Via a network of walking trails, make your way through verdant old-growth forest to gentle waters and a wide sandy beach on the Pacific Coast.
Tonquin Park is comprised of a leafy tract of preserved rainforest, which leads from the edge of Tofino to the sandy shores of Clayoquot Sound. Explore the walking trails that wind through the forest reserve and find scenic boardwalks and two sheltered beaches. Admire views of a magnificent ocean panorama dotted with islands.
Embark on the Tonquin Trail and begin your stroll on the wooden stairway, which descends into the forest below. The forest gives way to the wide sweep of Tonquin Beach, which is lapped by gentle Pacific Ocean waves. Stroll along the sandy shoreline and admire the views across the water. This beach is a popular spot to watch the sunset on sunny summer evenings. Spend the day playing in the sheltered waters or continue on your walk through Tonquin Park’s majestic forests.
The Tonquin Trail continues from the beach to another set of wooden stairs. Ascend the stairs and find the easy trail that wraps around the Pacific coastline, weaving in and out of the forest’s edge. Branching off toward the sea from this main trail are several shorter trails that lead to spectacular viewpoints. Check out the Maze Lookout, which presents panoramic views of the Templar Channel, Wickaninnish Island and the lighthouse on top of Lennard Island. You can also spot the site where the merchant vessel, the Tonquin, mysteriously wrecked off Vancouver Island in 1811.
Another trail includes a forested loop walk, which showcases some of the breathtaking flora within Tonquin Park. Reach the end of the Tonquin Trail at the rocky shores of Third Beach. If the tide is low, you can explore the rock pools with the kids.
Tonquin Beach and the Tonquin Trail are easily accessible from the road that marks the park’s northeastern border and the Tonquin Community Hall. There is plenty of street parking available at either entrance. Alternatively, make the 15-minute journey from Tofino to the trailhead on foot. The trail is approximately 2 miles (3 kilometers) long and contains several sets of stairs. Be sure to bring plenty of water for your walk.