Coral Cave & The Lookout
A great place to start a more extended ecotourism hike is from West Bay Park, just past Maquinna Resort at the end of town.
There are shorter trails accessed from the turnaround at West Bay, or you can backtrack and go up the logging road (only during weekends when there is no active logging) and head for the Coral Cave or The Lookout. Either destination takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach, and both spots offer breathtaking views of the Tahsis Inlet.
This rugged route was immortalized in the book “White Slaves of the Nootka” as the ridge that ancestral Chief Maquinna sojourned on. It follows the ridge that rises between the Leiner and Tahsis River valleys, directly east of the village.
While the first part of the hike is moderately steep, the reward is increasingly spectacular views of Tahsis Inlet and the surrounding peaks.
Above 450 metres, the ascent is more gradual, although water is rare and should be carried. For the most intrepid mountaineers, an 8-kilometre (5-mile) hike along the gently undulating ridge will lead you to two small lakes below Mount Leiner.
Woss Lake Grease Trail
This ancient trade route was used by First Nations and crosses Vancouver Island from its southern terminus in Tahsis. Although not maintained as a marked route, this trail begins at the north end of the Tahsis dump. Go up North Maquinna Street to the north end of town and over the bridges.
The route follows the flat valley bottom, often following the Tahsis River or its dry (in summer) watercourse. Occasionally, it follows old remnants of a logging road left from when the valley was logged in the 1940s. Much of this road has been obliterated by river erosion since then.
Spectacular views of Rugged Mountain greet visitors as they pass the base. Mountaineers may want to use this route as an access to the aptly named Rugged and its glacier, the largest on Vancouver Island. The glacier is a steep hike of 1,000 metres (3,200 feet), although there is no marked route up (refer to a topographical map).
The Woss Lake Trail ascends steeply only at the headwaters and reaches a high point of 550 metres (1,800 feet) before descending to Woss Lake at 140 metres (500 feet). There are no roads from this end of the lake (still within Rugged Mountain Provincial Park), but the other end is road-accessible from Woss. Arrange for boat pickup from this end of the Trail.
The total trail length from the Tahsis landfill to Woss Lake is about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles). Water is available along much of the route, and there are some nice wilderness camping spots in the upper reaches of the Tahsis River. There are opportunities for trout fishing in the river pools here. The trail is moderate in difficulty.
Hugging the west coast of Nootka Island, the Nootka Trail provides an unsurpassed ecotourism hiking experience featuring long beaches, secluded bays, and spectacular headlands jutting into the Pacific Ocean. The trail is not in a park and is maintained by volunteer efforts, but it is a relatively easy hike, which never rises more than 50 metres above sea level.
There are no facilities along the trail, although there are some private cabins at Beano Creek (do not disturb) and close to Friendly Cove (the latter are available to rent). Guidebooks are also available for this trail. Most people take five days or longer to complete the walk.
Just before the Old Firehall on South Maquinna is the foot of the Cardiac Climb stairs, a steep and demanding climb. Walking around this section of the old town site is very rewarding for those interested in architecture, as this area features old float homes from the 40s (the oldest in Tahsis) and the heritage building housing St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church.
Continue on down South Maquinna Drive to Tipperary, and then walk around the town site to see homes from the 50s and a spectacular view of the inlet from Tipperary Park.
As South Maquinna heads down toward the public boat launch, there is a picnic table and sign marking Ubedam Trail. This is a short hike up to Discovery Crescent and a popular shortcut for residents.
To accompany you on your walk around Tahsis, pick up the Tahsis Heritage Walk Brochure from the Tahsis Recreation Centre or the Tahsis Info Centre (open in summer) and learn about the heritage sites as you explore.
West Bay Park
A short drive past the Maquinna Resort is the turnaround and parking lot for West Bay Park. There are washrooms and stairs down to the rock beach at West Bay. This sheltered bay is an exception to the deep waters of Tahsis Inlet. It is shallow and catches the sun to warm up to comfortable swimming temperatures. Locals love to come down here to swim, sunbathe, and walk the short trails in this area.
Tahsis Waterfront & River Bridge
Back at the head of Alpine View is the Tahsis Heliport and a very walk-able waterfront section. There is an expansive panoramic view of the Inlet, lots of local marine bird life and convenient parking.
The first river bridge is close by and a great spot to view spawning salmon going up the river in the fall. Stroll down North Maquinna and the second bridge over the Tahsis River, and you’ll find another great spot to view wildlife, bird life, and spawning salmon.
Leiner River Estuary Trail
This 2-kilometre trail is a level trail with boardwalks and viewing platforms that is located on the salt marshes and along the Leiner River (where it meets the sea). The trail access is from the Tahsis Road, just 500 metres short of town and is well marked. There is a parking lot and washroom at the trailhead. This makes an easy afternoon stroll close to town.
Westview Marina, Grillhouse Restaurant & Island Attitude Cafe
Located at the head of the Tahsis Inlet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, home to World class fishing for Tyee Chinook (30+ pounds) and Huge Halibut, Westview Marina is the true heart of Esperanza Inlet and Nootka...Learn More
Seaside R.V. and Campground Park
Oceanside views, full hookups, laundry, showers, fish cleaning station and freezer Fish cleaning station and freezer space available Next door to boat launch Close to Post Office Communal fire pit Friendly service, relaxed setting Great view of Tahsis Inlet...Learn More
Nootka Gold in Tahsis, BC
Providing guest accommodation in Tahsis since 2010, Nootka Gold is rated #1 in Tahsis by TripAdvisor. Accommodations include a self contained 2 bedroom kitchenette on the main level, plus an additional 2 bedrooms with living room and second bath...Learn More
Anchor Guest House
Located within walking distance to the marina and government dock, our newly renovated , open concept house offers a stunning view of the inlet and surrounding mountains. 2 decks provide covered areas to barbeque and enjoy the spectacular view...Learn More