West Coast Trail

I walked this trail from North to South by myself, and I met lots of very nice folks along the way, in particular Robin and Ian. I did not have a camera with me, but Ian did and was nice enough to send several of his photos to me. Two of them are posted below. This is a truly beautiful trail through rain forest and beaches. The number of people hiking on it is tightly regulated. When I picked up my permit, I was shown a movie andgiven a permit, ferry tickets, a map and a tide table. There are two row boat ferries. One is in the middle and the other is at the southern end of the trail. There are two staffed lighthouses along the trail. There is also Chez Monique, a food emporium (mainly omelets and burgers) that also sells sundry items of interest to hikers and maintains a hikersí exchange box; it is located on the beach just south of the more southerly lighthouse. In general the trail is under the trees, but there are a few parts where it is on the beach. There are also a number of places where the beach is an option. Most of this is available only at low tide. North of the ferry in the middle, the trail is gentle and much of it compares favorably to a well maintained urban park trail. On the southern part, there is a lot of mud, some large logs to walk on crossing gullies, four or five cable cars, a similar number of suspension bridges (including one long one), and one section with lots of ladders to climb. All of it is beautiful. A good hiking stick is recommended for balance and more importantly for probing the mud in front of you. In many places there were slippery tree roots buried about a half inch below the mud surface.

This photo shows a cable car at the bottom and some of the ladders going up the far side. Some are obscured by the vegetation and there are more above these! It was taken from the north side ladders by Ian. If you enlarge it and look carefully, you can find me at the tip of the arrow.

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The second photo shows Robin and I crossing a tidal channel while walking on the beach at low tide. (I think Ian scanned this while the slide was upside down, because we were heading in the other direction.)

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