Wild Side Heritage Trail. Vargas Island. Clayoquot Sound. June 20, 2012
27 June 2012 | posted at Tahsis
Photo: Wild Side Heritage Trail in the forest.
A pungent odor of seaweed filled the air. I looked at one of the many piles of seaweed and kelp on the beach and noticed a cluster of white squid egg sacks. A few minutes later I saw another and another.
The squid eggs were just one of the intriguing things we found on the Wildside Heritage Trail. We also saw stately spruce, hemlock and cedar, carpets of moss sprinkled with flowers, ferns and salal and a deer running on the beach. I was just as glad we didn’t see the wolves or cougars others had seen.
The Wild Side Heritage Trail was built and is maintained by the Ahousat Band who live in the village of Marktosis. The Trail consists of a series of beaches separated by forested headlands traversed by boardwalks of hand-cut shakes, winding picturesquely through the forest. We had first walked the trail in 2001 but hadn’t been back since. I was curious to see how it was faring. In a rainforest, wooden trails deteriorate quickly and can be overgrown in a few years if not maintained.
We were not disappointed. Although the trail clearly needs more work it was very passable and the occasional new board showed it’s being maintained. It’s well worth a visit, even at $25 per person.
If you go, anchor in the basin at the end of Matilda Inlet and take your dinghy through the rock-strewn but well-marked entrance to Marktosis. Tie up at the small public dock on your right as you enter the basin and follow the road into town, You won’t find any signs but you will find lots of friendly people to direct you. Ask for the Wild Side Trail office. This year it was in a nondescript white building shared with the housing office.