ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee): The new multi-use trail
Scheduled to open in 2020
Imagine being able to discover the rich and diverse ecology, wildlife and culture of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve by bike or on foot in a more natural and active way. You stop at Long Beach to dip your toes in the cold ocean, pull off the trail at Wickaninnish Beach for lunch and an opportunity to learn how the local indigenous people have harvested from the sea for thousands of years. This dream is becoming a reality with a new trail being built through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve over the next few years.
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) is located in the traditional territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, and will extend from the southern to the northern boundary of the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
- Approximately 25 km long, the trail will enhance the regional trail network.
- 3.2 m wide with 1 m wide shoulders, providing room for cyclists and pedestrians to pass safely.
- A forest experience, with a buffer between people and the road.
- Access to new and existing viewpoints and facilities.
- Family-friendly terrain, avoiding steep grades and minimizing highway crossings.
- Using recognized best practices and innovative strategies to mitigate environmental and cultural impacts.
- Signage to help visitors discover the wildlife, environment, and Indigenous heritage of the area.
- This project is proceeding in consultation and partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ.
- About the name
- What work is happening right now?
- Information Session displays
- Map of the trail route
- Questions and answers
We want your feedback
Do you have questions? Have a comment or suggestion?
Parks Canada invites you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be pleased to talk to you and provide more information about this project.
Parks Canada is honoured to have Elders from Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation give the new multi-use trail its official name.
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) translates to “going in the right direction on the trail,” however the name has many layers of meaning depending on how the phrase is used.
Individually, it can refer to our personal journeys in life - going in the right direction. To remember we are on the tašii (trail), and going in the right direction refers to being mindful of the environment and all living things.
Collectively, the Elders say “the land we walk on is made from the dust of our ancestors – in our life journey, we walk it carefully, respectfully, with humility and dignity.”
Once constructed, the trail will also have other Nuu-chah-nulth place names to ensure the cultural significance of the area where the trail traverses is acknowledged and appreciated.
- Visitors travelling through the national park reserve are likely to see some cleared areas beside the Pacific Rim Highway and along Wickaninnish Road, as well as near some parking lots. While it may not always be visible, work continues behind the scenes, as Parks Canada plans the final details of the ʔapsčiik t̓ašii project before the next phase of construction.
- Once those details have been finalized, the Request for Proposal for the next phase of construction will be posted on the Government of Canada’s Electronic Tendering Service (buyandsell.gc.ca). Activities in this stage could include preparation of the trail bed, bringing in gravel, installing drainage culverts, and building bridges. Environmental and archaeological monitoring for the project is ongoing and will continue throughout the entire project.
- Once construction begins, visitors can find updates on progress on our social media accounts: Facebook (facebook.com/PacificRimNPR) and Twitter (twitter.com/pacificrimNPR), in addition to this web site.
Public open house information sessions were held in the communities of Tofino, Ucluelet and Hitacu in November, 2016 and June, 2017. Click on the links to see the information shared at June 2017 sessions. All files are in PDF format. And, watch this web page for updates on future information sessions.
- A delicate balance: inputs, considerations and limitations (PDF, 583 KB)
- Project principles (PDF, 915 KB)
- Trail basics: construction, clearing, bridges (PDF, 1.13 MB)
- Project team (PDF, 1.02 MB)
- Trail alignment (PDF, 1.95 MB)
- Public feedback (PDF, 503 KB)
- What’s new (PDF, 697 KB)
- What’s next (PDF, 1.12 MB)
Click on the map to see a larger version (PDF, 4.79 KB).
About the trail
Why is Parks Canada building this trail?
A trail through the park reserve has been a long-time request from the local communities and visitors to the area, and will allow visitors to experience the park in a new, more natural way. This project will also bring short and long-term financial benefits to the region, and provide a long-term legacy for future generations of Canadians.
What will the new trail offer visitors and locals?
We all know that getting out of the car and travelling by foot or bike enhances people’s experience of nature immeasurably: being able to smell the forest, taste the salty air, see rare species, and hear the roar of the ocean is an experience beyond compare. When visitors learn about and experience Pacific Rim National Park Reserve using the new trail, they will also discover reasons to support the long-term protection of Canada’s flora, fauna, and wild spaces inside and outside Canada’s national park system.
When will the trail open?
While the trail was originally scheduled to open in 2018, Parks Canada has recently revised the project timeline and the trail will open to the public in 2020. As stewards of the land, we are responsible for ensuring construction does not outpace our legal, environmental, and social obligations.
The extended timeline will allow Parks Canada to meet its obligations under the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement, and ensure that the Agency is respectful of asserted Indigenous rights within the park reserve.
The extended timeline is also based on the results of the Detailed Impact Analysis (DIA). The DIA provides the baseline data for the project and is undertaken to ensure that Parks Canada has a clear understanding of the potential environmental, cultural and visitor safety impacts of the project, and can address any risks or adverse consequences.
