North Coast Trail, Canada

For years we have been waiting for the opening of the North Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, an extension to the existing Cape Scott Trail. It seems we cannot book in for summer 2006, however.

May 11 2006

Cape_Scott_Trail--w_Dutchman-5_small.JPGThe province should ante up for the North Coast Trail. A real, long-term sustainable project, the North Coast Trail is a safe bet that has the potential to be the turn card for tourism on the North Island.

With nearly $1 million already invested by the federal government, the call is to the provincial government to make a moderate contribution of $250,000 to the pot.
And timing is everything. With usage limitations on the West Coast Trail and limited access to Nootka Island, the North Coast Trail could be the next backcountry conquest for many serious backpackers, who are ready for a new adventure on Vancouver Island.

While the province plays it close to the (treasure) chest, other North Island tourism prospects are dimming with the reality of a reduced ferry service that makes large tourism operators nervous. With summer nearly upon us, it is imperative to get the trail completed before more backcountry hikers and others are turned away.

And it’s not just the tourists and hikers leaving the trail table. What about the backpackers’ hostel in Port Hardy, built to accommodate the anticipated increase in hikers? How long can such businesses last unless Cape Scott and the new trail are ready for summer?

The North Coast Trail Society is to be commended for courageously working on the project for many years.

They have dealt well, the federal government has played well and now it is time for the provincial government to sweeten the pot of the project before it is forced to fold for the summer.

BCNG Portals Page

If you have up-to-date information on an opening date, leave a comment below.

Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand

In a brilliant marketing strategy, New Zealand promotes 10 Great Walks.

It’s a bit of a laugh for Kiwis, actually. For one thing, one of the Great Walks is a river paddle.

Many Kiwis avoid the Great Walks because they are crowded with foreigners. They know other hikes that are just as good — but not on the list.

The most unique of the other hikes is the Queen Charlotte Track.

It’s a gorgeous ridge walk. Some viewpoints look down on waterways on both sides!


71km (44mi), 4-days, 3-nights, ideal for all levels of experience and fitness. You can even have a water taxi shuttle your pack from lodge to lodge.

More details on Queen Charlotte Track

Nike & iPod Running Gear

I often listen to books on tape on my Rio MP3 player while exercising.

When the going gets tough, I switch to my favourite high energy music for a jolt.

The next step?

Lance Armstrong has already endorsed a unique wireless connection between your Nike shoes and an iPod. It has a number of cool features including a Power Song button which jumps to the motivation track the instant you need it.

Newsvine – Nike, Apple Team Up on iPod Running Gear


Abel Tasman Coast Track, New Zealand

I am a big fan of coastal hikes. In fact, I rank the best hike in the World the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, in Canada.

To me coastal hiking is like mountain hiking, with the added treat of the ocean! Since I grew up 12hrs drive from the sea, perhaps it is still a novelty.

Whie sand beaches, aquamarine lagoons, picture perfect bays! One Israeli referred to Abel Tasman as hiking Gilligan’s Island.


51km (32.6mi), 5-days, 4-nights, this is the most popular multi-day hike in New Zealand. It’s ideal for all levels of experience and fitness.

More details on Abel Tasman Coast Track

The Milford Track, New Zealand

The Finest Walk in the World.

That’s the tag line inevitably associated with the Milford Track on the South Island of New Zealand. It’s almost always wrongly attributed to Kiwi Poet Blanche Baughan. Her original title — A Notable Walk — was changed by an editor when printed in the London Spectator, 1908.

Serious hikers often make the Milford pilgrimage so they can legitimately rank it below more favourite treks.

In reality, Milford is a wonderful hike. Lakes, crystalline rivers, huge waterfalls, kooky birdlife, rainforest, and, of course, arriving at fantastic Milford Sound.


Details on

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