Hiking the scenic Schooner Cove Trail through Tofino’s Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

This post may contain affiliate links, which Globe Guide receives compensation for with each click or purchase at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!


Rugged Vancouver Island is a treasured spot for many Canadians—a dazzling gem on the country’s far west coast with shimmering sandy beaches, thick old-growth forests, surf-worthy swells and winding roads leading to tranquil coves. At its heart is the resort town of Tofino, a treasured escape for city slickers who seek respite at charming resorts like the Wickaninnish Inn where guests cozy up in front of a fireplace overlooking the ocean, and listen to the waves crashing against the shoreline as they drift off into a blissful sleep.

Tofino has an enviable perch on the tip of the continent, so what better place to test out a new smartphone that boasts an infinity display than the edge of Canada? That’s how I found myself on the coast, armed with a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 for documenting one of the country’s most scenic spots.

After enjoying a whale watching tour in the morning where we enjoyed the company of massive grey whales spouting out fountains of air, our group set off for an easy hike along Schooner Cove Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The trailhead is located about 16 kilometres from the townsite, where a wooden boardwalk lined with vibrant green moss and foliage leads through an enchanting forest, complete with hanging vines and gargantuan cedars. To say the area is photo heaven is an understatement, and I loved being able to capture even the tiniest details with the Galaxy S8’s selective focus feature, which allows users to blur the foreground or background.

The easily navigable trail is only one kilometre from the Schooner Cove parking lot, meaning the whole walk only takes about 15 minutes until you hit the beach—unless you stop to take 100 photos every five steps like yours-truly. Despite our leisurely pace, it wasn’t long before we could hear the sound of waves lapping at the shoreline, and emerged from the forest’s shaded canopy to find an expansive beach spread out before us.


We’d arrived at Schooner Cove, located on the northern tip of Long Beach which traces the coastline for another 10 kilometres. The light was ethereal, casting a white glow over the golden sand and washing out the craggy rocks clinging to the shore. Like excited kids let out for recess, we all immediately set off in a million different directions, eager to explore the sandbars and scamper up the massive black boulders in search of the perfect shot.

The tide was low, the sun shone bright, and a hint of salt from the ocean waves made its way through the crisp, fresh air. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind: Schooner Cove was the perfect spot for this cast of camera-toting characters to test out their new toys.

Samsung Galaxy S8 specs:

Camera: 12MP rear camera, and 8MP front camera which works well in low-light conditions. It also has a pro mode, for shutterbugs who want to adjust settings like ISO, shutter speed, exposure, colour tone, manual focus and white balance. Who needs a DSLR anyway?!

Life proof: The S8 is water resistant (in 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes) and dust proof—perfect for all those outdoor adventures.

Storage: Along with its internal storage, the S8 also has a micro SD card slot.

Globe Guide explored Tofino as a guest of Samsung Canada. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.


Nanaimo to Tofino: The ultimate Vancouver Island road trip

The best smartphone cases for travellers

The best way to keep your SD card—and memories!—safe

A heli-hiking adventure in British Columbia’s Bugaboos

Globe Guide’s tried and tested, all-time favourite travel accessories


You may also like...

19 Responses

  1. Megan Indoe says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Vancouver! What a beautiful looking place, we will have to check out Tofino when we do make it. The Samsung Galaxy 8 takes some incredible photos!

  2. Rachael says:

    What a beautiful hike! Love all your nature photos!

  3. Awesome hike. There are so many places I want to hike to in Canada already. Thanks for this inspiration.

  4. Danik says:

    This is one area of the Vancouver Island I didn’t do and regret missing it. I hope to hit it up again soon. THis hike looks totally awesome.

  5. Claudia says:

    I was not familiar with Tofino but your pictures are making me want to go! The Samsung camera seems like its very high quality and takes really nice pictures, especially the one of the trees, so beautiful!

  6. Wow, Tofino is gorgeous through your photography! Great job! The beach is sensational.

  7. Jenna says:

    Looks like an amazing trail! We have been trying to plan a trip out to BC, so I’ll have to add this hike to our list for when we do get to visit. Such a gorgeous spot and I love the change of landscapes you encounter on the trail!

  8. Guy Crotty says:

    Have yet to explore any of Canada but the Pacific Rim nature reserve sounds awesome. Definitely makes a difference having a nice camera to capture it all. When my iPhone dies I’m thinking seriously about a Samsung.

  9. Megan Jerrard says:

    Wow these photos were all taken with a Samsung Galaxy S8?! Incredible – I have a very old Samsung and it’s starting to wear out, so I need to upgrade – the camera on my current model is shocking, but these shots are incredible. Thansk for the tip.

    I love Tofino, we visited last year and spent a while driving around Vancouver and Vancouver Island – really loved the area 🙂

  10. Nisha says:

    Nice set of photos, these are. I particularly loved the second photo. It looks like a great place to visit.

  11. Tofino looks magnificent. It’s cool that you were able to capture is beautiful scenery with the use of your cellphone. I haven’t heard so much about Tofino but it has a very great edge to be visited by a lot of tourists. it’s rugged look and laid back ambiance gives more feel to it.

  12. This is a breathtaking trail! I would love to go there one day and enjoy the stunning scenery, Tamara!

  1. December 27, 2017

    […] Tofino- With only two nights on the island this trip was way too quick, but it was heavenly to stay in the beautiful Wickanninish Inn right on the ocean and hang with some of Canada’s top Instagrammers. Also hilarious to see the self-proclaimed adventurers lose their lunch over the side of the boat when we went whale watching. […]

  2. May 22, 2018

    […] spot is Pacific Rim National Park, where visitors can head off on an easy hike along pathways like Schooner Cove Trail. There, a wooden boardwalk lined with vibrant green foliage leads through an enchanting forest, […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.