Bike & Camp at Secret Beach, Vancouver Island
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Indigenous-owned Secret Beach Campground is an ideal Vancouver Island basecamp for kayakers, campers and now, bikers #IndigenousCoastBC
Toquaht Nation, Vancouver Island BC - You know you are on an innovation wave when as a private campground on the west coast of BC, you are beating out small towns for their amenity options.
Any zen seeker can catch the wave of camping, paddling and now biking options at Secret Beach Campground and Kayak Launch, within Toquaht Nation, less than three hours west of Nanaimo (40 mins from Ucluelet along Highway 4), but a world away.
And bookings are already open for summer 2023 camping from May 18 - Sept 15, 2023.
“It’s all about giving people options of things to do while they are here,” says Toquaht business manager and campground manager Noah Plonka, his reason for adding a bike pump track to Secret Beach’s growing amenity list.
Nature and adventure meet at Secret Beach
This list of options was already impressive even before the campground broke ground considering Toquaht and this spot are the gateway to Broken Group Islands—a collection of more than 90 islands found in Barkley Sound’s calm waters within Pacific Rim National Park.
Whether you are on the water or hanging out at camp, Secret Beach has you covered, “it’s very cool to see an ash flat top pump track going in at a private campground before most towns have them installed, there is nothing like this,” says track co-builder Mason Prouse.
(For those who have been following ZenSeekers for a while, you might have caught a few other stories about the value of a Secret Beach stay, and ideally you experienced a stay. What did you think? Let us know on Facebook as we celebrate Indigenous-owned tourism operations, via #IndigenousCoastBC.)
“When you come into Secret Beach, it feels more like an island” Prouse says, describing this area, “and it’s funny how we sometimes build things up in our minds, in that this is some big drive somewhere, but it’s not, we are less than two and a half hours from Nanaimo.” (Via a Highway 4 drive that takes you through Port Alberni to fuel up on treats.)
Support Toquaht Nation
Secret Beach is in the heart of Toquaht First Nation homelands, built as an economic generator for the nation bringing not just money, but employment for Toquaht people. New for 2023, Secret Beach has added a common gathering space to support community gatherings, and through 2023/24 will be completing work on showers and washroom facilities (showers available 2024), marina expansions and power, water and wastewater services. With these services a septic dump station for guests is currently under construction.
Bike by the cabin community that is coming in 2023 as you head over to the kayak launch, where Paddle West Kayaking will have your rental boats waiting (just call ahead to book your time with them).
“Vancouver Island is becoming quite the destination for bike parks, but not through the trees like this. Culturally modified stumps to work around, which gives some decent shade, in a traditional build of a bike park, the request would be we normally would come to a plot of land with no trees or they’ve all been taken out,” explains Dylan King from Earth Wave BMX, the company who installed the trails.
King and his team’s creation is only a part of the impressive array of amenities; as mentioned in this past Paddle Secret Beach story.
“It’s nice to see our work getting lots of attention,” explains Plonka “it’s been a busy summer, and the bike trail, the marina and the kayak launch are seeing lots of traffic. Welcoming more outdoor enthusiasts and active people out here with the right amenities seems to be working.”
King summarizes how magical this place is, “it is definitely the most unique job site we’ve worked on to date for Earth Wave BMX. Secret Beach with its west coast rainforest environment, being oceanfront and this place is a true destination to camp, paddle, swim and now bike. It’s an experience here.”
When you Go
Secret Beach is open for bookings, with a camping season running from May 18 - Sept 15, 2023. Book a site today.
Bring your bikes but be sure to get in a boat too! Contact Paddle West Kayaks to rent kayaks delivered right to the launch at Secret Beach.
For more inspiration on why you want to paddle Secret Beach, read our coverage on the experience here.
Sure, you might catch a glimpse of local wildlife, like the shot above by Logan Moore of a black bear dining next to the Pacific; but you can rest assured that Secret Beach has its Wild Safe BC Bear Aware designation.
Make it a road trip you will remember, camp with Secret Beach and then head to Huu-ay-aht First Nations in Bamfield to take a Kiixin tour.
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