UCLUELET, BC — It’s not known as the Wild Pacific Trail for nothing. Set along the shoreline of Ucluelet, British Columbia, visitors will find an accessible hiking trail that will do a whole lot more than just get them out into the great outdoors.
It gets them up close and personal with the power & might of the Pacific Ocean, and for Trail founder Jim Martin, aka the legendary Oyster Jim, it’s been a labour of love that’s been in the works for almost 30 years.
“It was in 1979, after coming up to Ucluelet so much, that I just had to buy a place,” said Martin over a pint of the local Phillip’s Ale. “I started exploring out on the rocks along the coastline and from there you get an incredible perspective of the water. All along I was thinking to myself, there needs to be trail here.”
So in 1981 Martin committed to the project and started to knock on doors to get things rolling. Martin explained how most of the fisherman and the loggers, would say “Oh that’s a nice idea” but with fishing and logging in its hay day, there weren’t too many folks who had the foresight on improving the community’s tourism offerings.
Martin pursued his passion and went before the local council, and in 1988 they finally bought in. It wasn’t until 10 years later, in 1999, that the trail opened, and it now welcomes thousands who hike the famous trail every year.
“We have this diamond in the rough and here I am polishing away at it. I can’t believe I have this palette that I am able to carve on. I have encountered many people out on the trail crying…they are so excited to be on the trail and taking in these views,” said Martin.
“The most exciting thing for me is going to a place I have never been and coming around the corner to an experience that I had never gone through before.”
Standing awestruck is a standard occurrence on the Wild Pacific Trail and an experience that will come every single time you visit. Some of the best times to visit are during the winter for the storm season; visitors come from around the world to witness the walls of water bashing against the shoreline – it’s about as raw and rugged as it gets.
For a full look at this natural attraction check out www.ucluelet.travel for the release of their film, Walking on the Edge, which showcases the history of the trail and the transformation of Martin’s dreams into reality.
Martin is busy with his next round of trail construction and needs our help in ensuring the Trail continues to grow. The Wild Pacific Trail Society is working to bridge some coastline connecting the trail 14 kilometers from Ucluelet to the Pacific Rim National Park.
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