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The Hot Springs Cove Boardwalk # 6561

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Date: 2005.03.29
Vantage Point: From trail to hot springs on Openit Peninsula

Caption: The trail from the dock to the hot springs is leads through coastal rain forest.

PhotoDescr: A popular destination for visitors to the west coast of Vancouver Island is a natural hot spring on the tip of the Openit Peninsula, northwest of Tofino. The shoreline near the spring is unsuitable for coming ashore, since it is exposed to the open Pacific Ocean.

A dock has been built within the long and narrow cove, about 2 kilometers from the springs, and this boardwalk has been built from the dock to the springs. There is apparently a tradition among recreational sailors along the coast to carve the name of their vessel and the date of the visit into the boardwalk, as many of the boards have these carvings, some of which are quite elaborate. Wood carving is apparently one traditional sailor's skill that hasn't disappeared.

When my wife and I signed up for the boat tour to the hot springs, we were told that there were 1000 steps (up and down) on the 2.4 km boardwalk, but by my count there were fewer than 800. (My dedication to accuracy on this web site knows no bounds.) The commercial boat trip is about an hour and a half each way, with three hours at the cove.

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