Know before you go. Here’s the rundown on Tofino’s go-to outdoor spaces.
You may be seeing some breathtaking hiking images on social media. Given the 350,000 hectare breadth of Clayoquot Sound, there’s a lot of terrain around here. That said, we recommend staying on marked trails. We want to you to get lost in the moment – not in the wilderness.
While there are some challenging hikes in the area, like Lone Cone and the Wild Side Heritage Trail, most “hikes” in Tofino are best defined as trails or walks, well-suited for a moderate skill level. Just a few minutes’ drive down the highway, you’ll find 8 trails, a few with a number of steps, within the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
It’s a trail and a beach, and it’s right in town. Less than one kilometre from the village centre, this gravel trail starts at the Tofino Community Hall, winding through rainforest to Tonquin Beach, Third Beach and Middle Beach. Along the way are many points of interest and ocean view opportunities.
The trail network includes a closed loop trail and 3km of gravel walking trails. It’s recommended you visit at low tide to take full advantage of enjoying the whole beach.
Distance: 3 kilometres plus 800 metres of boardwalk and stairs leading from Tonquin Beach to Tonquin Beach Road.
All of Tonquin Beach is a highlight! Bordered by rock formations that form cave-like entrances, it’s a favourite for sunbathing and relaxing.
This paved path winds its way approximately six kilometres from the village centre to Cox Bay Beach. The MUP, as it’s known locally, started as a volunteer initiative and is still a work in progress. Walk, run, bike or skate it with us. You’ll want to watch for hidden driveways and to use a light at night.
Big Tree Trail (Meares Island Tribal Park)
This trail was originally built by Tofino artist Adrian Dorst and his friends in 1984, in the wake of logging protests taking place on Meares Island. Along it, you’ll find Western Redcedar trees as old as 1,500 years.
Distance: 3 kilometres, round-trip
The wooden boardwalk on this trail is made of hand-split planks and can be uneven in some spots and slippery in wet weather.
The Hanging Garden Tree, with a circumference of 18.3 metres, was once considered the largest tree of its kind in Canada.
The journey to Meares Island itself is a highlight, whether by motor boat, First Nations dugout canoe or kayak.
Tofino Village Green
Located in the centre of town, this is Tofino’s main gathering spot. Here, you’ll find the Tuff City Skate Park, a green space with gazebo (home to the Tofino Public Market in summer), tennis and basketball courts and a playground. The Weeping Cedar Woman statue looks over the playground, facing Meares Island Tribal Park. Her imposing presence was created in 1984 by Godfrey Stevens to support the first protests against the logging of old-growth rainforest on Meares Island.
Also known as the Third Street lookout, this small park looks over Tofino’s working harbour and out to Meares Island Tribal Park, including the Tla-o-qui-aht community of Opitsaht. It’s a good spot to enjoy an outside snack and to learn about a part of Tofino’s nautical history, told on the plaque accompanying the historic anchor in this park.
Centennial Park (intersection of First Street and Arnet Road)
This small park near the Tonquin Trail has a basketball court, small play structure, bocce court, horseshoe pit and a sheltered area to protect your picnic from the rain.
Tuff City Bike Park
This all-ages bike park is located next to the Tofino Community Hall, up Arnet Road. It includes a pump track, table top jumps, a learning area, ladder planks and other natural obstacles.