Vancouver Island has everything that’s needed for great road trips, hikes and much more. But have you ever discovered Vancouver Island off the beaten track? Adventure is out there, so read on to know more about ghost towns, abandoned places and abandoned plane crash sites on the island.
Close to the Sooke Potholes you’ll find Leechtown, an abandoned mining spot. This once-thriving town was founded in 1864 after explorers discovered gold in the Leech River. By 1865, the gold rush had passed its peak and most people moved away from Leechtown. Still, the town was kept alive by a small mining and logging industry. The abandoned Leechtown is now a restricted area, but you might be able to catch a glimpse of abandoned mining equipment.
On your way to Port Renfrew, you’ll come across Jordan River. This small town has many abandoned houses as well as an abandoned power plant. Once a thriving town because of the logging industry, people moved away and now only a handful of people remain. Although exploring Jordan River is very interesting, be very careful exploring the town and the power plant. In case you’re hungry after, visit the only café in town, the Cold Shoulder Café.
Find more information about abandoned Jordan River here: www.toadhollowphoto.com or view location on Google Maps. It’s 500 meters from the trailhead, but keep in mind – it’s technically private property.
Off to Tofino and want to something different? How about finding a plane crash site? Make your way through an abandoned building and prepare to get muddy as you go through swamp-like areas before ending in an open field. Wondering where the plane is? Look up and you’ll see it right in front of you, up in the trees. You can explore the crash site, but make sure not to litter or to take something. Moreover, be aware that this trail is not maintained by Parks Canada and that you, therefore, have to be careful not to get off-trail. Plan ahead, bring food and water and lastly: make sure to leave yourself enough time to get back before the sunsets.
Read more about one of Vancouver Islands most interesting crash sites at www.tofinohiking.com.
The Mount Bolduc crash site is a pretty well-kept secret as not many people know about it. Still, a quick search on the internet will tell you that there’s a way to get there and it’s not too difficult. In World War 2, a plane crashed on the mountain and now you are able to visit the memorial site. The trail to the crash site can be found on a logging road near Lake Cowichan. Make sure you either have a 4×4 to get to the end of the logging road or park your car before the end of the road.
For more info and directions check out www.donsadventurerides.wordpress.com
The last of the plane crash sites on the list is the Dakota Plane Crash, all the way near Port Hardy. The trail is marked by survey tape and only 500 m long but can be challenging. Expect a few steep slopes and some wet stretches along the way. The pay off is that you will eventually find the remains of a crashed plane, which is both intriguing and interesting. Another reason to do this trail is the beautiful view of Port Hardy once you get to the top. Again, treat the site with respect and make sure to not take anything.
Find more info and directions check out www.alltrails.com
We just want to end off with a general reminder: be careful when hiking, be mindful of nature and the space, and allow yourself enough time to go back before the sunsets. As some of these hikes are set in remote areas, be aware that there might be limited cell reception. Other than that: adventure is out there!