Wild Pacific Trail – Survival on the Edge

This morning we joined a guided walk on the Wild Pacific Trail,  “Survival on the Edge”, organized by the Central West Coast Forest Society.

A young, friendly Canadian, Taylor,  who is studying resource management gave us a very instructive 1-hour tour of the coastal old growth rainforest of Ucluelet, the Lighthouse Loop.
The old growth forest in this area is magnificent due to the yearly rainfall of 3.5m. Gigantic trees spread angular branches (sometimes with 90 degree angles!)  to get the maximum sun. Their twisted branches are like arms and they call them “witch’s bloom” (many branches are spread out like bloom). It looks as if the branches were shouting out for sun!

These trees live under harsh environment. Their branches are blown by fierce wind. This area is famous for wild storms and the coast in the area was called “the Graveyard of the Pacific”. There are apparently 500+ shipwrecks under the waters. The trees on the coast are surviving these fierce wind and storm, “surviving on the edge”.

The fallen trees, are also vital to this forest. They become “nurse logs” to help insects and other plants to grow on them. With years they decay, rot and become soil. When the trees fall, it creates more space and bring sun to the forest floor to help new plants and tress to grow. We can understand the amazing ecosystem of the nature here.

Ucluelet promotes “storm watching” for their storm season and I was wondering who would want to see it. When I mentioned it to Philippe, he said he would love it!

Later we went to walk the Ancient Cedars Trail, another part of the Wild Pacific Trail. The trail was graveled and not “wild” at all, but it was a wonderful walk in the pristine forest with gigantic red cedar trees.

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