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
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.
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.