Port Alberni: Gateway to the Pacific
Port Alberni and the pastoral Alberni Valley serve as the gateway to Vancouver Island’s world famous Pacific Rim National Park. Nearby attractions include whale-watching at Long Beach, surfing in Tofino and the colourful fishing town of Ucluelet.
Port Alberni boasts a deep-sea port that opens to Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by freshwater lakes and streams, the area is well known for extraordinary salmon sports fishing. Kayaking, hiking, golfing and wildlife viewing are other popular outdoor activities. The area is home to black bear, bald eagles, sea lions, mink and the once endangered Trumpeter Swan.
Visitors will discover these and more Alberni Valley wonders:
- Cathedral Grove – where towering 800-year old Douglas Fir and old-growth Western Red Cedars stand guard over a pristine rainforest.
- McLean Mill National Historic Site – climb aboard a 1929 Baldwin logging locomotive and ride the rails to Canada’s only steam-powered sawmill.
- Alberni Harbour Quay – stroll through West Coast and First Nations art galleries and gift shops. Watch for bears across the bay from the boardwalk.
- Della Falls – one of North America’s tallest waterfalls at 440m (1450 ft); it’s worth the 7 hour, 16-km hike – one-way.
- Mars Water Bombers – built by Howard Hughes in the 1940s, they are BC’s firefighting heroes. When not in action, see them at scenic Sproat Lake.
- The Log Train Trail – walk, bike or horseback ride along this 25-km historic trail following the grade of the old Bainbridge Mill logging train.
- MV Francis Barkley – take a day trip aboard this working vessel up the Alberni inlet to spot grey and orca whales, seals, sea lions and black bears.
- Petroglyphs – discover some of the finest prehistoric First Nations petroglyphs in BC on the trail at the eastern end of Sproat Lake.
- Pacific Rim National Park – 16 km of sand at Long Beach, hiking in old-growth rainforest on the West Coast Trail, sea kayaking and wildlife viewing in the Broken Group Islands archipelago.
Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences is being built on a prime site with spectacular views of snow-peaked Mount Arrowsmith, Mount Klitsa, and Vancouver Island’s beautiful Beaufort Mountain Range. For more on Port Alberni and the Alberni Valley, please visit: www.albernivalleytourism.com or www.avcoc.com.