With the clocks springing forward this weekend and the promise of warmer weather just around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin planning outdoor activities that make the most of our cherished spring and summer months on Vancouver Island. What better way to spend a long weekend or fill your vacation days than by hiking through one of the many amazing trails our Island has to offer? Here are just a handful of hiking trails you’ll find throughout the West Coast.

Strathcona Provincial Park

Located on Southern Vancouver Island over a sprawling 250,000 hectares of protected wilderness, Strathcona Provincial Park is filled with a seemingly never-ending supply of trails for every type of hiker. Whether you are simply wanting a more leisurely adventure for a day trip or you’re looking for a challenging hike, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at Strathcona Provincial Park. There are trails like the the Upper Myra Falls Hike on which you’ll see waterfalls and old growth forests, or the family-friendly Lady Falls hike with lots of benches to stop and enjoy a picnic with your kids, or the Mount Myra hike for the experienced hiker seeking a more challenging expedition. To help plan your trip, check out this extensive and user friendly guide on the trails at Strathcona Provincial Park from 10adventures.com. The guide is packed with information about the different hikes and lists some of the local places to grab delicious food and refreshing drinks after a long day of exploring all that Strathcona Provincial Park has to offer.

Goldstream Provincial Park

For a local hiking option, be sure to check out Goldstream Provincial Park. An easy drive or bus ride from downtown Victoria, this is an especially great option if you only have a few hours to spare and want to get out for a lovely hike in nature without spending too much time on travel. Among the many attractions are massive trees, waterfalls, a river that meets the sea, flowers, birds, and interesting species of fish. Home to 600-year-old Douglas fir trees and western red cedar. The park is also mixed with western yew and hemlock, red alder, big leaf maple and black cottonwood. Hike to Mount Finlayson, Niagara Falls, through forested uplands, and past abandoned gold diggings from the days of the Gold Rush. During the annual chum salmon spawning run, there are riverside trails and observation platforms which provide opportunities to view this natural phenomenon that people from all over the world come to see.

Wild Pacific Trail

Explore shipwrecks, get your camera ready for whale sightings, and enjoy the abounding vistas on the family-friendly Wild Pacific Trail. You’ll have the opportunity to hike from the wind swept coast to Ancient Cedars Grove where you can take in the sights of trees over 800 years old. Appealing to hikers of all abilities, this is the perfect destination for photographers, storm watchers, and bird watchers. There’s the 2.6 km Lighthouse Loop, Terrace Beach Interpretive Trail, and the lighter 1 km Ancient Cedars Trail loop.

So dust off those hiking boots and start planning your spring and summer hikes today!