Storm watching has become so popular that the trail is a year round attraction.
Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trails has undergone a multi-phase development process that started in 1999 with the establishment of the Wild Pacific Trail Society (WPTS) and the construction of 2.5kms of trail. Since its inception, the primary goal of the WPTS has been to connect the southern tip of the Ucluelet Peninsula to Half Moon Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve by developing a trail corridor that is free and appropriate for all fitness levels. Throughout the length of the Trail, hikers are exposed to spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean, rugged headlands, old-growth trees and wildlife.
However the success of what began as a small trail project was creating significant problems due to lack of parking and access, significantly limiting the trail’s potential to accommodate a larger number of users. This trail development phase focused on the development of a 60-vehicle parking lot, washrooms and 600 metres of new access trails. The project also included interpretive signage showcasing Ucluelet’s history.
This portion of the project, completed in 2008, has resulted in regional economic diversification and a strengthened tourism industry. The larger capacity parking lot and new trail head has increased visitation to the area and visitor satisfaction, while also extending the average visitors’ length of stay. In addition to the temporary construction job creation and spending, the project has had a lasting impact on the local economy with the spending and permanent jobs created by new business development, new residential development and the coming of age of Ucluelet as a fully-fledged tourism destination.