Visible across Clayoquot Sound and accessible via kayak or water taxi from the Tofino waterfront, Meares Island was the site of the key 1984 Clayoquot Sound anti-logging protest that kicked off the region's latter-day environmental movement. As a result, it preserves some geriatric trees including a 1500-year-old red cedar, called the 'Hanging Garden,' that would have been a sapling not long after the Roman Empire fell. There are two hiking trails on Meares.
The Big Tree Trail is a 4.2km loop, some of it on boardwalk, that takes in the Hanging Garden and other impressively large trees. The Lone Cone Trail is a steep scramble to the top of the distinctive crinkled mountain visible from Tofino. It's 7km round-trip with 730m of ascent. The trails start in different places. A water taxi costs $25 for the Big Tree and $40 for the Lone Cone.