Gulf Islands (J.A. Kraulis photo)
Although easily accessible to population centers, the parks of Vancouver Island are exceedingly diverse.
The rugged coastline at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve attracts hikers to the famous West Coast Trail, while sun, sand and surf draw families to Long Beach near Tofino. The more adventurous can head to Cape Scott Provincial Park near Port Hardy, where challenging trails weave through lush rainforest and rugged coastline. Sun-baked sandy beaches warm the water for swimming at Tribune Bay and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.
Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park offers a cedar-scented stroll through an old-growth forest that is nothing less than spiritual. Or visitors can board a passenger ferry and explore Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park, a popular day trip from Nanaimo.
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