As the work on the multi-use trail progresses, we are increasing our knowledge about each micro-area. We are continually reviewing and refining the information in the DIA so that we can better accommodate for the unique conditions and requirements of undertaking construction in a national park reserve. This includes respecting the nesting period for migratory birds, minimizing disruptions to visitors where possible, and working with the challenges presented by large amounts of rainfall that are typical for the region.
The region and park reserve are already busy in the summer. Does the area need another attraction?
The new multi-use trail will be a year-round attraction, allowing visitors to experience the park in all seasons. It also promotes a more environmentally friendly, healthy and safe way for people to visit and travel through the park reserve.
Who is involved in the project?
We are consulting and working in partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ (Ucluelet First Nation) on the planning, development and construction of the trail. Their support and involvement is integral to the success of this project, and their contributions will ensure the trail presents a full cultural experience for all park reserve visitors for many years to come.
We have also been talking with the municipalities of Ucluelet and Tofino as well as the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District, and look forward to sharing this exciting project with the local communities, stakeholders and visitors.
Will I have to pay to use the trail?
Regular park entry fees apply to all visitors to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, with no additional fees to use the new trail.
Fees are charged at most national parks and national historic sites, where revenues are kept to support visitor services and facilities. This means that every time you visit a park or site you are investing in its future — and in a legacy for future generations.
Will there be an impact on visitors during construction?
We will be doing our best to minimize any disruptions to visitors and residents, but we do expect there will be some disruptions to visitors and people travelling through the park reserve as the trail is built. Regular updates on any work that might impact visitors will be posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Building the trail
Where will the trail go?
The trail will be approximately 25 kilometres long and will extend from the southern to the northern boundary of the park reserve between Ucluelet and Tofino. In many places, the trail will run parallel to Highway 4, with a short loop connecting the Kwisitis Visitor Centre to the highway.
Most of the multi-use trail will be located near the highway, but with a forested buffer between trail users and vehicles to ensure visitor safety; provide a natural feel; take advantage of new and existing viewpoints and other facilities; avoid steep climbs or descents; and, minimize the number of times the trail crosses the highway.
How was the route decided upon?
Before Parks Canada started to plan and design the trail route, we conducted a number of studies, including a Detailed Impact Analysis, and sought the advice of experts, local Indigenous people, and Parks Canada staff. Based on this information, it was clear that to have the least environmental impact, ensure the safety of visitors, and provide a natural experience for users, there is a fairly defined area that would balance these goals.
As the work on the multi-use trail progresses, we are increasing our knowledge of the ecology along the trail corridor. As such, we are continually reviewing and revising the trail route in response to the unique conditions of each area to mitigate impacts on the environment, cultural resources, and visitor safety.
What work has been done so far?
After environmental, archaeological and geotechnical studies, and a rigorous planning process, the trail moved from planning to reality in 2017.
Work to clear the trail bed began at the north end of the national park reserve and included the creation of a new parking lot at Radar Hill Road. In the last half of the year, and over the winter of 2017-18, clearing the route proceeded from Incinerator Rock at Long Beach to the southern boundary of the national park reserve.
All work is scheduled around the migratory bird nesting period; to avoid times when fish were in the streams; and to minimize the impact of construction on our visitors.
Work with engineers, and environmental, archaeological, amphibian, and wetlands specialists is ongoing. By being flexible and adaptable throughout the trail-building process, we can make ongoing refinements to the trail route and design that help reduce the risk of detrimental impacts to the national park reserve.
In 2018, work to build the trail continues, and visitors can find regular updates on progress on our social media accounts: Facebook and Twitter.
How can I find out what is happening during construction?
We are posting regular updates on Facebook and Twitter as we build the trail. This web site will also be update with new information as needed.
Protecting the environment
How is Parks Canada protecting the environment while the trail is constructed?
Before the trail was designed and construction started, a Detailed Impact Analysis was undertaken to ensure that Parks Canada has a clear understanding of the potential impacts of the project, and to provide a roadmap to address any risks or adverse consequences. The Detailed Impact Analysis comprises a number of environmental, archaeological and visitor safety assessments, and is the baseline document informing this project. As work on the multi-use trail progresses, we are increasing our knowledge about the ecology of the park reserve, and areas where we need to apply mitigations. We are continually reviewing and revising the information in the Detailed Impact Analysis, in the form of addendums, so that these documents continue to be valuable tools as the trail is constructed.
What will be done to prevent human-wildlife conflicts on the trail?
Parks Canada is committed to protecting the wolves, bears, cougars, deer and other wildlife that live in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and to providing visitors with a safe and enjoyable experience. We are consulting with experts, and will implement recommendations such as ensuring the proposed trail route isn’t close to dens or high-use wildlife areas, designing the trail to have clear lines of sight in places where animals might be on the new trail, continuing to implement effective strategies to keep wildlife wild, and educating visitors on safe practices around wildlife.
What is being done to find and protect culturally sensitive areas?
We are working with the local Indigenous communities and archaeologists to identify and ensure the proposed route does not impact artifacts of cultural significance. If an artifact is discovered, we will work with the Indigenous communities to assess best steps moving forward, including possible rerouting of the trail if required.