing

Fish species in the park’s waters include salmon, rockfish, halibut, and lingcod. Guests to the park can test their serendipity at fishing.

Anglers should obey provincial and federal fishing regulations in provincial parks.

2. Pacific Rim National Park

A 511 km2 (197 sq. mi) national park among the local grasslands in Tofino found in British Columbia, Canada, is the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which possesses three main provinces that include Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail.

The Pacific Coast Mountains of the park have wild coasts and dense coastal temperate rainforests.

It is a famous provincial park with a lengthy beach, hundreds of small islands & a 75km rainforest hiking trail.

Long Beach, Pacific Rim National Park

2.1. Long Sandy Beaches

Long Beach is located along Highway 4 between Ucluelet and 212 km from Long Beach. Long Beach has a Grice Bay on the north side, which has a Boat launch and is used for paddling.

Long Beach has several tiny beaches, drive-in sites, RV sites, picnic spots, swimming facilities, and a campground.

The two gulfs are connected by a 3 km (1.9 mi) Nuu-chah-nulth Trail.

2.2. West Coast Trail

This trial was originally comprehended as the Dominion Lifesaving Trial and is a backpacking kind of trial. It is a 75-long trial from the southwest shore of Port Renfrew to Bamfield in Pacific Rim National Park.

Adventure seekers rank This trial as one of the greatest hiking trails.

It takes numerous days to complete the trail, and it is a challenging hiking track. Hikers must ascend over 100 ladders with a hefty pack on their backs.

They have to go via deep mud and heavy-flowing rivers. Wind and rain can be barriers in hiking.

2.3. Broken Group Islands

The Broken Group Islands are situated in the Barkley Sound region of Pacific Rim National Park. Its area is 106 square km, with hundreds of tiny islands. It has sea kayaking, camping, and wildlife viewing installations.

Kayaking Peaceful Lake Scenery
Courtesy: Canada.ca

The body has campgrounds on seven islands: Hand, Turret, Gibraltar, Willis, Dodd, Clarke, and Gilbert. The island is available from May 1 to September 30, 2023.

2.4. Green Point Campground

It is situated within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It is one of the most beautiful locations among all the provincial parks in Tofino, a secure area known for its rugged coastline, old-growth woodlands, and sandy beaches.

2.4.1 Location

Green Point Campground is a well-known camping site in Pacific Rim National Park. It has 94 automobile drive-in camps, 20 walk-in camps, one group site, and one oTENTik.

The drive-in sites of the campground can be accessed by RVs. Green Point Campground includes 15/30 amp hookups.

Because of the campground’s popularity, it is housefull compared to all the campgrounds of provincial parks.

2.4.2 Facilities

Reservation is normally required before a month. Green Point Campgrounds are unrestricted from May 1 to October 30.

The facilities are RV accessible from May 1 to October 30. Green Point campground fills you with the pleasure of swimming and hiking facilities.

It has electricity access so charging of appliances can be easily done. Flush toilets/pit washrooms, showers, and dustbins are even present.

The campground is pet friendly, so you can carry your pet friend along for the camping experience and enjoy the group site.

The campground is within the walking span of Long Beach, a beautiful sandy beach stretching 16 km along the coast. The beach is a widespread destination for surfing, swimming, and beachcombing.

The Green Point Provincial Park is an excellent choice for visitors looking to explore the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and appreciate the natural beauty of Vancouver Island’s west coast. It is one of the spectacular provincial parks.

2.5. Things to Do

You can do the following things in the park:

2.5.1 Beach Fires

This park has long sandy beaches and short beach fires are permitted on the beaches and in the maximum provincial parks of Tofino.

Large fires are not permitted because of their environmental effects. It is suggested that the area be cleaned after the fire.

Beach fires are solely allowed in certain areas: Florencia Beach, Wickaninnish Beach, and Radar Beaches of Long Beach crew and all Broken Group Islands Unit beaches and West Coast Trail Division of Pacific Rim Provincial Park.

