With over 2,138 miles of coastline, Vancouver Island has a plethora of stunning beaches. The most accessible beach with the greatest scenery and opportunities for serenity and solitude is French Beach. French Beach, and the park it is located in, French Beach Provincial Park are named for James French, a nineteenth century Canadian explorer and pioneer who walked across the entirety of Canada over a two year period. The Provincial Park bearing his name was established in 1974, and encompasses fifty-nine hectares. As the name implies, the signature feature of the park is the beach, which is located near where James French ultimately resided. From the beach, travelers can view the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and on a clear day, can see across it to America, and Olympic National Park.
With its empty sand and rock covered beach expanses, to its eerie old growth forests, and its high mountain peaks, Vancouver Island has a plethora of outdoor locations to visit and experience. The island is also home to two challenging and well-known hiking trails, the West Coast Trail, and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail that traverse the southwest corner of the island. While worthwhile, both of these trails are lengthy, challenging affairs that require a multi-day time commitment to complete. Fortunately, for all levels of hikers, there is a short trail at the end of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail that allows everyone to experience the epic scenery of Vancouver Island in a short distance and includes a trek through the forest, a suspension bridge, and a stunning beach with caves and a waterfall. That trail, and that destination is the aptly named Mystic Beach.