ʔapsčiik t̓ašii Multi-Use Trail Project – Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Backed by the Vancouver Island Mountain Range and facing the open Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve protects the rich natural and cultural heritage of Canada’s west coast, and helps share the stories of this treasured place with Canadians and visitors from around the world. The cool and wet maritime climate produces an abundance of life in the water and on land. Lush coastal temperate rainforest gives way to bountiful and diverse intertidal and subtidal areas. These natural wonders are interwoven with the long and dynamic history of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, and European explorers and settlers.
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii: Multi-use Trail Project
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii: (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee), the new multi-use trail, located in the traditional territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, will extend approximately 25 km from the southern to the northern boundary of the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. At a width of 3.2 metres, with 1 metre wide shoulders, the trail will provide room for cyclists and pedestrians to pass safely. In many places, the trail will run near or parallel to Highway 4, with a forested buffer between trail users and vehicles wherever possible. This will provide a scenic experience for trail users and increase safety for cyclists, while fulfilling a long-time request from local communities and visitors for a viable alternative to vehicle travel in the Pacific Rim region.
The trail will be open year-round for visitors to explore the natural and cultural wonders of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. A short loop will connect the Kwisitis Visitor Centre and Wickaninnish Beach to the path and Highway 4.
Before any design or trail building began, a Detailed Impact Analysis was prepared, including a number of environmental, archaeological, and visitor safety assessments. A Traditional Use Study was also conducted by the First Nations, providing additional information that was unknown for the Long Beach Unit. As work on the multi-use trail progresses, Parks Canada continues to adapt trail design and building to each unique area where the trail will pass to best protect the environmental and cultural features of the park reserve.
Parks Canada is consulting and working in partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ on the planning, development, and construction of the trail. Stakeholders and members of the public were invited to comment on the Detailed Impact Analysis in November-December of 2016. Parks Canada has also hosted two sets of public information sessions in November, 2016, and June, 2017.
Parks Canada working together with Indigenous Peoples
Parks Canada is committed to a network of heritage places that celebrates the contributions of Indigenous Peoples, their histories, and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous Peoples have with lands and waters. Parks Canada works collaboratively with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ on many aspects of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
In October 2017, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ chose ʔapsčiik t̓ašii as the official name given to the multi-use trail. The name is Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, and translates to “going in the right direction on the trail.”
Throughout this project, Parks Canada has been working together with the First Nations on the planning, development, and building of the multi-use trail. Parks Canada is collaborating with the Nations’ Councils and an Elders Group was established to provide guidance on the trail. The support and involvement of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ is integral to the success of the project, and their contributions will ensure the trail presents a complete cultural experience for visitors to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.