If you’re a nature-lover looking for the perfect destination, Tofino is a sight that shouldn’t be skipped. Quintessentially Canadian, this town is a popular tourist destination for people who want to experience one of the greatest examples of Pacific Northwestern beauty. Located on the western edge of Vancouver Island, Tofino is surrounded by picturesque mountain views, striking peninsulas, and a tumultuous ocean that serves as a popular surfing destination for both tourists and locals.
A Brief History of Tofino
Tofino and the Clayoquot Sound were inhabited for thousands of years by the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations peoples long before Spanish and European explorers first discovered the island. In 1792, the surrounding area was dubbed “Tofiño Inlet” by Spanish explorers Cayetano Valdés and Dionisio Alcalá Galiano after Galiano’s cartography teacher, Captain Vincent Tofiño.
It was in the latter half of the 19th century that the tilde was removed, and homesteads began popping up in Tofino and the surrounding area. Settlers were mainly of Norwegian, Scottish, and English heritage. By the early 1900s, Tofino had a doctor to provide medical care for its residents, an established post office, and its very first church. The church was mandated that it be built on the most beautiful part of Vancouver Island, and Tofino was the obvious choice. Construction of the church was completed in 1913 and the original structure still stands in the same spot today.
Things to Do in Tofino
Tofino is a great destination if you’re looking to escape from the hubbub of the city and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Here are some of the must-see locations in Tofino:
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
If rugged mountains, sandy beaches, and ancient coastal rainforest are your thing, make sure to visit Pacific Rim National Park during your stay. The park is over 500 square kilometres of natural beauty, and encompasses notable areas like the Broken Group Islands, Long Beach, and the West Coast Trail.
Long Beach in the park is a popular spot for surfers, as it is one of the top surfing destinations in Canada. If surfing isn’t your thing, there is still plenty to see and enjoy at Long Beach. Depending on the time of year, visitors can often spot grey and humpback whales off in the distance. If you happen to be visiting during the winter months, this is a great spot to see one of the dramatic storms that happen during the colder season.
The Pacific Rim National Park also has world-class hiking trails, none more well-known (or well-traveled!) than the West Coast Trail. The trail snakes along the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island and is 75 kilometres in length. This is some intensive hiking, with deep gorges and steep inclines. Most people complete the trail in 5-7 days, so it’s recommended that you have some experience doing multi-day hikes before attempting this one. If you’re planning on hiking the West Coast Trail, be aware that hiking is only allowed from May to September and you’ll need a reservation.
Maquinna Marine Provincial Park
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy windsurfing, hiking, kayaking, and surfing in Tofino, but there are plenty of opportunities to relax here, too! Just north of Tofino, the Maquinna Marine Provincial Park is home to Hot Springs Cove. Boat cruises and seaplanes ferry visitors to the park, where they can enjoy a pleasant half-hour boardwalk stroll before arriving at Hot Springs Cove. Visitors can enjoy ocean views while relaxing in the hot springs, and may even catch a glimpse of a grey whale or sea lion during their visit.
Pacific Rim Whale Festival
If you happen to be visiting during the month of March, be sure to enjoy some whale-watching at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. During this time, 20,000 migrating grey whales make their annual return to Tofino’s coast. Chances are high that you will also see some orca, humpback, and minke whales, too.
Cannabis in Tofino
Surfer culture, island living, and cannabis use all go hand-in-hand, making Tofino a likely place for cannabis connoisseurs to enjoy some Canadian-grown bud. Just make sure to keep a distance of six metres from outdoor public places such as parks, beaches, workplaces, and storefronts before lighting up.
If you’re looking to enhance your hike with cannabis or just want to connect with the island culture, cannabis can help fully immerse you in the moment. It also can help boost that endorphin rush you get when you exercise—the cannabinoid THC is stored in the body’s fat cells and is released when you engage in physical activities.
If you do plan on making cannabis part of your Tofino excursion, be sure to take a friend with you and avoid any unnecessary risks. Most importantly, have fun while you enjoy Tofino’s natural beauty—just make sure to stock up on plenty of water and munchies before you venture out.
Choosing the Right Weed Strain
Finding the right strain can be tricky, especially when you want to combine it with physical activity like hiking. Highgarden Marijuana Dispensary is here to help, with a multitude of strains suitable for a wide range of activities, whether you’re soaking in a hot spring or hiking the beautiful trails of Tofino.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a strain that suits your needs.
1. Find the Right Chemotype
Cannabis’ chemotype is the specific ratio of THC and CBD that marijuana can have, and has a profound impact on the overall effect for the user.
Strains can be THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or have a unique blend of the two cannabinoids. THC is the psychoactive chemical that produces the “high” feeling, while CBD is associated with its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects.
The resulting high produces from THC can range from uplifting and energy-inducing to sedating and calming. CBD is known to negate or reduce the effects of THC, so we recommend a balanced chemotype for any vigorous outdoor activities.
2. Consider the Potency
If you’re planning on incorporating cannabis into your venture out into the Canadian wilderness, make sure you consider the strain’s potency. The level of THC in your weed should be low to moderate if you’re planning on a lot of physical activity or are relatively new to using cannabis.
Terpenes are the chemical compounds that make up all plant-life, as well as cannabis. They are responsible for the smell and flavour profile of your weed. If you like piney, earthy flavours try a strain that is rich in the terpene pinene (like Blue Dream), or one with limonene if you want a more citrusy flavour.
Terpenes can also have an impact on the user’s high, so it’s important to do your research to determine what terpenes will enhance your cannabis experience. Stay away from myrcene (which is linked to sedating, ‘couch-locking’ effects) if you want a more alert high, or try one of Highgarden’s Assorted Bud Combos for a whole range of effects.