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How to Visit Avatar Grove, Big Lonely Doug and Other Big Trees on Vancouver Island

The southern end of Vancouver Island in British Columbia has the perfect climate for growing trees: It gets plenty of rain and the climate is fairly mild (for Canada!). The area around the little town of Port Renfrew sits right in the middle of this perfect climate, so it’s no surprise that some of the …

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Four Outdoor Adventures on Galiano Island

A couple years ago my sister moved to Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands that lie between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The Gulf Islands are a short ferry ride away but have a totally different climate zone (think warmer and drier) than Vancouver thanks to the rain shadow effect. That means that Galiano …

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Island Alpine: A trip to Forbidden Plateau

My friend K has a birthday in late September and every year she organizes a backcountry camping trip to celebrate.  Last year we went to the beautiful Semaphore Lakes and this year we headed over to Vancouver Island to explore the Forbidden Plateau area of Strathcona Provincial Park. The way I had previously thought about …

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Sunshine on the Edge of the World: Nootka Trail Trip Report

Ever since we did the West Coast Trail in 2004, my husband Greg and I had wanted to hike the Nootka Trail as it was rumoured to be like the West Coast Trail “used to be”: no permits, no boardwalks, no crowds. If you aren’t familiar, the Nootka trail is more of a route and …

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Walk the Wildside Trail on Flores Island: Trip Report

Don’t get me wrong, I love being high up in the mountains, but there’s something magical about coastal hiking: The scenery is totally different, the changes in elevation are minimal and its nearly impossible to get lost.  Nearly every year I try to do a coastal backpacking trip.  I’ve done most of the more popular …

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