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Whale Watch telegraph cove northern VancouVer island British ColumBia’s 1st Whale WatChing Company – Founded 1980

reserVations 1-800-665-3066 Stubbs Island Whale Watching is dedicated to ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation. 2 |

rated “excellent”

Black Bear Resort & Spa

Black Bear

Newest resort & spa on northern Vancouver Island

FP Spectacular ocean view rooms West Coast cabins Deluxe continental breakfast Free wireless internet No smoking/no pets Wheelchair accessible rooms BBQ area Kitchenette suites Meeting room Adult only spa facility and pool area Fitness centre 25 minutes from BC Ferries terminal to Prince Rupert BC

Port McNeill - British Columbia 1-866-956-4900 | 3

© D. Bradshaw


Vancouver Island North V

ancouver Island North is the first word and last stop in western Canada for relaxed and spontaneous eco-adventure. The upper third of the North America’s largest island is unspoiled and largely undiscovered yet just a day’s travel from Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle. It offers a breathtaking palette of parks, forests, lakes, saltwater inlets and jigsaw-puzzle coastline. Black bears forage for berries, whales splash at sea and eagles glide overhead. The region also stretches past the shores of Vancouver Island to include magnificent Knight Inlet and a swath of the Great Bear Rainforest on the mainland of British Columbia. Our friendly towns and villages are charmingly relaxed, pleasingly civilized and within easy reach of the area’s many special wild places. Once unpacked, you’re free to experience the North Island at your own pace. Spend your days out at sea, exploring magical coastlines, or immersed in our inland wilderness. Meet and mingle with the friendly locals at cultural, seasonal and community festivals. Shop for crafts created on the North Island. Experience First Nations traditions, art, and living culture. Dine on the day’s catch around a campfire or treat yourself to a good meal at one of our restaurants.

of local museums. Telegraph Cove is a virtual museum in itself with its wooden buildings, boardwalk and whale interpretive centre. Peaceful oceanfront communities like Sointula, Sayward and Quatsino remain havens for the same getaway-from-it-all dreams that drew their original homesteaders. Find yourself while getting lost in nature. Enjoy the amenities of our towns and villages. And visit during summer festival season for a taste of authentic community spirit. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, this remote yet accessible corner of British Columbia serves up outdoor pleasures with a satisfying dash of comfort. Published by North Island Gazette Box 458, Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0 Phone 250-949-6225 Fax 250-949-7655 Publisher: Sandy Grenier Sales: Lisa Harrison Graphic Design: Michelle Hueller in partnership with Vancouver Island North Tourism © 2014 North Island Gazette.

As the sun sinks in the west, relax with your traveling companions wherever you’ve settled – wilderness campground, B&B, cabin, cottage, hotel or resort. Trade stories, scan digital snapshots and plan tomorrow’s new adventure. After all the fresh air and active playtime, you’ll sleep well and awake refreshed, revitalized and ready for more.

No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the North Island Gazette.

Explore the North Island on your own with go-anywhere impulsiveness. Or hand the reigns to expert guides and charter operators. Troll for salmon in the Queen Charlotte Strait or steelhead and trout in inland lakes. Watch orcas spy hop across ocean waves. Ski world-class powder at crowd-free Mount Cain. Photograph black bears on the Island and their grizzly counterparts in the Great Bear Rainforest on the adjacent mainland coast. Run the world’s fastest navigable tidal rapids. Try scuba diving at God’s Pocket Marine Park, surfing at Raft Cove or kayaking on the sheltered east or wild west coasts. Perhaps best of all, strap on a backpack for a trek to windswept, impossibly scenic Cape Scott Provincial Park at the island’s northern tip.

By bus

Discover the North Island Monday to Saturday Bus routes serve: Port McNeill Port Hardy Fort Rupert Quatsino/Coal Harbour

The Kwakwaka’wakw peoples have called this region home for thousands of years. Alert Bay is internationally known for its First Nations cultural centre, public dance performances and the world’s tallest totem pole. Visitors to Fort Rupert watch awestruck as native carvers transform raw wood into exquisite art. Fishing, logging and mining drew the first European settlers north in the 1860s, and their history is documented in a good selection

Zone fares apply. Call or visit the website for info.

ve Fines, s: Black bear by Ste , Eagle by Catherine Hufnagel Front Cover photo oto Ph ck on,Orca Sto Fish by Jamie Harris 0327

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Regional District of Mount Waddington

Transit Info 250·956·3151 •






Wildlife Viewing......................................6 Whale Watching .....................................7 Charters ..................................................8 Sports Fishing .........................................9 Fun & Relaxation ..................................10 Museums & Cultural Centres...............11 Hiking .............................................. 12-13 Caving....................................................14 Diving ....................................................14 Kayaking ................................................15 Camping & Recreation Sites.................20 First Nations..........................................21

61 facilities & info


Dining ....................................................16 Travelling ...............................................17 Accommodations ........................... 18-19 2014 Events Calendar...........................31 Regional Map.................................. 32-33 Community Maps ........................... 34-37



Alert Bay.......................................... 22-25 Coal Harbour ........................................26 Holberg & Winter Harbour ..................27 Port Alice......................................... 28-30 Port Hardy....................................... 38-46 Quatsino ...............................................47 Port McNeill .................................... 48-52 Broughton Archipelago ........................53 Sayward .......................................... 54-55 Sointula .................................................57 Telegraph Cove ............................... 58-60 Woss & Nimpkish Valley.......................61 Zeballos .................................................62 | 5

© Boomer Jerritt


Wildlife Viewing W

ild things roam here. Expect your first sightings to be majestic bald eagles riding the updrafts overhead or perhaps a black bear munching on sweet grass at the edge of Highway 19 (locally known as “bear alley”). The Roosevelt Elk and Vancouver Island Marmot are unique to the region. Great blue herons fish at the edge of estuaries that echo with the sweet call of songbirds. The Vancouver Island North region includes a section of the mainland coast that is renowned as one of the world’s finest destinations for grizzly bear sightseeing. Day tours depart from Telegraph Cove to Knight Inlet by boat, and multi-day tours (including accommodation at a floating wilderness lodge) head to the Great Bear Rainforest from Port Hardy by floatplane. To stay safe and make the most of these rare photo opportunities, please be aware of the following when encountering wildlife:

❚ Always travel in a group and keep a close eye on small children and pets for safety when hiking in the woods ❚ Talk, sing, whistle or wear a bell when hiking in order to avoid startling a wild animal ❚ If you encounter a wild animal, stay back a respectful distance so that they do not feel threatened ❚ Do not feed wild animals ❚ If confronted by a wild animal, pick up small children, make yourself look as large as possible, back away slowly and leave the area ❚ Never run from a wild animal

         National Geographic Adventure

GREAT BEAR LODGE Bear-viewing at floating wilderness lodge. 

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❚ The safest encounter (for both you and the animal) is an encounter that is avoided © C. Hufnagel

“One of the best adventure  travel companies on earth.”

© Jackie Hildering


Locals Know:

❚ Keep clear of th e whales’ path of travel ❚ Do not approach or position your ve ssel closer than 10 meters to any wh 0 ale ❚ Do not swim with , touch or feed m arine wildlife ❚ Reduce speed to less than 7 knots wh en within 400 met of the nearest wh ers ale ❚ Do not approach whales from the fro nt or behind, alway approach and depa s rt from the side ❚ Additional care is to be taken in areas with humpb whales, be on the ack lookout for blows

Whale Watching V

ancouver Island North’s most celebrated residents are its marine mammals. Members of a population of some 260 fisheating orcas known as the “northern residents” are often in these waters in pursuit of salmon. The more stealthy mammal-eating population of orca known as “Transients” or “Bigg’s killer whales” are also often hunting in the area. Back from the brink of extinction, humpback whales are now also a regular sighting and make this area all the more remarkable for its marine mammal diversity. Sightseeing trips may also encounter Pacific harbour seals, Dall’s and harbour porpoise, minke whales and a prodigious array of seabirds. Acrobatic Pacific white-sided dolphins and the world’s largest sea lion species, the Steller sea lion, are in the area year-round, though spring and fall are the most predictable times to see large numbers of both. The sight of dozens of sea lions lazing on the rocks and growling loudly is unforgettable. Vancouver Island North tour operators view all of these magnificent creatures with respect. The small community of operators here is dedicated to ensuring safe, sustainable encounters that serve marine mammals and sightseers in equal measure. Captains closely adhere to “Be Whale

Wise” guidelines that dictate that boats stay at least 100 meters away from any whales. That’s not to say these remarkable mammals won’t make a memorable encounter on their own terms.

