A new bike trail will connect two of Vancouver Island’s most popular surf towns. The path, named ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced: ups-cheek ta-shee), means “going in the right direction on the trail” in the local indigenous language. Costing $51 million, the path will follow the Pacific Ocean for 25 miles and give bikers access to the rainforest, hiking trails, First Nations sites, and surf beaches between the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet.
The small towns of Tofino and Ucluelet sit just outside the boundary of Pacific Rim National Park Preserve on the west side of Vancouver Island. Tofino is more trendy and tourist-centric and serves as Canada’s unofficial surf capital. Ucluelet, farther to the south, is more relaxed and less heavily trafficked. Both towns have existing bike paths connecting to local beaches, but this new path along the rugged coastline will be a game-changer for the region.
Work on the trail began in February 2017 in consultation with the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ucluelet First Nations to be as environmentally sensitive as possible. This summer, the majority of the trail base has been laid down, though road crossings and signage have yet to be installed. The trail is slated to be fully operational by early 2022.