Action | September 17, 2020 6:30 am

Canada’s Surf Mecca Is Getting a 25-Mile, $50 Million Biking Trail

The country's first "surf bike trail" opens on Vancouver Island in 2022

A surfer walking with a surfboard on the beach in Tofino, Canada
"Outside" once named Canada's Tofino the best surf town in North America.
Spencer Watson/Unsplash

Canada is firmly on schedule to open a new $50 million “surf bike trail” called ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) in 2022, as Matador Network reported. The phrase — which was lent from an indigenous First Nations language — translates to “going in the right direction on the trail.”

In this case, that trail is 25 miles along Vancouver Island, from the tiny harbor of Ucluelet up to the district of Tofino, western Canada’s most popular summer destination. Both towns are veritable surfing meccas: they sandwich the fabled Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Preserve, and Tofino has actually hosted Canada’s Rip Curl Pro every year since 2007.

If you’re surprised that Canada has good surf, you’re not alone. But the coastline near Tofino is strangely suited to the sport. The water hangs out at around 53°F — highly manageable with a decent wetsuit — and the reefs are untouched thanks to their proximity to protected waterways and rainforests in the area. Outside even caused a stir few years back when it named Tofino the best surf town in North America.

Starting in 2022, bikers will be able to visit Tofino, Ucluelet, and all the towns, national parks, woodland paths and First Nations sites in between. (Canadian officials have worked with indigenous leaders to move forward with the project in a way that benefits everyone in the region.) The end result will be paradise for anyone who loves the outdoors. And since it’ll take over a year to finish, hopefully the travel restrictions will be long gone by the time the trail is open.

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