It is destined to be one of the great adventure routes of the world -- the Cape Scott Marine Trail (see article).
Covering the north coast of Vancouver Island from Port Hardy around the namesake cape, the marine trail heads into some of the most dramatic wilderness areas on the British Columbia coastline -- including all of Cape Scott Provincial Park.
Famous as an ill-fated Scandinavian community at the turn of the last century, and many First Nations communities before that, the Cape Scott region is now home to mainly humpback whales, wolves, black bears and eagles. Notably it is now crossed by the North Coast Trail, a land route created in 2008 to join with the older Cape Scott Trail that runs from San Josef Bay to the lighthouse. The Cape Scott Marine Trail adds to the adventurous nature of the landscape by adding a designated water route that snakes the coastline, then turns back inland at Quatsino Sound. The final leg runs the length of the sound and through Quatsino Narrows to end at Coal Harbour, a location conveniently near the starting point.
Creating this route has been a passion of key BC Marine Trails volunteers for a number of years now, and has involved the formal creation of several new marine campsites along Quatsino Sound, as well as site improvements and infrastructure -- all with the blessing of the area's First Nations.
While future phases for the BC Marine Trails include formalizing the route through Cape Scott Provincial Park and along Goletas Channel nearer to Port Hardy many paddlers are currently taking advantage of the many campsites along this trail. Read one account here. Once we formalize the trail it will mean additional new campsites for paddlers in the region.
Overall it is an ambitious, long-term project of the BCMT, but one with global benefits as it formalizes an incredible adventure route through challenging but unbelievably beautiful waters.