❚ If you know of a collision, or see boats driving recklessly around whales, call the DFO Marine Mammal Incident Reporting Line 1-800-465-4336

❚ Be Whale Wise guidelines apply to all tour operators, commercial and pleasure craft, as well as kayaks and other self-propelled vessels: ❚ Be cautious and courteous, approaching known areas of marine wildlife activity with extreme caution ❚ Stay on the offshore side of the whales when they are travelling close to shore With the return of humpback whales to the area, for the sake of both human and whale safety, extra measures are required to avoid collision: ❚ Use extra caution when travelling at high speed ❚ Ask marinas where humpback sightings are frequent and reduce speed in these areas ❚ If you see a whale flag on a nearby vessel whales are in the area Slow down and watch for blows | 7


Charters You caught the big one... ...what are you going to do with it? We can help with: 

 Custom Smoking Custom filleting & vacuum packaging  Shipping services available, some restrictions apply.

To pre-arrange any of these services call


9300 Trustee Road, Port Hardy • 250-949-8781 (in the North Island Mall)

Nakwakto Rapids Tours Guided by native storytellers and seasoned skippers, visit the world’s fastest navigable tidal rapids and explore coastal wilderness. Departing from the Art Shack, Seagate Dock Port Hardy 250-230-3574 A GNN Marine Service

Fishing charters • Salmon, halibut, snapper & ling cod fishing • whale watching • scenic boat cruises • hiking or just relaxing & enjoying the scenery Whales Reach Lodge is located in Coal Harbour on the north end of Vancouver Island, 15km west of Port Hardy.

Larry Weber 250-902-9493

Specializing in fishing trips for salmon, halibut & steelhead.

Whale’s Reach Lodge 1-604-315-9420 or 1-250-949-6681

SALMON CITY CHARTERS Full & Half Day Fishing Charters Salmon • Halibut • Bottom Fish 24 ft fully enclosed trophy boat with heated cabin & washroom on board

Book a charter today & experience one of the best salmon fishing spots in the world. 250-902-9439 •

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Certified & Insured!

Regan Hickling

“30 years plus” experience in local waters

Box 1, Port Alice, BC V0N 2N0 • 250-284-6204 or cell: 250-209-2779


© Jamie Harrison

Sports Fishing


mmerse yourself in one of the North Island’s most enjoyable pastimes. Cast a line as you motor past postcard maritime scenery. Wait patiently for the big ones to bite while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow passengers and the good humour of the laidback guides who lead charter expeditions. Then get set to reel in the catch of the day, soon to be cleaned and readied for either the evening campfire or professionally prepared, frozen or vacuum-packed, for the trip home. All five varieties of Pacific salmon run fast on migration routes that travel down the west and east side of the Island, occasionally detouring on tides and currents out into the Queen Charlotte Strait. That gives North Island fishing enthusiasts first dibs on these members of the genus known as Oncorhynchus (aka the big pink ones) as they head south to their spawning grounds. Float your own boat at one of the many convenient ramps in our

This is your top notch, fully guided fishing charter boat! Specializing in salmon and bottom fishing opportunities fishing out of Port Hardy located on the northern tip of beautiful Vancouver Island B.C.! Fish in comfort in our 25 ft welded aluminum boat with fully enclosed heated cabin!! Whether you are into catching that big chinook salmon or wrestling halibut from the deep, we have you covered aboard the Steele Rock!!

waterfront communities. Or hire a qualified charter operator. Local guides supply all the gear, licenses and advice necessary to reel in prize catches. Comfortable fishing boats are available by the half-day or day (be sure to book in advance). And you don’t have to go far from shore since the fish are typically biting within the length of a fishing line cast from any available dock. Visitor Information Centers have leads on guides and useful tips on what’s biting when and where. Also available are maps of the logging roads that head to steelhead and trout-filled wilderness lakes and streams. These routes are bumpy, and a solid four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended (but not essential provided one drives slow and easy). Be sure to time your visit for migrate from May through September, and their numbers peak in the summer and fall. Halibut are abundant from March to September. Red snapper and ling cod are also caught locally, as are crab, prawns, oysters and mussels. Ask around at dockside or visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website,, for tips about regulations, licenses and conservation areas.

when the fish are running. Salmon tend to

Locals Know:

Top Fishing Hole Freshwater

Nimpkish Lake Schoen Lake Roberts Lake Victoria Lake Woss Lake O’Connor Lake Quatse River Nahwitti River Keogh River Cluxewe River



Blackfish Sound Duval Point Gordon Group Masterman Island Telegraph Cove Cluxewe River Mouth Wells Passage Haddington Island Quatsino Sound | 9 | 9


Fun & Relaxation Creative Edge Salon & Spa offers a wide variety of services such as haircuts, colouring, hair products, Port Hardy’s only Pedicure Throne, manicures, facials, gel/ acrylic nails, make-up, tanning, the newest anti-aging services and products, cold laser treatments, collagen treatments, microdermabrasion. Come down to our shop and meet all of us and get yourself a FRESH new look or come get pampered.

7035 Market 250-949-5905

Seven Hills Golf Country Club

hop for art, crafts, fashion and edible goodies (like smoked salmon and locally made chocolate). Galleries, retail outlets and museum gift shops sell the splendid, nature-inspired work of local artisans and First Nations artists – jewelers, carvers, painters, sculptors, photographers and textile workers included. Plan a tour of museums found in Alert Bay, Coal Harbour, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice, Quatsino, Telegraph Cove, Sointula and even tiny Echo Bay, each with their own unique focus and stories to share. Experience First Nations culture and traditional dances (July and August only) at the ‘Namgis Big House in Alert Bay. Just down the hill is the U’mista Cultural Centre and its world-renowned collection of potlatch regalia. Learn about marine mammal conservation and the diverse ecology of Johnstone Strait at Telegraph Cove’s Whale Interpretive Centre. Children’s games and interactive displays make this a popular spot for youngsters.

A scenic 9 hole course nested in the North Island forest and rated as one of BC’s best 9 hole courses.

Seven Hills Golf & Country Club

• Par 35 rating licensed) 68.7/slope 128 • Driving range • Pro Shop • Club rentals • Restaurant (fully • RV sites - full Take Port Alice Hwy turnoff, only 2 minutes away.


Need something to do? We have craft and art supplies!

The Hobby Nook

hook-up • Power cart rentals, club rentals


We are your one stop shop for all your custom Port Hardy souvenirs. • shirts • hats • mugs • stickers • magnets • water bottles Have your vacation photo on a mug or shirt!

5685 Hardy Bay Road • 250-949-6544

Café Guido & West Coast Community Craft Shop

Black Bear Resort & Spa ~ Pedicures ~ Manicures ~ Waxing ~ Body Treatment ~ Facials ~ Massage

SHOP - local art is featured in West Coast Community Craft Shop gallery

SIP - indulge in espressos & sweet homemade scones at Café Guido

SAVOUR - great new books and funky giftware in the Book Nook

7135 Market Street, Port Hardy Café & Books: 250.949.9808 Gallery: 250-949-2650

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dults only fitness centre

Pool ~ Sauna ~ Hottub


Enjoy the Water? Surf Board rentals are available Check out our largest selection of summer apparel. 7053B Market St • Port Hardy 250-949-7553

Photo courtesy of the U’mista Cultural Society

Museums & Cultural Centres C

ultural explorers can dig deep into the ancient, recent and living histories of Vancouver Island North when visiting a surprisingly diverse range of cultural treasure boxes packed with colorful displays and exhibits.

Go back to the source at the Port Hardy Museum and Archives, which houses artifacts from a local archaeological dig at Bear Cove – the oldest known site of human habitation on Vancouver Island (circa 5850 BCE). Exhibits change regularly while shining thematic lights on First Nations history, the Hudson’s Bay Company and European settlement. The U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay is rated far and wide as one of Canada’s finest First Nations museums with its unparalleled collection of potlatch regalia. Modeled after a big house, it is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Kwakwaka’wakw. The gift shop features superb jewelry, carvings, textiles and more. Forestry has been a leading commercial activity on the North Island since European settlers arrived in the 1860s. Based in a sturdy log house, the Port McNeill Heritage Museum tracks local history with archival photos, exhibits and vintage logging equipment.

An easy walk from the ferry landing, the Sointula Museum is home to artifacts, archival records and displays related to the colourful history of Malcolm Island. A primary focus is on the Finnish immigrants who arrived here in the 1880s to launch a short-lived utopian commune.

©K en Ma nn ing


The Port Alice Heritage Centre, above the fire hall, offers a look at the town’s intriguing history. It’s also the site of the Visitor Information Centre and a gift shop that sells locally made art, crafts, greeting cards, honey and jams.

Boaters heading northwest across Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound are advised to linger in Echo Bay and visit Billy Proctor’s Museum and Gift Shop. The author and life-long area resident has collected fascinating memorabilia from the logging, fishing and trapping eras.