2.5.2 camping

Pacific Rim Park has numerous camping opportunities in its different units. Green Point Campground in Long Beach unit is excellent for camping in this provincial park.

It has housing facilities. Seven Broken Group of Islands islands include camping options, and the West Coast Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park even has distinctive campsites along its trail.

2.5.3 Hiking

Tofino and the surrounding areas offer a variety of hiking trails, varying from easy strolls to challenging backcountry treks.

photo nic xOigCUcFdA8 unsplash
Courtesy: Unsplash

Considering all the provincial parks, Pacific Rim Provincial Park has multiple hiking trails. One of which is the West Coast Trail.

It is ranked as one of the top hiking paths in the world. It presents stunning views of Tofino and the surrounding islands.

2.5.4 Wildlife Viewing

As the Pacific Rim provincial park is situated in the lap of nature, tourists can encounter bird watching and see various species of animals.

3. Kennedy Lake Provincial Park

Kennedy Lake Provincial Park is also one of the magnificent provincial parks in Alberni-Clayoquot C, BC, Canada.

This waterfront park has swimming, kayaking, and windsurfing installations. Picnic areas and picnic tables are even available. The park is generally utilized for water-based activities and hiking.

Kennedy Lake Provincial Park is shut down on Saturdays and Sundays. You can get more particulars by searching Instagram.

Kennedy Lake by Kayak 2016

3.1. Facilities

You can relish the following facilities here in the park:

3.1.1 Picnic Areas

Kennedy Lake Provincial Park has picnic sites available during the day. Picnic areas generally incorporate picnic tables and flush washrooms/ pit washrooms.

There is a parking lot present nearby for leisurely access. A boat launch is also located in nearby areas.

The facilities are RV accessible, and tents are attainable.

3.1.2 Washrooms

Kennedy Lake Provincial Park has flush toilets, which are located around the parking lot and the boat launch.

3.1.3 Boat launch

This park has a boat launch adjoining Log Dump Creek. It is small and rustic because of its age. This boat launch is only appropriate for car tops.

3.1.4 Kennedy Lake Beach Trail

This trail in the Kennedy Lake Provincial Park is typically a 1.6km long and back sort of trail. Finishing the trail takes approximately 30 minutes and comes in leisurely hiking pathways.

Visitors prefer this trail for calm hiking, and additional kinds of birds can be spotted during the hike. It is open in all the months of the year and a must-hike to test in the park.

3.2. Things to do

You can do the following things in the park

3.2.1 Windsurfing

Windsurfing is allowed on the Kennedy Lake of Provincial Park. Windsurfers should be mindful of the heavy winds.

windsurfing action lake scenery
Courtesy: Unsplash

3.2.2 Canoeing

Kennedy Lake Provincial Park is well-known for kayaking and canoeing. Kayaks can try this lake for an additional kayaking experience.

3.2.3 fishing

If it’s a lake, then there is going to be fishing. The lake is known to contain fish named cutthroat trout.

Fishers should review the Kennedy Lake Provincial Park rules in Tofino before fishing and stay by them.

3.2.4 swimming

You can try swimming in Kennedy Lake. Its sandy shore offers wonderful swimming opportunities. Bring your own swimming requirements and lifeguards.

4. Vargas Island Provincial Park

Vargas Island Provincial Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada, located west of the well-known Meares Island and northwest of the Tofino Resort Society.

It is a gorgeous bayfront park in rocky, rustic surroundings known for its wildlife camping, campfires & whale watching.

Visitors enjoy daytime hiking in the park. The shallow water makes it ideal for skimboarding.

lauren kan pZtLXY9pXOY unsplash 1
Courtesy: Unsplash

You can camp here too.

4.1. Facilities

You can relish the following facilities here in the park:

4.1.1 Wilderness Camping

Designated campsites are unavailable at the provincial park, but wilderness camping is allowed. Popular campsites have washrooms and meal facilities.

