Project Title:

Cape Scott North Coast Trail

Project Organization:

North Vancouver Island Trails Society

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $249,920
  • Total Budget: $699,920

Project Highlight:

If you really want to experience the raw, ravishing beauty of BC – especially its unkempt shorelines, breeze-licked rainforests and stunning sandy bays animated with tumbling waves and beady-eyed seabirds – this should be your number-one destination. ~ Lonely Planet

Northern Vancouver Island communities have suffered from the decline of the forest industry, and tourism has become a leading source of diversification of economic activity. Ecotourism is the fastest-growing sector of the tourism industry, and increasing tourism investment and revenue supports the long-term economic sustainability of the region. The completion of the North Coast Trail project takes advantage of this trend, providing a world-class wilderness hiking experience bringing visitors through the natural and historic attractions of Cape Scott Provincial Park.
This project completed the final 46 km of the Cape Scott Trail. This Class III wilderness trail extends the existing trail from Nissen Bight to Shushartie Bay, providing a total of 71 km within the remote wilderness of Cape Scott Park. The project included trail clearing and the development of boardwalks, stairs, ladders, and retaining walls, as well as the construction of a cable car over a river to allow access to this very challenging remote terrain.

Since its completion in July 2008, the North Coast Trail has acquired an international reputation as a world-class trail and is being compared to the West Coast Trail 20 years ago, rich in wildlife, history and rugged adventure. The addition of the trail has had a significant impact on the Port Hardy area economy with the opening of two new travellers’ hostels, cafes and other businesses catering to trail users. The project also resulted in significant investment and expansion of the North Coast Trail Shuttle and water taxi business, 3-4 new guide outfitters operating in the region in addition to 6-7 direct full-time seasonal jobs in trail management. There are also other indirect benefits of increased adventure tourism in the region, such as the attraction of a younger, adventure-seeking demographic to the region who have invested in eco-cabins and other tourism-related businesses.

Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in 2008 through the Capital and Innovation program.