Flores Island – Wildside Trail & Cow Bay

May 4 – 6, 2019

~ submitted by Julianna Wells

On Saturday, May 4 ten enthusiastic Island Mountain Ramblers met at the Wharf in Tofino and headed out by chartered boat to Flores Island and the Village of Ahousaht. 

After taking care of trail fees at the fuel dock, the group headed through the village to the beach and the start of the Wildside Trail.  The sun was warm and spirits were high as we made our way along the beaches and forest trails to the beautiful open beach of Cow Bay.  We saw only a few other people along the way, and only two others were camped at Cow Bay on our arrival.

The wind picked up after we reached the bay, and we quickly organized our tents on the beach and in the trees, then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring around the bay before enjoying a campfire – some with smokies, steaks, and sausages cooked over the open flames – and lively conversation until after the stars came out.

Sunday May 5 the wind was gone, and with the morning fog slowly dissipating the group headed out after breakfast to the far end of Cow Bay.  After discovering the tide was not in our favour to explore the sea caves, we continued on the headland trails and beaches beyond.  We made it to Cow Creek and checked out the cabins and gardens of those who have settled in along the shore.  With the now receding tide, our return trip was on the beach a little more and we made it back to Cow Creek in time for a late lunch.  The rest of the day was spent exploring, relaxing, and visiting with the group in the sunshine before dinner and another lovely evening campfire followed by stargazing until well after dark.

On Monday May 6, we packed up early and retraced our steps along the Wildside Trail back to Ahousaht.  A call to our chartered boat was made and we made it back to Tofino a couple of hours ahead of schedule, well in time to miss the road closures and drive to Port Alberni where we enjoyed a lovely group dinner of fish ‘n chips at Bare Bones.

Thanks to Phil for all the arranging and rearranging to make this trip happen, and to the group for making it a wonderful weekend.

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