Parks Canada: Pacific Rim National Park Interpretive Program


Pacific Rim National Park Interpretive Program

Parks Canada has a great interpretive program that runs every day during the peak period at Pacific Rim National Park. The program typically runs five interpretive programs a day which consist of guided walks, evening programs and prop talks. Back in 2013, Parks Canada decided to extend their interpretive program until past Labour Day. I was thrilled to find out about the extension as I was able to take advantage of the program during my visit to Pacific Rim National Park! If you have a chance to check the program out, make sure you schedule your day around attending, as it will be well worth it. The interpretive program was one of the highlights of my trip.

When I visited, their program consisted of:

  • Saturday, September 7  at 2pm: Rainforest Guided Walk.
  • Saturday, September 7 at 8pm: Bears, Wolves, Cougars Evening Program.
  • Sunday, September 8 at 11am: Seashore Guided Walk

One of the great things about the program is that it is free! I went to all of events that were available. Carl from Parks Canada ran them all, his passion for the outdoors and the love of his job was apparent. I found great value in attending as it gave me insight into the geographical area and provided me with new information.

Rainforest Guided Walk

Pacific Rim National Park

The Rainforest guided walk took place on the Schooner Cove hiking trail in the North end of the Pacific Rim National Park. It’s a 1 km one way walk. At the end you can either walk back along the path or continue onto Long Beach. At the beginning of our walk, we were taught about the different tree types and how to tell them apart. The walk takes you through the Cedar/Hemlock forest which leads into the Sitka Spruce fringe. The boardwalk takes you over the moss covered forest, over a creek and then continues on the boardwalk with many stairs up and down. Eventually you will catch a glimpse of the beach. Before you know it, you are standing on the sand with the ocean steps ahead. There is a rocky outcrop that you can explore depending on the tide, just remember to get back before the tide comes in! During the walk, we would take breaks and during the breaks our guide would discuss the specific areas that surrounded us. The tour was a great combination of enjoying and learning about the wildness.

Bears, Wolves, Cougars Evening Program

After watching the early stages of the sunset, I headed into the theatre. Camping in such a magnificent wild place, you need to be aware of what to do if you see animals in the wild and know how to keep both yourself and the animals safe. We heard stories about experiences that the Park Canada employees have had, learned about bears, wolves and cougars. Even though I knew a lot of the safety facts before coming to the talk, I still had a wonderful time, and picked up some new information. This talk also gave me a greater appreciation of the work that Parks Canada does for both the human and animal kingdoms. Carl also mixed in some fun events to keep the night interesting and educational.

Seashore Guided Walk

I arrived early for the walk and decided to explore the Kwisitis Visitor Centre. The centre has exhibits of bears, wolves, cougars and other animal tracks that you would find on the beach, short movies featuring Pacific Rim National Park, and exhibits that allowed you to listen to stories of the First Nations history. There were also exhibits on the environment. I highly recommend visiting the Centre before or after an interpretive program or walk in the area.

Pacific Rim National Park Carl
Carl, our Parks Canada guide for the weekend.

The Seashore guided walk will be different every time you go on the walk, as it depends on what is found on the beach. We got to hold Starfish, use Bull Kelp as a horn, dig for Blood Worms, play with California Beach Hoppers, touch Rockweed, and see Acorn Barnacles and Mussels up close. We learned some tips to lessen our impact on our visits to the shore such as leaving marine animals and plants fastened to rocks, tread carefully as you may crush what is underneath you, and return what you find to the location where you found them. This will allow others to enjoy the sites as well. I’ve spent numerous days exploring the shorelines on the west coast. The advantage of having attended the interpretative program is that you learn by observing little details that are pointed out to you, and how plants and animals are connected. I really enjoyed learning new things about one of my favourite places.

The interpretive programs is a must do! The program enhances the exploration of the parks; you gain knowledge about the wildlife, environment and nature around you! The programs are free to join. Check out the Parks Canada website for more information. I hope they include more programs in the off season, as that is when I like to visit.

Pacific Rim National Park Sunset

15 thoughts on “Parks Canada: Pacific Rim National Park Interpretive Program

  1. While I’m somewhat disappointed that this program did not see you wrestling bears and cougars, I have to say that I loved everything else about it. National parks offer such amazing presentations and programs. I attended a cool one about the ‘record keepers’ of Grand Canyon National Park – not only was the presentation very interesting but it was just really neat to walk through the park in the evening, when all the crowds were gone, to get to and from the amphitheater. We saw a deer hanging out next to an office, chowing down on the shrubs like they were his own personal buffet!

    1. I agree with you Vanessa, National Parks offer great programs and every program I experienced has been excellent. You can tell the guides love their job and are passionate about showing visitors a great time.

      For my health and for the animals, it’s a good thing we didn’t wrestle them! They could easily kill or injure us in the first round!

  2. Sounds like an amazing programme! Here in Asia we have lots of nature, at least in my area there are mountains, beaches, cliffs but sadly no one is taking care of them properly. I would love a programme like this so I can get to know my surrounding better and be closer to nature.

    1. That’s unfortunate Aggy that there is no one there to take care of them. It adds value and makes sure future generations will be able to experience it. Hopefully they will create some programs in the future.

  3. I love the idea of doing a tour like this in your own backyard. It really helps you appreciate your own local environment.

    1. Agreed, Pacific Rim National Park isn’t too far away from us but I recommend at a minimum to make it a long weekend trip as the ferry and the drive can take half a day (depending on ferry wait times).

  4. bears… wolves…cougars? oh my! 🙂 Sounds like a very cool place and although the idea of running into one of those guys is pretty cool, it’s probably best that you didn’t!

    1. I would love to see one from a safe distance but agree, it’s usually best that we don’t see them as we don’t want them to get use to humans. I saw a black bear and two cubs on a kayaking trip last year, it was incredible but we kept our distance and had the water between us.

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