This past weekend was the first in a long while that I didn’t have to do any school work. (Master’s complete! Woooo!) Naturally, that meant having a to-do list that’s been steadily growing since, ooh… September 2015! But after prioritizing filing our taxes on Saturday, Kyla and I decided to take advantage of a sunny day yesterday and go for a hike. Luckily, our friend who owns a car was free to join us, which meant we had way more options to choose from! We decided to head out to Mystic Beach, on the Juan de Fuca trail on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The parking lot to access Mystic is about an hour and a half drive from Victoria. From there, it’s about a 45 minute hike down to the beach, through a mature forest. Think moss-covered, towering trees with elaborate root systems, and ferns covering the forest floor. This isn’t a challenging hike, but it’s not flat! It’s a gradual downhill trail where you sometimes have to maneuver around logs, or work on your balance while you walk across them. There are some spots where short wooden walkways and steps have been put in, but in others you may have to hug a nearby tree while you work your way around roots or down hills. You definitely need hiking boots for this trail, and if it’s at all wet like it was yesterday, expect them to get muddy! There’s also a short suspension bridge along the path for your girlfriend to gleefully bounce across, if she’s anything like mine!
I can’t think of a better reward for a muddy rainforest hike (which is pretty sweet in itself) than Mystic Beach. At one end are sandstone cliffs, a small waterfall, and a ROPE SWING, and at the other, waves crash into the rocks, and small rock piles decorate stone archways. You can even camp right on the beach!