Camping can be accomplished year-round and is free of cost. It is recommended to clean the camp area after use, such that no hint of camping is left.

4.1.2 Campfires

Large campfires are rigorously prohibited in the provincial park, but a miniature level of fire is allowed.

Use small pieces of wood that can ignite quickly for a small fire, and the fire should be below the tide mark.

Campfires should be away from beach logs as they are flammable and can result in a fatal fire. Do not leave the campfire unaccompanied, and leave no glimmer of the campfire after camping.

4.2. Things to Do

Try the subsequent things in the provincial parks:

4.2.1 Hiking

Numerous trails are present in this provincial park. One of which is Telegraph Trail, whose length is 7.1 km. The route is easy and takes approximately 1 hour and 39 minutes to complete.

The Telegraph trail is fantastic for bird watching, hiking, and running and is not much overloaded.

It is great for a tranquil self-time in the provincial parks.

dion tavenier wAXAIJXf5eQ unsplash
Photo by Dion Tavenier on Unsplash

This hiking trail is open year-round and is exquisite to stop by anytime. Backpackers can reach the trailhead by Water Taxi.

The trail’s route is excessively muddy, and lots of walking on logs through swampy, uneven terrain is required.

Therefore, this way can be delightful for trained and experienced hikers, but it can be a bit challenging for nonhikers who are not sufficiently prepared.

Visitors should be sure to review trail conditions and plan their hikes accordingly, taking into account their experience and wellness level.

4.2.2 swimming

Visitors can swim in the ocean around the Vargas Island provincial park, but the provincial park management does not provide lifeguards.

Swimmers are required to bring swimming essentials on their own.

4.2.3 Kayaking

Vargas Island Provincial Park is a popular location for kayaking. Kayakers can establish the First Street Dock in Tofino.

Grey whales regularly visit the Ahous Bay area of the ocean; therefore, it is attractive for kayaking and site spots.

4.2.4 fishing

The waters of Vargas Island Provincial Park contain a variety of fish species, including salmon, rockfish, halibut, lingcod, and many more.

Wilf Rock, in the southern portion of the park, is the most famous area for fishing. Fishing is only privileged if the fisherman understands provincial and nationwide fishing constraints.

A proper fishing license is required to fish in the Vargas Island provincial park and almost all the Tofino provincial parks.

4.2.5 Wildlife viewing

Vargas Island Provincial Park has many possibilities for wildlife and wildlife viewing.

You can also enjoy bird eyeing in the waters around the Cleland Ecological Reserve—people like migrating gray whales and exploring the geological attributes of the parks.

provincial parks in tofino
Courtesy: Unsplash

Ancient dune berms are the most significant geological feature of the park. These berms are in rows of crescent-shaped sand mountains, which were used to indicate sea levels before.

These berms can be noticed along the path of the historic telegraph trail.

4.2.6 Hunting

Hunting is allowed in designated spots in some provinces in Tofino, including this park. Only detailed and listed species of animals and birds can be tracked.

Hunters should have a proper license and obey the provincial parks’ rules.

Takeaway

The provincial parks in Tofino, British Columbia, offer guests an extraordinary opportunity to experience the natural beauty. These parks are created to conserve the natural attractiveness of the place and save it for future generations.

The parks are carefully governed to minimize human environmental impact while letting visitors enjoy the natural surroundings.

Considerable provincial parks offer opportunities for visitors to learn about the area’s environment and natural past.

Educational displays, guided tours, and interpretive schedules help visitors better understand and enjoy the natural world.

The provincial parks are easily accessible to visitors, with many located within a quick drive or walking span of town.

Visitors can enjoy the parks as part of a day trip or extended stay, and facilities are open to making the experience comfortable and enjoyable.

Provincial parks are a must-visit destination for anyone who adores wildlife and outdoor recreation.

They propose a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of Canada’s west coast and meaningfully commune with the natural world.

Last Updated on by Namrata

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *