Cape Scott Provincial Park
15,070 hectares of rugged coastal wilderness that feature 64 kilometres ( 40 miles) of scenic oceanfront and 23 kilometres ( 14 miles) of sandy beaches. Transportation to Cape Scott Provincial Park by boat or road is available in Port Hardy. Guided tours are also available but must be booked in advance.
Fish the area streams, popular for trout and steelhead fishing, the coastal waters for coho salmon, drive to Telegraph Cove, a whale watcher's paradise, then take a scenic wildlife cruise of Robson Bight - an ecological reserve for killer whales.
Telegraph Cove - Alert Bay Foot Ferry
Visitors to the North Island now have speedy access to Alert Bay and Sointula from Telegraph Cove and the opportunity to learn about and experience First Nation and Finnish Culture. Alert Bay has history dating back to the beginning of the century and offers excellent photography subjects such as the Old Cannery Building and St. George's Chapel. Visit the U'Mista cultural centre which houses one of the finest mask and Potlatch collections on the Island.
The North Island Forestry Center
The North Island Forestry Center offers free tours where you will learn about both young and old growth forests, visit a fish hatchery and talk to workers on site. All tours are approximately 6 hours long and sturdy shoes are recommended. Bring a camera as wildlife is abundant in the areas you will be travelling. Interesting displays and information can also be seen at the Forestry Center located at the junction of Highway 19 and Beaver Cove Road. To arrange a free tour call (250) 956-3844.
Head 40 kilometres west of Port McNeill to the recently discovered Jurassic Cave which has 952 metres of surveyed passages. Other local attractions include the Little Huson Regional Caves, the world's largest burl weighing more than 22 tons and measuring 45 feet around. Burls result from abnormal gowth development in the tree following a natural disturbance.
Mount Cain Regional Park
Equipped with two t-bar ski lifts, "mile high" Mount Cain offers 16 downhill runs and plenty of fresh powder snow for the ski and snowboard enthusiast. For more ski information contact the Mount Cain Alpine Park Society at (250) 956-3849.
Within Strathcona Park, huge clean sweeps of rock form an alpine climbers dream. The towering 1,000 metre East Face of Mt. Colonel Foster and several of the other peaks over 7,000 feet have attracted climber's from around the world for their world class calibre rock and ice routes. Crest Lake is the most developed sport climbing area with well over a hundred routes. The climbs are found in beautiful surroundings, under tall old-growth forest and overlooking sparkling mountain lakes.
The 600 foot Discovery Pier is a favoured spot to take an afternoon stroll and enjoy the breathtaking views of passing cruise ships or try your luck at angling. The Quinsam Salmon Hatchery is interesting with self-guided tours detailing the life of the Pacific Salmon. Elk Falls Provincial Park is only minutes from town showcasing the spectacular falls that drop 25 meters off a rock precipice into a walled canyon amidst walking trails, picnic sites and old growth forest. For those with a thrill for heights, cross the Canyon View Trail pipeline bridge for a great view of the mighty Campbell River.