The Sites

Cow Bay

Cow Bay Photo

Cow Bay is nearly five kilometers of uninterrupted white sand. The beach is made even more vast during low tides when it becomes half a kilometer wide in some places. In the sand here, there are often wolf, bear and cougar prints waiting to be spotted. During the summer it is common to find 10 or more grey whales congregating in this bay, easily seen and heard from shore. Cow Bay is a great place for finding sand dollars and a variety of seashells.


Tl'ihtl'aa Photo

Approaching the beach of Tl’ihtl’aa through the thick tunnel of Sitka and cedar that lines the trail, it first emerges as a refreshing breeze and then a breathe taking vista of the white sand and turquoise water breaks through the trees. The sign-post at the trail head Ahousaht artist Qwaya Sam’s carving of the legend of Tl’hitl’aa (Tl’ihtl’aa means red rocks). The red rocks contain an abundance of marine invertebrates and the beach at Tl’hitl’aa is a traditional foraging ground for shellfish and intertidal food.

Ca?ak (The River)

Ca?ak - The River Photo

On the trail leading up to the river the forest floor is damp and rich with nutrients, making it one of the best locations on the trail to harvest berries and other medicinal plants that require moisture to grow. After the emergency shelter, the trail leads down to the ‘low-tide shortcut’, where, if the weather and tide is right, you can cross the river and save between 30 minutes to an hour by not walking to the bridge.

Wo'Aihsi (The Bridge)

The Bridge Photo

This is a sacred site that holds significance regarding the historical war between the Otsosaht and the Ahousaht (see the link “Cultural Histories”). At the east edge of the bridge there are two signposts, one leading towards the “Trail of Tears” and the other leading towards Kutcous point This is a spot where guides who are connected with the land have been able to hear the songs of their ancestors being sang by the forest.

The CMT (Culturally Modified Tree)

CMT Photo

This ancient hoomis (cedar) and those surrounding it are likely 800 years old or older (the oldest hoomis in Clayquot Sound is 1400yrs). What most people don’t know about trees, is that some trees roots go down beneath the forest floor half as deep as the tree is tall. The root systems of the trees in a given area touch and support one another under the ground. These underground roots systems are how ancient trees are able to stand strong in massive winds and even during earthquakes, by supporting one another.

Katkwuuwis(Kutcous Point)

Kutcous Photo

Katkwuuis is known to be a historic summer village site, where Ahousahts would come to hunt for seal and halibut. On the west side, this site is highly exposed but relatively sheltered on the east, making for a unique mix of geographic features that include jagged rocks with rich intertidal life and conversely, sun hungry wildflowers and sedge grasses. This is one of few spots on the Wildside trail where sedge grasses can be found and it was traditionally used as a gathering site.