Vancouver Island’s iconic, 75-kilometre West Coast Trail will reopen to the public in June after being closed for a year because the pandemic.

Vancouver Island’s iconic, 75-kilometre West Coast Trail will reopen to the public in June after being closed for a year because the pandemic.

Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail reopens in June

Vancouver Island’s iconic West Coast Trail will reopen to the public in June.

The 75-kilometre trail that meanders along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island between Port Renfrew and Bamfield has been closed since early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parks Canada said the trail would not reopen without unanimous agreement from the three First Nations along it: the Bamfield-area Huu-ay-aht, the Ditidaht, based around Nitinat Lake, and the Port Renfrew-area Pacheedaht.

On March 26, Parks Canada and all three First Nations announced the reopening of the trail for the 2021 visitor season, with measures to protect the health of remote communities, Indigenous guardians, visitors and Parks Canada employees.

Reservations are required for all hikers; no spaces are offered on standby. Reservations will open on April 30.

Hikers can book their trip by visiting reservation.pc.gc.ca or by calling 1-877-737-3783. At this time, the West Coast Trail is only open to Canadians.

Reservations, required for all West Coast Trail hikers, will open on April 30.

Reservations, required for all West Coast Trail hikers, will open on April 30.

Parks Canada and local First Nations are asking visitors to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission by paying attention to local signs and community protocols, completing a self-assessment before travelling to the area, and following public health experts’ guidelines, including travel restrictions.

Hikers are also asked to learn in advance whether First Nations villages are welcoming visitors before arrival.

Huu-ay-aht’s village of Anacla is currently closed to outside visitors. Ditidaht First Nations is ready to welcome visitors to the Nitinat area, while Pacheedaht First Nation offers a range of services near the Gordon River Trailhead.

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