"The 8th wonder of the world!" - Oyster Jim

lighthouse photo

Trip Advisor #1

Rated as the #1 attraction on Vancouver Island by Trip Advisor, the world-class Wild Pacific Trail is a west coast gem winding through pristine rainforest and spectacular oceanfront views. Trip Advisor has also recognized this attraction as the #2 best thing to do in all of British Columbia.

This attention is Ucluelet’s and Oyster Jim’s living legacy - for his original concept and ongoing contribution he was awarded Ucluelet’s Citizen of the Year. Read full article

Ancient Cedar tree

OPENING of Ancient Cedars

AV TIMES: on October 20th 2013 the Wild Pacific Trail officially opens its latest expansion, bringing this spectacular trail another step closer to their goal. The new section called Ancient Cedars, will be Ucluelet’s Cathedral Grove.

Tofino Time:

"This morning I am going to take some sunrise pictures from "Amphitrite Point". It is one of my favourite places on the whole of the west coast of Canada. It lies on the Wild Pacific Trail. –Todd D. Haynes Read full article 'Take a Walk on the Wild Side: The Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet' here >

Vancouver Island Beyond Victoria Blogg
I have only one warning about the Wild Pacific Trail – if you expect to complete hiking the various sections in the suggested times on the brochures, forget it. We took more than twice as long on a couple of sections – not because of any difficulty with the trail, but because at every turn there was another breathtaking view that meant we paused, took hundreds of photos and reveled in the moment.
Posted March 2015 by Shirley Read more >

Media Reviews & Articles

Work bee of directors and friends of the trail

‘World treasure’ Wild Pacific Trail ranked top outdoor attraction in B.C.

DIRK MEISSNER

UCLUELET, B.C. — The Canadian Press

Published Monday, Mar. 28, 2016 by the National Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, and many more publications

UCLUELET, B.C. -- Oyster Jim says walking Vancouver Island's Wild Pacific Trail is a journey along the edge of the open Pacific Ocean, with its majesty, power and beauty in full view.

Many agree, as the eight-kilometre nature trail near Ucluelet, B.C., about 300 kilometres northwest of Victoria, has been ranked the top outdoor attraction in the province by TripAdvisor and among the travel ranking site's top 10 in Canada.

Waves as high as houses crash against the rocks at the iconic Amphitrite Point lighthouse, once toppled by a massive wave. Migrating grey whales are spotted from easy-access trail-viewing areas, and huge cedar trees, hundreds of years old, reach for the sky.

"For wildlife viewing and for just spectacular views, even when it's blowing and it's going, it's special," said Jim Martin, known locally as Oyster Jim and widely regarded as the person whose search for shoreline fishing holes spawned the trail's creation.

"When it's sunny and flat, it's special. It's a great experience every day," he said. "I call it streaming postcards."

Martin's can-do quest to build a world-class trail became the focus of the 2009 documentary "Walking on the Edge," narrated by Vancouver-born actor Jason Priestley.

Martin arrived in Ucluelet from Colorado in the late 1970s and his vision for an ocean-side trail eventually became a community endeavour, with the original 2.6-kilometre loop at the lighthouse opening in 1999. Martin can still be found today tweaking the trails and welcoming visitors.

"The thing that sets the Wild Pacific Trail apart is this is a totally unique section of shoreline unlike anywhere else," he said. "It fronts onto the open Pacific Ocean. It's not typical like a beach. This gives you all different kinds of vistas and everything is different and interesting. There might be tranquil pools. Then there will be a vertical cliff edge where the wave action is spectacular."

Ucluelet, a one-time logging- and fishing-dependent village of about 1,600 people, has embraced the trail as its ticket to tourism opportunities. Ucluelet is about 40 kilometres south of Tofino and near Pacific Rim National Park, one of the West Coast's most popular vacation spots.

"Ucluelet was never happy with tourists," said Martin. "In fact, they told the hippies to stay away. The reputation kind of made everybody turn right at the (Tofino-Ucluelet) junction because the beaches were to the right and Tofino was to the right."

But serious industry downturns in the 1990s saw Ucluelet embrace its natural assets and the Wild Pacific Trail, now managed by a community board, has become a prime attraction.

"And now, even though we're a small market, we're battling with the big guns," said Martin. "We've been TripAdvisor's top attraction in B.C."

Martin prides himself on the trail's easy accessibility and its free admission.

"From Day 1, I told people this is a world treasure," Martin said. "This is an eighth wonder of the world."

Adventures Northwest Magazine

by John D'Onofrio March 3, 2015

There is something about the edge of the sea.

The unbounded energy of waves crashing on sculpted rocks with its attendant deluge of negative ions, the wind-lashed trees, the profusion of life – aquatic, terrestrial and avian. In the Pacific Northwest everybody loves a walk beside the ocean. Accordingly, there is a plethora of well-known trails along these northern coasts that traverse the spectacular edge of the continent and I consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed most of them.

