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The Surf Junction Campground has been owned and operated by Nick and Kaleigh Haisch since 2012. Offering nearly 100 campsites, visitors can reserve units that vary in type, such as tent sites and full hookup RV sites, among others. A particularly unique feature that is available to patrons during their stay is surf lessons, which are taught by Nick or other certified and trained surf instructors. In addition to beach activities located near the property, the campground is located among a few notable attractions that draw a fair amount of tourists, namely Pacific Rim National Park, Kennedy Lake, and the downtown area. Outdoor activities are relatively popular, as a number of visitors come to engage in fishing, hiking, kayaking, or whale watching.
Situated in the southern region of Vancouver Island, the Surf Junction
Campground occupies an expanse of nearly 74 acres in total; however, 50 of
those acres are utilized for the campground, while the remainder is comprised
of wetlands and rainforest. Roughly 100 campsites are available for visitors to
reserve, each of which is categorized into different types of sites. A mix of
about 65 tenting sites, 20 full-service RV sites, and 15 reservable spaces with
30 amp power and water are the general classifications of each type of unit.
Among these reservable spaces, there are group sites that can accommodate
up to 15 occupants, and they are about the size of two tenting sites.
The acreage is divided into two lots: the Back Lot and the Front Lot. A notable feature of the Back Lot is the communal building, which serves as a kitchen area for guests as it includes a fridge, microwave, and cooktop. Visitors can store their food in this building or use it as a common area for lounging. This particular lot primarily contains more nature in comparison to the Front Lot, which is characterized by a covered area and playground. One aspect of the campground that the property is known for is the on-site hot tub and sauna in the Front Lot, which are utilized often due to the weather being relatively cooler at the location. Furthermore, a store on the premises sells pots, pans, food, snacks, ice cream, firewood, ice, merchandise, and standard surf equipment. An espresso machine can also be found inside the store. Guests have access to two shower facilities during their stay. They are coin-operated; one quarter gives one minute of warm water. Kaleigh explains that this is due to the campground being on a well with limited water.
Outside the borders of the Surf Junction Campground acreage, the establishment is encompassed by rainforest areas. A popular draw for tourism that can be found in close proximity to the campground is the Pacific Rim National Park, which receives a fair amount of visitors annually. The nearby beaches, located about five minutes from the property, also draw a number of people, especially those who take an interest in outdoor activities. The Surf Junction Campground offers complimentary rides to the beach for people who have signed up for surf lessons. Other outdoor recreational activities such as kayaking, whale watching, hiking, and fishing are also available within the area. Kaleigh, the owner of Surf Junction Campground, describes the location to be "Canada's California" when regarding the various attractions that can be found in the surroundings. As for places to eat, Kaleigh recommends patrons visit Zoe's Bakery and Cafe, Ucluelet Brewery, and Yayu Cafe.
As the name implies, the Surf Junction Campground primarily caters to surfers, in addition to other demographics of visitors such as families. Surf lessons are available to patrons for an additional fee, and they can be booked online or through the main office. Guests can select a time to have either a group or private lesson. It is required for visitors to be ages twelve and up to participate in group lessons; however, those who are under the age of twelve can take private lessons so that instructors can be of assistance more effectively to younger individuals who may require extra guidance. Nick, one of the owners of Surf Junction Campground, typically teaches these classes periodically throughout the summer, although he is not one of the regularly scheduled instructors. However, he loves teaching the classes. Nick's wife, Kaleigh, the other owner, remarks that he enjoys interacting with visitors through these lessons. For those who choose to take these lessons during their stay, discounts are given for surf rentals at the campground. A wetsuit drying room is also available for surfers to dry their suits overnight, though an additional fee is required for the use of the room.
The Surf Junction Campground enforces a few policies that visitors must abide by during their stay. Some of the most important guidelines are the safety precautions that must be taken regarding bears, which entail picking up any bear attractants or scented items. A considerable number of bears roam the area, and the owners caution visitors to be aware of such wildlife during their stay. It is recommended by the owners to keep food inside vehicles and to only use designated bathrooms rather than the woodland areas. Aside from safety guidelines with bears, quiet hours last from 11:00 PM to 9:00 AM. Pets are also welcome to stay on the premises, but they must be leashed at all times. Excessive barking is not permitted, and pet owners must take full responsibility for their animals by picking up after them. A two-dollar fee is required for every pet that is brought to the campground.
Nick and Kaleigh Haisch have the goal of providing their guests with an experience that allows them to feel "at home and comfortable," as stated by Kaleigh. She also hopes that visitors may find the place to be "cool and funky." To further emulate this welcoming atmosphere that the owners strive to provide, the staff put forth the effort to greet patrons and help guests feel like they're family. A fair amount of reviews have commented on the staff's service and other aspects of the campground. One guest who previously stayed at the Surf Junction Campground stated, "The campsites are private and cozy, lots of trees and growth in between the sites. The staff is friendly and helpful, they made sure we were enjoying our stay." Kaleigh takes pride in her team as she remarks, "[The] staff cares about the campground, and that shows in how they treat guests and how they view their job." She mentions that their staff has ultimately aided the success of the property.
Open from the beginning of April to mid-October, the Surf Junction Campground closes during the winter season due to harsh weather conditions and potentially dangerous storms. According to Kaleigh, the best time to visit the area is in May, June, or September, though the busiest months tend to be July and August. Most visitors come during July and August to engage in surfing; however, Kaleigh notes that during the month of August, it generally becomes foggier. She nicknames this month "Fog-gust." The spring and fall seasons are Kaleigh's favorite times, as the weather is fairly decent during this time.
The acreage on which the Surf Junction Campground resides has been a campground since the late 1980s, formerly known as Big Woody. In 2001, the previous owners, Paul Alexander and Colleen Ericson, turned the establishment into Surf Junction Campground. Nick and Kaleigh Haisch, the current owners, were led to purchase the property when they traveled to the area and stayed at the Surf Junction Campground in 2011. When they discovered it was for sale, they became interested in taking ownership of the acreage. In the year 2012, the couple purchased the campground and proceeded with a few renovations. Originally they bought 18 acres, but they ended up buying the 54 available acres that were behind the property. They then added the surf shack, upgraded all of the electrical services, renovated the Front Lot bathroom, and built the wetsuit drying room and communal room.
As for future plans, Nick and Kaleigh hope to add a laundry facility, as well as trails on the additional 54 acres. They also hope to provide more on-site activities and small events at the campground, such as hiking groups, BBQs, or movie nights, to name a few. Kaleigh explains that she loves seeing "everyone's excitement to be out here."
Nick and Kaleigh Haisch
Paul Alexander and Colleen Ericson