West Coast Trail reservations open Jan 7th

It’s difficult to get a reservation for our #1 hike in the world.

Be on the phone at 8am Pacific Standard Time to book for summer 2019.

The Skye Trail, Scotland

Cam Honan:

Scotland’s Isle of Skye is a place steeped in myth, legend and natural beauty. Tales of giants and shape-shifting water horses are woven together with stories of dramatic mountain ranges and coastlines. It is an island that engages and inspires all that visit, and for those possessed of a wayfaring disposition, there is a 128 km (80 mi) trail which spans its length that encapsulates all of the diverse wonders for which it is renowned.

I hiked the Skye Trail in the summer of 2018. The post below includes impressions from the trip, logistical and background information, route recommendations, and a gear list. …

Skye Trail Overview Map (Cicerone Guides) | Note: I added the place names in bold red font.

Click over to The Hiking Life to read the rest.

The Skye Trail – Trip Report & Backpacking Guide

Pacific Rim Traverse in British Columbia

Most everyone who visits Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island walks Long Beach.

It’s a classic.

MB Guiding posted a way to turn it into a 2 day hike.

We planned our hikes to coincide with very low morning tides. Thousands of anemones and hundreds of starfish in remote tide pools and hidden sea caves! A highlight was stopping for a break at South Beach and having two whales join us within 100 m of the coastline. The Pacific Rim Traverse is a great introduction to coastal hiking and camping. Prepare for a bigger adventure like the West Coast Trail …

Pacific Rim Traverse – Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

I’ve done most of that myself day hiking. Tenting at Green Point Campground.

Consider going during the winter. It might be cool and stormy, but you’ll have the beach mostly to yourself.

 

870-mile Wales Coast Path

The Wales Coast Path (WelshLlwybr Arfordir Cymru) is a long-distance footpathwhich follows, or runs close to, the majority of the coastline of Wales.

It opened on 5 May 2012, and offers a 870-mile (1,400 km) walking route from ChepstowMonmouthshire, in the south to near Chester, in the north. …

The idea was developed from a desire to build on the economic success of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path. …

The whole path is accessible to walkers and, where practical, some sections are suitable for cyclists, families with pushchairs, people with restricted mobility, and horse riders. …

The Wales Coast Path is not a National Trail …

You can continue on Offa’s Dyke Path if you want to make a circuit. Guidebook author Paddy Dillon did just that while writing the book.

Read his 2015 article on the experience.

Wales – Pembrokeshire Coast Path – day 4

Trip Report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I made coffee in the vestibule of my tent in the dark. Packed up and was on my feet by 8am. BIG day ahead. The toughest and most physically demanding of any on the Coast Path.

It was about 2 miles to town. Another 14 miles more (at least) to finish.

I finally saw rabbits on one farm. (SLUGS are much more plentiful.)

Giant mushrooms.

I detoured to Newport town to pick up provisions. There was some chance I’d need to wild camp again. I had no reservation for the hostel. And it was Saturday.

Scones and fruit cake are high calorie. Easy to eat.

For the first time in my hiking career an official trail crossed a golf course. That’s cool.

In the parking lot Duke of Edinburgh hikers were unloading. These are students who had to plan and execute an expedition of at least 2 days and 1 night. They looked woefully unprepared to me.

The steep, sheer, non-stop cliffs begin. The highest 575ft (175m). There’s only one emergency exit all day.

Narrow trails. Far less used than those in the south.

Yes. Muddy.

Most of the coves are inaccessible except from sea.

Stunning scenery. The weather improved over the day.

October in Pembrokeshire. You know what that means? 🙂 It’s Atlantic grey seal breeding time!

I did see dozens of seals. (And 5 distant dolphins.)

But I saw only one pup. The baby (white) looked nearly as big as Mom.

Pups can’t swim yet. And they are very uncoordinated on land. Helpless as a human baby.

Click PLAY or watch a similar baby on YouTube.

Mom was in the perfect protected spot, however. A collapsed sea cave called Witch’s Calderon.

Weather was great. Aside from the wind.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I was quite happy to round the corner and see that cliffs had ended. I’d been walking for nearly 8 hours.

On a weekend, I feared Poppit Sands hostel would be full. I’d need to wild camp again.

Happily there was space at the inn. I spent about 25 minutes in the hot shower! Welsh hostels are excellent.

It was a fun night chatting with an entertaining, informative Irishman. (Are there any other kind?) He was just finishing up a 3 month cycling holiday.

Before dinner I walked Poppit beach. My Coast Path would be ending first thing in the morning.

____

After coffee in the morning I had 2 miles left to trail end in St Dogmaels.

I visited the ancient Abby. And church built 1847 from Abby stones.

Here’s the finish.

Over 4 days I’d walked the first 20 miles. And the last 25 miles. About a quarter of the Coast Path. It was enough.

Then I walked another 2 miles along the Wales Coast Path, an 870-mile (1,400 km) route around the whole coast of Wales, to the bus stop at Cardigan. From there I planned to catch a bus to the train station.

What! What?

In October there are no longer ANY buses to anywhere on a Sunday. Bus service has been shrinking for years for rural towns in Wales. ☹️

The closest train station was 50£ by cab. I hate taxis. So checked into a lovely hotel instead for 45£. A holiday from my hiking vacation.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path is definitely one of the top 10 coastal hikes in the world.

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Cicerone publishes an excellent guidebook with detailed map.