A new addition, the Wild Pacific Trail near Ucluelet, British Columbia, may be the most beautiful coastal trail of them all. Read full article >

  • 10 year anniversary
  • First Nations Trail
  • New York TImes

Wild Pacific Trail marks 10 years...

1999 trail openingby Drew Burke, Special to the Westerly

Nearly a decade has passed since ‘Oyster Jim’ and other dignitaries cut a ceremonial ribbon marking the culmination of over 10 years of planning and hard work. Residents and visitors gathered at Amphitrite Point in front of the lighthouse for the opening of phase one of the trail back on Monday., August 2, 1999.

The Westerly was on hand to cover the event, and published a photo of ‘Oyster Jim’ decked out in shorts and a WPT T-shirt flanked by Provincial Minister Moe Sihota, MLA Gerard Janssen, MP Bill Gilmour, and Mayor Bill Irving.

All of the speakers that afternoon paid tribute to ‘Oyster Jim’ who had been the man with the plan to construct the coastal trail.

The ceremony marked the realization of an idea that began in 1988 when ‘Oyster Jim’ went before Ucluelet council and the chamber of commerce to propose his idea for a rugged natural trail up the coast.

It was his plan to extend the trail all the way to Halfmoon Bay to meet the boundary of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Then, said ‘Oyster Jim’ in 1999 — “We can stand shoulder to shoulder with Whistler and Banff.” He and the Wild Pacific Trail Society have been working hard to realize this dream ever since, and have completed four of the seven proposed phases.

Walking on the Edge, a documentary-style movie that follows the story behind to the building of the trail was created as a marketing tool to promote the trail and help raise funding for the purchase of the hotel lot. Featuring Canadian-born actor Jason Priestley as the narrator, the movie is the brainchild of local videographer Lance Blackwell who says ... "I think people here will feel a kind of ownership about the movie and the trail.”

Schramm echoes Blackwell’s sentiments about the sense of local ownership that has developed with regards to the trail.

“I think it’s deeply rooted in the identity of Ucluelet, and I personally believe it’s been pivotal in people’s appreciation for the natural beauty of the area, because they don’t have to drive anywhere or park anywhere and there are no fees. I think the longer it’s in place the more fiercely the locals will embrace it. It’s just a big part of a lot of people’s day to go out and take a quick walk on the trail. It’s been a good fitness call and a tremendous benefit to the lifestyle of everyone in Ucluelet.”

To learn more about the history of this trail watch this 22 minute video.

Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail Grows First Nation’s History
By Keven Drews

UCLUELET — One of B.C.’s best-know oceanfront trails opened a new spur Saturday.
The spur, which cost $40,000, winds through the old-growth forests of the municipality’s He-Tin-Kis Park down to Terrace Beach. It includes a 100-square-metre observation pad, and highlights thousands of years of First Nation’s history through three signs.

“The focus of doing this trail was to recognize the First Nation’s history right under our feet,” said Barb Schramm, trail society president.

Schramm said the society wants people to know they’re standing on 4,000 to 5,000 years of First Nations history, and a midden exists at the end of the spur. She said three new signs will be found along the spur and will discuss that history.

Mayor Eric Russcher called those who turned out Saturday morning a “great gathering,” and he lauded “Oyster Jim” Martin, the trail’s founder, for his vision.

“It just adds one more thing to our community,” said Russcher. “The vision continues.”

Vi Mundy, chief councillor of the Ucluelet (Yu?lu?il?ath) First Nation, a signatory of the Maa-nulth First Nations Treaty, said the spur and its recognition of native history cements the band’s relationship with the municipality.

“Our council has been really involved with the village council,” she added.
Mundy said every area on the municipality’s side of Ucluelet Harbour has a First Nation’s name with special meaning.

Band members, fluent in Nuu-chah-nulth, helped the society with the signs, she added. “We provided the history. We also provided the correct spelling of the names of the area.

“We hope to see more of this.”

Published Date: 2010/3/13 12:42:50 Excerpt from www.westcoaster.ca

The 31 places to go in 2010

Vancouver Island... the most rewarding outdoor exploration is found outside the city, away from the crowds and off the beaten path. Hop the BC Ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island’s east coast, and drive three hours through mountain passes to the wild, dramatic west coast. The new Wild Pacific Trail skirts the rocky, rugged shoreline, overlooking sandy coves lined with driftwood and tidepools and the Pacific beyond them.

The hiking trail is being built in sections (there are three of seven set up so far), hand-cut through dense old-growth forests of cedar and spruce, with viewing platforms that let hikers see turn-of-the-20th-century lighthouses, kayakers heading to nearby islands, and the annual gray whale migration (about 20,000 pass by the island from February to late May). The base for the Wild Pacific Trail is a folksy fishing village called Ucluelet, a former First Nations settlement dotted with seaside inns, bed-and-breakfasts and beach cabins... which has direct access to the trail. BONNIE TSUI