Recreation Sites, Parks & Trails

It’s easy to find yourself off the beaten track and immersed in the surrounding nature on the North Island. Every day here dawns with fresh possibilities for those eager to explore the region on foot. Take it easy with short, scenic loop routes. Spend the day hiking there and back to a postcard picnic spot by lake, river or ocean. Or go long on overnight and multi-day backpacking treks into the heart of nature.

Casual hikers can map out the day’s agenda over breakfast, then embark on a series of diverse trails. Many seaside communities are lined with wheelchair-accessible seawalls and boardwalks perfect for family outings and sunset strolls prior to an evening meal.

Vancouver Island North Recreation Map

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Cape Scott Park

The San Josef Bay Trail (2.5 km), the Cape Scott Trail (16.8 km to Nels Bight), and the North Coast Trail (59 km) are all located on the northern tip of Vancouver Island within Cape Scott Provincial Park.

Alert Bay Trails

Walk woodland trails, traverse the boardwalk and keep an eye to the sky for bird-life in the Alert Bay Ecological Park. The trail system is suitable for hiking and/or mountain biking.

Beautiful Bay Trail

The Beautiful Bay Trail begins at the Bere Point Campground on Malcolm Island. This is a 10 km round trip out-and-back trail that winds along a ridge through stunning rainforest.

Alice Lake Loop

This area offers one of the best opportunities in Canada to view features typical of karst landforms. Stop at the feature sites, the Eternal Fountain and the Devil’s bath to get a closer look at these formations.

Little Huson Caves

Little Huson Cave Park features limestone and rock arch formations. View the spectacular cave formations by the lake or walk the trail to see the magnificent limestone arches and rock platforms.


Go into the wild with the Top 10 Wilderness Treks

Many people come to the north Island not so much as visitors, but as explorers. The road less travelled and the path less worn is an invitation to curious adventurers to unveil the rugged beauty that is revealed with each remarkable step. Rocky shorelines and sandy beaches, coastal rainforests and cliff side trails. One-way distances listed for these moderate and difficult routes.
All trail locations are marked on the Vancouver Island North Recreation Map.

  1. Beautiful Bay Trail, 5 km [Sointula]
  2. Cape Scott Trail, 16.8 km to Nels Bight [West Coast]
  3. Fort Rupert Trail, 3.7 km [Port Hardy]
  4. Marble River Trail, 4.2 km [near Port Alice]
  5. North Coast Trail, 59 km [Northwest Coast]
  6. Raft Cove Trail, 2 km [West Coast]
  7. San Josef Bay Trail, 2.5 km [West Coast]
  8. Telegraph Trail, 3.7 km [Telegraph Cove]
  9. Tex Lyon Trail, 5.5 km [Port Hardy]
  10. Woss Lookout Trail, 1.8 km [Woss]

Uniquely North Island

  • Killer whale rubbing beach at Bere Point Regional Park [Sointula]
  • Sea stacks at San Josef Bay [Cape Scott Park]
  • Remnants of early Danish settlement such as wagon wheels, wood burning stoves, and fence posts stretching out into fields created by the dyke system developed for farming near Hansen Lagoon in Cape Scott Park
  • Exotic pioneer garden in the middle of the coastal rainforest at the lovingly restored Ronning’s Garden [near Holberg]
  • Limestone landbridge at Little Huson Caves Regional Park [near Woss]
  • Restored fire lookout tower at the top of the Woss Lookout Trail [near Woss]
  • Steam locomotive 113 built in 1920 for rail logging at Woss Heritage Park [Woss]
  • Namgis’ Awak’was (translated to mean “sitting on a summer seat”) structures along the Front Alert Bay Boardwalk [Alert Bay]
  • Interpretive forest trail at Beaver Lake (on opposite side of Hwy 30 from the lake) [Port Alice turn off]
  • Curious karst features along the Alice Lake Loop include Devil’s Bath and the Eternal Fountain [near Port Alice]
  • Quatse Salmon Interpretive Centre in Quatse River Regional Park [Port Hardy]
  • Brougthon Archipelago Provincial Park, BC’s largest marine park [accessible by boat only, 30 km east of Port McNeill]


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