About

The Vancouver Island Trail will soon be continuous trail from Victoria in the south to Cape Scott at the northern tip of the Island. The Trail follows an inland route in the south and becomes a coastal route north of Port McNeill.   It follows several First Nations and historic routes, and links up many existing trails.

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Participants at the 2014 Trails Network Conference hike a section of the Vancouver Island Trail near Cumberland.

Approximately 770 km long, the Trail is an adventure opportunity that will provide a recreational route for residents and tourists through the beautiful back-country of Vancouver Island.  Although primarily a hiking trail, some sections of the Trail are suitable for other non-motorized uses, e.g. mountain bikes, horses, and skis.  The route passes through a wide range of forest types, alongside streams, rivers and lakes and across a number of mountain ridges.  It is similar to other successful long-distance routes in North America such as the Pacific Crest Trail, the Bruce Trail and the Appalachian Trail.

The Trail will support local economies through increased tourism, cultural tourism opportunities, provision of services to trail users and trail building and maintenance. Local First Nations, hiking clubs and other outdoor clubs are encouraged to monitor and report trail conditions. First Nations and businesses will have an expanded opportunity to provide services to travelers in their region.

The project is being developed by the Vancouver Island Trail Association (VISTA), a supporter of the National Hiking Trail concept. The NHT (Hike Canada en Marche) has incorporated many significant trails in Canada, including the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland, the Bruce Trail in Ontario, the Alexander Mackenzie route and the Nuxalk/Carrier “Grease Trail” from Bella Coola to Quesnel.  Between Victoria to Lake Cowichan, the route of the Vancouver Island Trail coincides with the Great Trail (former Trans-Canada Trail), which on Vancouver Island was completed in June of 2017.

See VISTA’s Vision and Mission Statement