Logs that were tossed around during recent West Coast storms were moved to ease access for locals and visitors on their way to Florencia Bay. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Logs that were tossed around during recent West Coast storms were moved to ease access for locals and visitors on their way to Florencia Bay. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

West Coast storms create log jam at Florencia Bay

“Normally, this type of work is done using machinery, but this area is difficult to access.”

A string of storms spanning across January and February sent logs crashing across Florencia Bay, blocking some locals and visitors from accessing the popular local attraction.

That blockage was removed last week as three Pacific Rim National Park Reserve staffers spent roughly four hours clearing the way down to the sandy, serene shoreline by hand.

“As Parks Canada receives comments or notices [about] trail and beach obstructions, they work to clear them,” a Parks Canada spokesperson told the Westerly News. “Normally, this type of work is done using machinery, but this area is difficult to access so it was done by hand.”

The Park Reserve has also been working on upgrading the access through its Rainforest Trail, with roughly 70 per cent of Rainforest B’s boardwalk expected to be replaced by next month.

“The work is being done to replace aging boardwalks and to improve their construction to ensure the trails offer visitors a safe, enjoyable experience,” the spokesperson said. “Investments in visitor infrastructure, such as this, will ensure the quality and reliability of visitor facilities and continue to allow Canadians to connect with nature.”

The Park Reserve is preparing for another busy summer and Green Point Campground opened early this year, on March 8, in an effort to offer West Coast camping opportunities to the growing number of shoulder-season visitors.

The campground is kickstarting the season with two ‘S’more-y Time’ campfire events on March 23 and 24, from 7-9 p.m and campers and locals are welcome.

“As Canada’s largest provider of natural and cultural tourism, Parks Canada is committed to providing visitors with high-quality and meaningful experiences at our places,” the spokesperson said adding that the campground is scheduled to remain open until Thanksgiving weekend.

The Park Reserve provides a key venue for the Pacific Rim Whale Festival that kicked off on March 10 and the Kwisitis Visitor Centre at Wickaninnish Beach will remain open everyday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the festival is ongoing.

“From March 21 to 24, we will be offering some great interpretive programs at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre such as Whale Spotting and Learn-to Camp activities,” the spokesperson said.

Wickaninnish Beach and the Kwisitis Visitors Centre will be the setting for the Whale Festival’s Closing Ceremonies on March 25, which will include the West Coast’s annual Tug-o-Whale Competition, a presentation of the festival’s Photo Showdown winners, and an unveiling of 2019’s Pacific Rim Whale Festival Poster Art.