Looking to explore Tofino, British Columbia, fuel-free? Tuff City is home to an accessible and exciting new multi-use pathway that permits residents and visitors to experience the outdoors and learn about the area’s environment and history. The new multi-use pathway is 25-kilometre in length, winding through lush forests, over salmon-bearing streams, and past stunning ocean vistas in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Tofino’s new multi-use pathway
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) connects local communities and spans the length of the national park reserve’s Long Beach area. The pathway will provide pedestrians and cyclists with a new fuel-free way to visit the area.
The pathway project officially opened on June 28, 2022. It will be a popular route for visitors, residents and families visiting Tofino with kids. It’s a great addition to Tofino’s hiking trail network and will be accessible in every season.
Parks Canada worked together with an Elders’ Working Group. The Elders are from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ; two First Nations who have ḥaḥuułi (traditional territories and homelands) along the path.
The elders provided guidance throughout the project. They officially named the pathway ʔapsčiik t̓ašii, meaning “going the right direction on the path.”
Both Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and YuułuɁiłɁatḥ worked together with Parks Canada to carefully choose the course of ʔapsčiik t̓ašii’s footprint. Elders from both First Nations provided a set of guiding principles. This ensured building the pathway was completed appropriately. The principles are: hishukish ts’awalk (everything is one), uu-a-thluk (taking care of), and iisaak (respect).
With guidance from the Elders’ Working Group, several environmental, engineering, archaeological, and traditional-use studies were also conducted. This ensured the trail design protected sensitive ecological and cultural features. The collaboration partners shared valuable knowledge about the ecology, cultural heritage, and topography of this area.
Who can use the ʔapsčiik t̓ašii pathway
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii pathway is open to everyone. Cycling and pedal-assist (non-throttle) e-bikes are permitted on paved sections. When cycling, share the trails with pedestrians and hikers. Be wildlife aware, follow proper trail etiquette, and ride within your capability.
Quick Facts about Tofino’s new multi-use pathway
- ʔapsčiik t̓ašii is the new multi-use pathway, located in the ḥaḥuułi—the traditional territories and homelands—of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. Parks Canada used best practices and innovative strategies to minimize environmental and cultural impacts.
- ʔapsčiik t̓ašii extends approximately 25 km from the southern to the northern boundary of the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It provides a forest experience away from the road.
- Parks Canada worked together with an Elders’ Working Group on the planning, development, and building of the multi-use trail.
- The support and involvement of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ was integral to the project’s success. This collaboration ensured the pathway presents a complete cultural experience for visitors to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Photo credit: Parks Canada