Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Vancouver Island North is rapidly becoming a first-choice destination for wilderness hikers. Trails and abandoned logging roads penetrate deep into the landscape, offering easy access to remote forests, beaches, streams, and lakes. Many seaside communities are lined with wheelchair-accessible seawalls and boardwalks perfect for family outings and romantic sunset strolls prior to an evening meal. Then there’s the North Coast Trail, a magnificent five-day or longer trek, leading more experienced hikers across the northern end of Vancouver Island and through Cape Scott Provincial Park.

View Vancouver Island North Regional Visitors Map in a new window

The west coast has spectacular options for all levels of hiking ability. Follow forested trails to the open Pacific Ocean where your footprints could quite likely be the only ones in the sand. Two of these west coast hiking highlights became more accessible in the summer of 2010 when the trail to Raft Cove was re-routed and improved with boardwalk and bridging, and the trail to San Josef Bay was resurfaced. A parking lot expansion at the trailhead for San Josef Bay, and Cape Scott, leading to the North Coast Trail was also completed during the site upgrade.

You will find nature that is just a little more natural everywhere you turn on Vancouver Island North. Check in at local Visitor Centres for details on hiking options closest to their communities and destinations beyond.

If you plan on exploring some of the more remote areas of the region, make sure you are prepared:

Proper planning will help you enjoy the rewards of your journey.

VINT2012MapImage-300x200View the Regional Visitors Map Publication…

Port Hardy

Quatse Loop & Estuary Trail – 2.5 km loop
Storey’s Beach – stroll this long stretch of beach, enjoy the wide, sandy expanse that is uncovered at low tide
Tex Lyon Trail – out and back, allow minimum 8 hours for the complete round trip
Beaver Lake Interpretive Trail – 1.3 km interpretive loop
Seawall – paved pathway along the waterfront with views of Hardy Bay

Port McNeill

Schoolhouse Creek Trail – 1.6 km loop
Cluxewe Salt Marsh Trail – 3 km out and back to the beach
Lady Ellen Point Trail – 2 km
Harbour Seawall – oceanfront walkway with views of Broughton Strait

Port Alice

Seawalk – wheelchair accessible pathway along the community coastline of Neroutsos Inlet
Marble River – 8 km return trip, out and back trail
Spruce Bay Interpretive Trail – 2.7 km out and back interpretive trail
Alice Lake Loop – a series of ancient Quatsino karst and limestone formations, all features located approximately 15 km’s from Port Alice including Devil’s Bath, and the Eternal Fountain

Alert Bay

Ecological Park – 1.3 km loop
Alert Bay Trails System – 16 km network of trails
Seawall – Harbour front boardwalk and walkway


Mateoja Trail – 3.2 km one way, allow 3 hours for a return trip
Beautiful Bay Trail – 10 km return trip, allow 5 hours
Pulteney Point Lighthouse – 2.5 km return trip


Cape Scott Park website:
San Josef Bay Trail – 5 km round trip, out and back
Cape Scott Trail – 15 km one way, plenty of camping options
North Coast Trail – 58 km one way, start at the Cape Scott Trailhead or Shushartie Bay
Raft Cove – 4 km round trip, out and back, beachfront camping available
Grant Bay – less than 1 km to the beach, beachfront camping available
Little Huson Caves – a network of trails and limestone formations


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