Tuck Lake Trail

Vispine logoThe Tuck Lake Trail section of the VI Trail links the west end of Cowichan Lake to the Runners Trail at Francis Lake.

At the west end of Cowichan Lake, hikers can utilize one of two campgrounds, Heather Campsite located on the water at the west end of Cowichan Lake and the other a kilometer or two west at Kissinger Lake, just off the gravel road that heads west to Nitinat Lake and Port Alberni.

To reach the trail-head of the Tuck Lake Trail, built by VISTA in 2012, walk west from Kissinger Lake along the main road about 1 – 2 km to reach a right-hand road junction signed with “TimberWest Nitinat Main Line”.  Turn right and continue 2.7 km to a VI Spine Trail sign on a gated logging road heading west. (If you have travelled 4 km to a road that leads west through an open gate and a “Trespassers !!” sign, you have gone too far.  In wet season when the Nitinat River is in flood, there is a bridge down this road which can be used to cross the river).  From the trail sign walk logging roads west through old cut blocks and plantations to and along a marked trail to a ford of the Nitinat River, which during the summer months is knee-deep.  This ford is north of Nitinat River Falls Provincial Park, which would be accessed by a potential future side trail to Nitinat Lake and the Dididaht village.

From the Nitinat River, the VI Trail continues northwest across Crown lands (TFL), over Parker Ridge and northwards down past Tuck Lake, and then to the west over another ridge (Worthless or Nadira Ridge).  Past the height of land, the trail descends alongside (and sometimes on) Nadira Road to Francis Lake, for the most part parallel to the Little Nitinat River.  The trail then turns west to northwest alongside of Francis Lake, following the lakeshore to the western end where there is a pleasant gravel beach and primitive campsite – a great place for a swim after a day on the trail.


Here is a GPS file in gpx format:    Free Download