Suquash section

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The Suquash Trail or Suquash section of the Vancouver Island Trail links the communities of Port McNeill and Port Hardy and passes through the Kwakiutl/Kwagiulth First Nation community of Fort Rupert.

In the short term, the route follows existing roads from Port McNeill townsite to the mouth of the Cluxewe River (trails will hopefully soon replace most of this road).  Camping is available close to town at the Broughton Straight Campsite ( http://www.vancouverislandnorth.ca/stakeholder/list/broughton-strait-campground/ ) or at the Cluxewe Resort – www.cluxeweresort.com/ – a First Nations business which also provides beachfront cabins to rent.  The Cluxewe River is wadable at low summer flows and a trail is being planned around the perimeter of the Cluxewe Saltmarsh and Estuary (a Nature Trust of B.C. property – http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/habitat/conservation-lands/wma/cluxewe/) to link with the Cluxewe Beach Trail at the northern end of the saltmarsh.

From the inland trail-head of the Cluxewe Beach Trail to the mouth of the Keogh River, the VI Trail route follows a series of recently cleared trails and sections of inactive logging road along the top of a short steep slope (old sea-cliff) that extends down to a narrow beach/rock shelf along the shoreline of Broughton Straight.  The Keogh, like the Cluxewe can be waded at its mouth at low summer flows.  Once across the Keogh follow the ‘fishermans’ trail along the beach just outside of the perimeter fence of the Port Hardy Airport property.  The route then follows Tsakis Way road through the community of Fort Rupert that links with the “Commuter Trail” that cuts across the peninsula to the east of Port Hardy as far as the Bear Cove Highway (access to the BC Ferries terminal to Prince Rupert).  From here, the route follows a series of shoreline trails and roads around Hardy Bay to Port Hardy town centre and wharf.