VI Spine Trail: Nitinat River to Tuck Lake

Logs down over the Tuck Lake trail

Logs down over the Tuck Lake trail

Part of my work with the Vancouver Island Spine Trail Association is to check on sections of the trail.

I’ve been working my way through the Tuck Lake section. Take a look at the VI Spine Trail map to see the route. The Tuck Lake section is west of Cowichan Lake and south of Port Alberni. One of the lakes the trail passes by is Tuck Lake, hence the name. It also passes by Francis and Darlington which are beautiful.

This trip report is from a recent trip to hike the section from Nitinat River west to Tuck Lake and report back on it’s condition.

This section is about 11km out and back. I hiked from the road just west of Nitinat River to the stream just east of Nadira Main. The maze of logging roads in the area can get you just about anywhere along the trail.

A few trees down on the trail.

Nothing better than fields of ferns.

IMG_7924-1.jpg IMG_7926.jpg IMG_7928.jpg Steep up the hill

Steep up the hill

I never get tired looking at these views. Any marked portion of the Spine Trail has these orange markers along the route. 

One of the obstacles to creating a trail the entire length of Vancouver Island: logging.

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We’re running through working forest and have to reroute trail sometimes. 

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Tuck Lake Some trail junctions have green and white Spine Trail signs near them. This one is just before the right hand turn off this deactivated logging road. 

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If you hit this stream bed you’ve gone too far. The trail on the other sign was strongly calling to be explored. I will be back.

Dead end. Don’t go this way. IMG_7961.jpg IMG_7962.jpg IMG_7965.jpg

I spy the Spine Trail sign. Can you see it? 

IMG_7968.jpg IMG_7970.jpg IMG_7971.jpg Across the stream continues onto the trail

Across the stream continues onto the trail

This was the end of my hike for the day. The trail continues on the up the other bank of this ravine to the Nadira Main logging road and west to Francis Lake from there. Another day. In the mean time this was a beautiful place to stop for lunch. 

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Tuck Lake from on the ridge after climbing back out of the valley.

Tuck Lake in the distance

Tuck Lake in the distance