Central Westcoast Forest Society works to bring people back to the environment, to create a lasting connection with nature and with the work we do.
CWFS builds relationships with community members by implementing local outreach activities to raise awareness about our work and to promote sustainable and positive interactions between people and the natural environment. These include the development of interpretive trails, restoration tours, newspaper articles, educational programs and fundraisers, and support for community and sustainable economic development.
Contact us if you have a trail that needs to be built or restored.
Walk in the Forest Trail
Since 2010, Central Westcoast Forest Society has renovated and extended the Walk in the Forest Trail. The trail was built in 1997 as an interpretive trail that runs past Lost Shoe Creek. It was designed to display and educate on the effectiveness of riparian restoration and silviculture treatments at accelerating old growth forest characteristics.
Unfortunately, the trail was neglected for several years, in some places the boardwalk was rotrotten with planks missing and in other areas it had become overgrown with salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) and hardhack (Spiraea douglasii ssp. douglasii). The viewing platform on Lost Shoe Creek was in a thicket of red alder (Alnus rubra), adding to the leaf litter and debris found on the trail. The original signs throughout the trail had been vandalized and garbage was abundant, even present in the salmon-bearing creek.
In 2010, the restoation crew removed dilapidated signs, garbage and invasive Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). Red alder was thinned along the creek bank and wester red cedar (Thuja plicata) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) seedlings were planted. Large sections of the boardwalk were replaced with lumber provided by Iisaak Forest Resources Limited. Two new sign were designed and installed, one along the trail and the other in the parking lot. One is a memorial sign dedicated to the memory of Harold Touchie; a well loved member of the Yu?lu?il?ath First Nation.
In 2012, CWFS extended the existing boardwalk by approximately 100 m and built a 3x4 m outpost centre overlooking Lost Shoe Creek that will be used to host outdoor edcuational programs. Parks Canada installed new interpretive signs that speak to restoration ecology and the efforts of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR) and CWFS to restore degraded habitat.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in conjuction with Salmon Festival in September 2012, to commemorate the efforts of the late Robert Redhead, former director of CWFS and Ecosystem BIologist with Parks Canada.
Each year CWFS maintains the Walk in the Forest Trail by repairing boardwalk and brushing along the trail. Please contact us if you see that the trail needs maintenance.
Wild Pacific Trail
Central Westcoast Forest Society was contracted to build Phases 3 and 4 of the Wild Pacific Trail - from the Big Beach Park to a point approximately one kilometre before the entrance to Ucluelet along the community's bicycle path. The section along the ocean is approximately four kilometres in length, with a 0.5-kilometre access road in the centre to return you to town.
The Wild Pacific Trail offers spectacular views of the open Pacific Ocean, access to beautiful beaches, and an unforgettable rainforest experience. More information can be found at: www.wildpacifictrail.com
Big Beach Trail & Picnic Park
The Big Beach Trail and picnic park area is situated along the Wild Pacific Trail, but a stop at Big Beach for its own sake is well worthwhile. At the foot of Matterson Drive in Ucluelet, Big Beach Park is a great place for a picnic, tide pool exploration, winter storm watching, and strolling the beach.
In 2000 the Central Westcoast Forest Society created a 300-metre trail, built a covered picnic area, and a toilet facility.
In 2002 the CWFS created an access trail from Big Beach to the Wild Pacific Trail.
Norm Godfrey Nature Trail
The Norm Godfrey Nature Trail is a BC Ministry of Forests recreational site where the Central Westcoast Forest Society completed boardwalk repairs and upgrades (1999). The 1-kilometre trail is found approximately 12 kilometres along the West Main forestry road (which begins 1.6 kilometres east of the Tofino-Ucluelet junction on Highway #4.) The drive is well-worth the time as the trail offers spectacular examples of 1000-year old trees. The trail also extends to a secluded sandy beach on Kennedy Lake.
Hot Springs Trail
Hot Springs Cove is a popular destination in Clayoquot Sound. The trail and hot springs are maintained by BC Parks. In 1997 the Central Westcoast Forest Society completed needed repairs and upgrades to the 2.4-kilometre boardwalk through the rainforest that allows access to the natural springs. Hot Springs Cove is only accessible by air (15 minute floatplane charter) or by boat (one and one-half hour water taxi) from Tofino.