I am back with yet another one of a kind hike for you. Personally, I love unusual hikes and if they have hidden gems within that’s even better. If you haven’t already, please check out my post on another hidden gem hike on Vancouver Island which you can complete on the way to Tofino.
This post is for you if – you like one of a kind experiences, you don’t mind getting dirty and you know how to respect historical artifacts.
This hike is considered generally moderate in difficulty, with partial scramble across roots and rocks to get to the destination – historic plane crash from World War Two. The trail itself is very muddy even on sunny days, as large part of the trail is in between the trees.
Some key facts about this trail:
- Just under 5km roundtrip
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Completion Time: Approximately 1.5hours
- Trail: Partial Boardwalk, partial rock & root scramble – muddy
- Dogs are allowed off-leash in parts
The bomber plane was flying over Tofino carrying 12 passengers on the 10th of February 1945 when one of the engines malfunctioned. The pilot was able to land/crash into the trees in a way that saved everyone on board. The plane was flying out at 11.00pm at night back to Coal Harbor, North on Vancouver Island.
How to get to the trail?
This is an unofficial trail, therefore it is not marked by Parks Canada. To get to the trail, park at the lower parking lot at Radar Hill. Walk back towards the highway, turn right and start walking along the highway (yes, you heard me right). You will most likely encounter other hikers or locals in cars who will offer you directions. Keep walking along the highway counting the telephone poles (yes, that’s not a joke). The head of the trail begins at the 15th telephone pole. On this pole you will see a miniature pen drawing of a plane – that’s when you know you’re at the right place.
You will see a gate (almost like a road blockade) and that’s where you enter the trail. You will soon see you are on the right track. Continue following the dips in the trees and shortly after you will come to a boardwalk across the bog.
As the Canso Plane Crash Site is a historical site, I would urge you not to try and take parts of the plane home with you. You will also see the plane itself is (unfortunately) covered in graffiti, please don’t add any more to it. The environment and weather is already doing their part in deteriorating this historic artefact, lets not speed up the damage process.
There is no parking allowed along the highway, therefore the lower parking lot at Radar Hill is the closest parking option – It is paid parking.
When you are walking to/from trail along the highway, exercise caution – the road has many blind bends and it’s the only way in & out of Tofino, therefore making it a very busy road.
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