North Coast Trail, Vancouver Island

My Feet Hurt:

I hiked the North Coast Trail from August 27 to September 1 in 2014.  I spent 5 nights and 6 days on the trail.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

The North Coast Trail might be very, very tough.

We recommend easier alternatives to the standard route. There are other similar hikes on Vancouver Island of course, all easier than the NCT.

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Cooper’s Island, Bermuda

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

The most famous walking in Bermuda is the Railway Trail.

But I prefer day hiking Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve out by the airport in tranquil St. Davids.

Cooper’s Island is no longer an island.

…thanks to reclamation work is now joined to St. David’s Island as a southeastern peninsula …

The island has been used by many United States government agencies (which relinquished the island in 1995), as well as previously being occupied by a NASA space tracking station. Until 1995, access was restricted, but it is now open to the public. …

Swimming, walking, picnicing, bird watching and snorkelling are all permitted within the reserve.

The Park opens at 9am. I was there close to opening and there was almost nobody else in sight. Dogs are not allowed. March is considered winter by locals. I was comfortable in shorts and t-shirt.

Clearwater beach

There are many short side trails to explore.

One highlight is an observation tower. Inside are historical signboards.

Schedule about 90 minutes to explore the park.

related – Bermuda Attractions – Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve

day hike Parque Nacional Chiloe in Chile

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Most hikers bypass the island of Chiloe en route to bigger adventure destinations in Patagonia.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of my hike on YouTube.

That’s the Chiloé National Park. The southern section near the village of Cucao. Entrance fee $3 in 2018.

It includes zones of dunes, Valdivian temperate rain forests, swamps, and peat bogs. The huge beach was easily my favourite part.

No need to make a trip only to hike. But if you get close, it’s definitely worth a day.

On the same trip hike nearby Tantauco Park.

Learn more about Parque Nacional Chiloe on YouTube.

 

walking Vina del Mar to Valparaíso, Chile

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

People from the BIG CITY of Santiago love to escape to Valparaíso on the coast.

Valpo is popular with tourists who enjoy the city’s labyrinth of cobbled alleys and colorful buildings.

It has a a mild Mediterranean climate.

In 1996, the World Monuments Fund declared Valparaíso’s unusual system of funicular lifts (steeply inclined carriages) one of the world’s 100 most endangered historical treasures.

Valparaíso is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I decided to walk to Valpo along the coast from Viña del Mar, an upscale suburb to the north famed for great beaches.

Having walked the beaches the previous evening, I started near the castle.

There were plenty of runners and cyclists, but not many walkers.

Birds are always a highlight in Chile. Pelicans have always been some of my favourites.

Originally a port and fishing centre, much of the coast has not been improved for pedestrians.

Some has.

Fishermen use mobile phones now.

There’s a lot of traffic on the coastal road. At one point you are pushed inland by train tracks.

Parts of this 3 hour walk I did enjoy.

Other sections I found annoying. Graffiti EVERYWHERE was starting to bother me.

A real highlight near Valpo is watching sea lions close up on this abandoned concrete structure. It’s amazing they can get up there. It’s entertaining to watch them negotiate who gets the prime real estate. And who gets pushed off back into the sea.

The best part was arriving in Valparaíso and joining a free (for tips) walking tour. The daughter of one of the gentlemen in our group had tons of fun sliding down a cement ramp.

All in all I wished I’d — instead — spent my time hiking out at Parque Nacional La Campana.