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Discover Vancouver Island: If You Think Your Really Up To It!

May 25, 2008
One thing Vancouver Island is famous for is the "great outdoors", and if you are one of those travelers who loves the adventure of walking, climbing, pot-holing, mountain biking and generally carrying large weights on your back, then have I got a challenge for you!

Besides the outstanding, pristine scenery, the wildlife, both marine and land locked and the opportunity to experience the outdoors safely, Vancouver Island has some of the most challenging hiking trails in the world.

But let's work up to it slowly: I have seen first hand what it can do to the so-called amateur outdoors man.

On the south end of the island, starting in Saanich and winding its way around Victoria to the south-west coast, is the famous 'Galloping Goose Trail'. Named after a rather strange looking railway carriage of earlier times, this former railway line right of way extends for fifty-five kilometers along wheelchair accessible terrain. Besides passing through a great variety of scenery it also has access to fishing, beaches, and areas for pot holing, kayaking and other water activities.

To start us out on our fitness trails, take the Galloping Goose and try the fifty five kilometer walk: or maybe cycling would be easier for you to start out!

Well, while we are all warmed up, why not drive up to Strathcona Provincial Park, in the centre of the island, and do a bit of wilderness hiking.

This is not only the oldest Provincial park on the island but the largest, and has the highest mountain peaks of the Vancouver Island Range; with several towering at over 2,000 meters in height.

This list includes The Golden Hinde, which at nearly 2,200 meters is the tallest in the park and Elkhorn Mountain, just tens of meters shorter.

One of the tallest waterfalls in Canada can also be found in this Park. Della Falls is 440 meters up which provides some astonishing and majestic views to those brave enough to manage the steep hike..

Of course all of this makes an ideal getaway for outdoor enthusiasts and those who feel at home in nature and its surroundings. However, there are bears, cougars and other potentially dangerous animals.

Within Strathcona Provincial Park are dozens of different trails, ranging from easy to advanced. Some trails can be easily done in a less strenuous hike while others are several days long; all are wilderness trails with few amenities.

Now I have you aching for more, so to speak, we can take a look at the Vancouver Island special, the West Coast Trail. What the big boys call "The real Canadian experience".

This is one tough hike! Besides being 75 kilometers in length it can take anywhere from five to ten days to travel. You will need to bring all your own supplies including food and water, and because of the location on the pacific coast side of the island it is only open to use between May and September.

You have to get a permit, you will get lots of rain and mud, you will have to deal with tide changes, long steep climbs, tree ladders, steep cliffs, natural bridges and manually operated cable cars over deep chasms: and don't forget the wolves and bears!

Vancouver Island is full of adventures for you to discover, so if you think you can handle a real hiking experience, head to the Pacific North-west and give these three suggestions a try. But come prepared, the British Army training group didn't find it very easy, and neither will you.

Think your up to it?
About the Author
Want to Discover more about Vancouver Island and the hiking trails? Visit http://www.Discover-Vancouver-Island.com a popular website that provides inside information for visitors to the island, including maps, pictures and videos. All you need, to make your visit a complete success: take it from someone who lives close by! Check out Discover Vancouver Island now.
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