Port Alberni is located in the heart of the Alberni Valley surrounded by the Beaufort Mountain Range and many lakes. These lakes offer great swimming, picnicking and fishing. Most lakes in the area are well stocked with Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout. In the winter Stamp River is home to spawning Stealhead, there are many fishing guides in the area who can take you to where the Stealhead are.
Whether you are traveling through Port Alberni on your way to the West Coast or staying for a few days be sure to take in some of the wonderful day trips, below are a few of our favourites.
Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees, majestic pillars untouched by the modern world – some more than 800 years old.
Trails on either side of the highway lead visitors through the mighty stands of this coastal forest. On the south side you will find the largest Douglas firs – one measuring more than 9 metres in circumference. On the northern side of the road you’ll find groves of ancient Western red cedar standing sentry over nearby Cameron Lake. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/macmillan/
Take a day trip on the M.V. Francis Barkley
The Frances Barkley emulates the slower pace of life of yesteryear and while aboard you’ll have plenty of time to look for wildlife and enjoy the scenery as well as make the acquaintance of your fellow passengers. You are invited to share your experiences with the ship’s crew when they are not engaged in landing at a wharf of float, or loading/unloading freight. They will be pleased to answer your questions and provide assistance. So bring your binoculars, your camera (don’t forget extra batteries and media cards), a warm jacket and casual clothes (you’re going aboard a working packet freighter) and thoroughly enjoy your day!
Scheduled service with the M.V. Frances Barkley to points of call along the Alberni Inlet and in Barkley Sound. This includes all day trip excursions and connections to Bamfield, Ucluelet, the Broken Group Islands and Sechart Lodge. http://ladyrosemarine.com/
Spend an afternoon visiting McLean Mill National Historic Site, Canada’s only commercial steam-operated mill. You can see demonstrations of the saw mill and old time logging techniques as well as original building and restore logging equipment. Be sure to check out a show of the Tin Pants Theatre Company while visiting the mill. http://www.alberniheritage.com/mclean-mill/welcome-mclean-steam-sawmill
Alberni Pacific Railway
Ride the Alberni Pacific Railway, a restored 1929 Baldwin ex-logging locomotive that winds through the City of Alberni and surrounding forests. The train boards at the 1912 CPR Station in downtown Port Alberni and goes to the McLean Mill. A favorite stop on the route is at Chase & Warren Estate Winery.
Spend a day at Sprout Lake, pack a picnic lunch and drive to the Fish and Duck Pub on Faber Road, where you can rent a speed boat. You can visit the Fossli Provincial Park and walk to the waterfalls, then ride into two rivers am for a picnic and swim. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/sproat_lk/
Take a back country driving tour to Nahmint Lake, this truly is a hidden gem!! This route take you around Gracie Lake along the north side of Nahmint Lake to the Alberni Inlet, then back to Port Alberni.
Visit the Horne Lake Caves, where you will see crystal formations and ancient fossils.
If you are visiting in the early summer or fall, be sure to see the salmon jumping at Stamp Falls. You won’t believe the number of fish spawning up the river, mid-morning when the sun falls onto the pool below the falls you can see hundreds of them lined up waiting their turn.
Pacific Rim National Park
Enjoy a drive over Sutton Pass to Pacific Rim National Park located on west coast of Vancouver Island. Have lunch on Wickaninnish Beach at the Kwisitis Feast House then stop in the Kwisitis Interpretive Center, the exhibits are stunning. A full size recreation of a whale hunt takes up much of the main room. http://tofinohiatus.com/component/content/article/71-kwisitis-visitor-centre.html
Whether you travel to Tofino or Ucluelet there are many trails along the way to discover. A few of our favorites are Amphitrite Lighthouse Loop, the Wild Pacific Trail and the Rainforest Trail.
Explore the area and discover the maps of the park