The popular Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on south Vancouver Island now offers improved camping facilities for hikers with the recent installation of 50 new elevated tent platforms across five backcountry campgrounds.
The wooden platforms are among the several upgrades to the 47-kilometre wilderness trail. They offer a more comfortable camping experience, particularly during harsh weather conditions, while preserving the fragile habitat.
The Ministry of Environment said the platforms and other improvements will “enhance people’s connection with B.C.’s beautiful natural spaces.”
In addition to 10 new tent platforms added to campgrounds at Mystic Beach, Bear Beach, Chin Beach, Little Kuitshe Creek and Payzant Creek, two more food caches have been installed at each campground.
Other infrastructure improvements include approximately 600 metres of stepped boardwalk, 20 new staircases and 19 new footbridges between the Little Kuitshe Creek Campground and Parkinson Creek trailhead.
At Kuitshe Creek, a new engineered bridge was installed, and a damaged engineered bridge was replaced at Hoard Creek.
A portion of the trail between Little Kuitshe Creek campground and the Parkinson Creek trailhead remains closed to finish infrastructure upgrades. The trail will fully re-open on May 17.
The upgrades cost $905,000, marking the largest investment in improvements to the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail in recent years. Over the past four years, approximately $2.1 million has been invested in new bridges, boardwalks, stairs, and food caches at multiple locations along the trail.
According to B.C. Parks, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is mainly designed for strenuous day or multi-day hiking, with campsites in rugged, isolated areas. The trail traverses a harsh environment, often subject to wet and extreme weather conditions.