The hike starts with a short walk through rainforest on a well maintained earth and boardwalk path following alongside the shores of the Hiellen River.
The Tow Hill Hiking Trail is a short 15-30 minute trek (approx. 1 km - .6 mi. one way) through coastal forests comprised of ferns, deadfall and salal all the way to the summit of Tow Hill and a lookout deck. The trail starts out from the parking lot where there is some pit toilets and a small picnic area.
The hard packed earth trail changes quickly to boardwalk a few hundred metres into the hike. Soon, about half way, the trail splits. There is a sign pointing left to the top of Tow Hill and right to the coast and the Blow Hole. Yes, this is the same trail as the Blow Hole Trail.
The Tow Hill Hiking Trail leads to the top of Tow Hill where the views go for miles. The coastline cliffs, open ocean, rocky shoreline below and the sound of the waves crashing the coast... all great. And on a clear day one can see Alaska. One of the best hikes for views of North Beach.
Tow Hill is a result of molten lava erupting out from small cracks in the earth about 2 million years ago. Once the lava reached the surface it cooled quickly and formed rock columns referred to as basalt. Then, 15 thousand years ago the ice age came covering the area.
After being frozen for many years the ice began retreating north, 'sand papering' the north face of Tow Hill in the process leaving behind a vertical north face. Since then the west coast storms have been battering away at Tow Hill causing further erosion.