Ucluelet’s famous Wild Pacific Trail has a new viewpoint called Inspiration Point.
Folks exploring the Lighthouse Loop section of the trail will find Inspiration located about 1.5 kilometres northward of the Whale parking lot on Coast Guard Road.
“I went to impossible and worked my way back. Then I connected the dots,” said trail manager Oyster Jim Martin at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, May 6.
The new attraction takes visitors down an impressive flight of wooden steps towards not one, not two, but three stunning ocean lookouts. Barbara Schramm, Wild Pacific Trail Society (WPTS) president, said Oyster Jim’s vision continues to go above and beyond expectations.
“These viewpoints have definitely done that. He’s a consummate artist and every piece is an ever improving piece of artwork.
This will be a generational enjoyment point for sure. Thanks to Jim and his vision and his continuing energy,” she said.
“He built this stairway by himself, in the worst possible weather. How he can even envision how to do that blows me away. It’s a marvel.”
Don Ferris, WPTS chairman, said he hopes the trail will continue to inspire people to learn more about nature.
“We have to recognize where we are, we’re on First Nations traditional land,” Ferris said during the opening ceremony.
Award winning First Nations photographer Melody Charlie spoke at Saturday’s gathering on behalf of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.
“As Indigenous people we are very much connected to the land and to our food. There’s a spiritual connection there and so this trail is a huge part of who we are. Not only as Indigenous beings but as human beings,” Charlie said.
“There are so many people that are connected digitally today that they are disconnected from nature. So this is really, really, an important part of where we need to continue to go back to.”
Ferris went on to tell the group a story about one of the visitors he encountered at Inspiration Point.
“The guy started talking about how well-built the stairs were and how impressed he was. And then the guy says, You need to understand, I’m the retired dean of architecture from the University of Manitoba,” said Ferris.
It took Oyster Jim about five months to complete Inspiration Point. He started construction in September and finished around February.
“Just before my hernia operation. I built this with a hernia,” Oyster Jim said.
“I spent a lot of time that I really can’t charge trying to find all these shapes and stuff that I need for all of the trim and the curve pieces that go together.”
The Bog Interpretive walk located by the Whale parking lot is the next project on the go.
“Right now it’s envisioned as a half a kilometre tour through a bog that highlights flora and fauna and history of horse logging, the most destructive method for logging, and natural region where nature reclaimed itself after horse logging,” said Oyster Jim.
The new viewpoint was a collaborative effort between the Wild Pacific Trail Society and the District of Ucluelet.
Last summer, the Wild Pacific Trail saw 400,000 visitors on the trail from June through to September.