Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
|Juan de Fuca Marine Trail|
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a rugged 47-kilometre wilderness hiking trail located within Juan de Fuca Provincial Park along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island. The trail stretches from China Beach, 35 km west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew.
Breathtaking views of the coastline, Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains can be seen from many points along this rainforest trail. Lucky are those who spot a pod of whales, but it is not uncommon to view sea lions, bald eagles, herons and other wildlife.
The trail can be hiked in part, as a day hike, or backpacked in its entirety in four to six days. Unlike the longer West Coast Trail (75 km), the Juan de Fuca Trail does not require a reservation; however, there is a backcountry camping fee of $10 per person/per night.
- China Beach
- Sombrio Beach
- Parkinson Creek
- Botanical Beach
Each is car-accessible and has a parking lot.
- Mystic Beach
- Bear Beach
- Magdalena Point
- Chin Beach
Each is accessible by parking along Highway 14 and hiking down an unmarked side trail.
Finding the Unmarked Side Trails
- Disclaimer: logging roads and unmarked side trails are on Crown land part of TFL #25. Use them at your own liability and risk.
- (All distances are approximate.)
From Highway 14: 15 m east of McVicar Creek bridge.
From JDF Trail: 50 m east from beach access marker ball at km 2.6.
From Highway 14: upper gate between Rosemond Creek bridge and Clinch Creek bridge (then hike along old gravel road to orange-taped tree marked "JDFMT ->"; turn right onto this path).
From JDF Trail: look for blue marker ball, 30 m east of Clinch Creek.
From Highway 14: hard-to-see yellow gate 9.2 km from China Beach trailhead, near white "4" sign (then hike along old gravel road to pink-taped post on right; JDF Trail at km 13 meets there; go right on JDF Trail to head toward Chin Beach; go left on JDF Trail to head toward Bear Beach).
From JDF Trail: at km 13, look for post with pink tape beside old gravel road.
From Highway 14: 6.0 km from Clinch Creek bridge or 7.0 km from Sombrio highway entrance (then hike down path for approx. 8 min. then turn right at tree with spray-painted white dot).
From JDF Trail: look for black marker ball, near km 21, east of toilets and stream, by a camping site and metal pole bear cache.
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was created through the Commonwealth Nature Legacy as an enduring reminder of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games. The preservation of a living legacy of unprecedented natural beauty, accessible to all, was considered a fitting tribute to the spirit of the Games. It was to be part of the Trans Canada Trail. The work was done by Island Green Forestry during 1995 and 1996. The crew consisted of 3 chainsaws. 2 saws cutting the trail and one Snag Faller. Followed by about 20 labourers removing debris, building walkways, digging up roots and building bridges. 
Threat to the Integrity of the Trail
In January 2007, the provincial B.C. Liberal government removed 28,000 hectares of land from tree farm licences (TFLs) on the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island to allow Western Forest Products (WFP) to sell the land for residential development. Despite a subsequent report by the provincial auditor general condemning the decision as having been made "without sufficient regard for the public interest," the government stood by the move.
As a result of the TFL deletions, Vancouver-based businessman Ender Ilkay purchased 236 hectares of land from WFP and subsequently proposed a 257-cabin resort bordering 12 km of the Juan de Fuca Trail. The project faced broad opposition from citizens, community groups, environmentalists, and First Nations.
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