Discover the rich history of Coal Harbour as a whaling station and military base thanks to resident Joel Eilertsen, who welcomes visitors to his collection in the town’s old Air Force hangar.

Telegraph Cove’s family friendly Whale Interpretive Centre is dedicated to raising public awareness about the fragile ecosystem and migratory inhabitants of Johnstone Strait. Highlights include interactive displays, a kid’s corner, educational films and the skeletal remains of whales, dolphins and other wildlife.

Artifacts and archival material are stored and displayed in the Quatsino Museum across from the government dock. It’s open daily in July and August in the early afternoon, and throughout the year during weekend lunch hours. Email curator Gwen Hansen for a private showing:

Learn about the perilous journey of salmon and their incredible survival stories at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre in Port Hardy. Located beside a working hatchery, the centre features interactive exhibits, games and a family theatre.

Take a look back at the unique story of a remote coastal community. The Winter Harbour historical photo collection is open to the public in the museum room near the Government Wharf Monday, Wednesday and Friday or by appointment by calling 250-969-4331. | 11

North Coast Trail in Cape Scott Provincial Park


Hiking E

and hatchery.

very day on Vancouver Island North 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 multiday 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. Dedicated trails and abandoned logging roads penetrate deep into the landscape. Many seaside communities are lined with wheelchair-accessible seawalls and boardwalks perfect for outings and sunset strolls prior to an evening meal. Local Visitor can provide details on such hiking options as the following:

family Centres

Port Hardy’s Quatse Loop and Estuary Trail lead from the fisherman’s wharf and oceanfront hotels. The Quatse Estuary is home to eagles, herons and all kinds of bird life. The forested 2.5 km Quatse Loop trail veers off and follows the river past the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre with its interpretive displays

Book a Hike Now!

250-956-2411 Port McNeill, BC

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The beach is one Trail, a newly upgraded Nations pathway through the Bear Cove road.

Beachcombers flock to Storey’s Beach, an inviting stretch of sand near Fort Rupert just south of Port Hardy. Wade in the gentle tides or tackle the rugged 11 km out-and-back Tex Lyon Trail. terminus of the lovely Fort Rupert route that follows an ancient First the forest and past a lake to

Near Port McNeill the Cluxewe Salt Marsh Trail offers a sweet 45-minute return trip to the beach. Find a forest walk along the road to Port Alice where the Marble River Trail offers hikers two destinations, Emerald Pools or Bear Falls - especially exciting during the spawning season when the salmon leap through the air in order to pass the falls on their upstream journey. All the First Nations must-sees of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island are within an easy hike of the ferry terminal. There’s an uphill climb (or relaxed drive) to the Ecological Park with its marsh boardwalk, excellent bird-watching and network of forested trails. Otherwise the strolling is mostly sea level along the restored boardwalk and oceanfront seawall. Follow in the footsteps of Sointula’s pioneers along Malcolm Island’s historic Mateoja Heritage Trail, a 6-km return trip. Or watch for orcas when hiking the aptly named Beautiful Bay Trail (10-km return). The Sayward Futures Society manages a series of lovely wilderness hiking tails, including the two-hour forested Cottonwood Loop and, for those with the fourwheel drive vehicles necessary to access it, the Stowe Creek Trail leading to the peak of H’Kusam Mountain.

Photos courtesy: BC Parks

North Coast Trail in Cape Scott Provincial Park

Cape Scott Provincial Park ravel is a journey, not a destination, and it’s a memorable one when taken step by remarkable step in exploring the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Still relatively undiscovered, the sweeping tidal flats, forested trails and oceanslammed headlands of Cape Scott Provincial Park are increasingly showing up on the radar of the international backpacking community.

© Vancouver Island North


Day hikers and family groups can get a satisfying taste of the larger possibilities by taking the 90-minute return trail to San Josef Bay’s sandy beach on a well-groomed path from the trailhead parking lot. Backpackers seeking a tougher challenge take the original Cape Scott Trail along 16 km of varied terrain to incredible beach camping at Nels Bight.

The hardiest adventurers, meanwhile, find the ultimate backcountry experience on the North Coast Trail. This is a gloriously challenging slog suitable for experienced hikers capable of tackling steep headlands, muddy swamps and cavernous gorges with the aid of fixed ropes, boardwalks and cable cars. The 58 km one-way trip requires a minimum of five days. Travel to the Cape Scott trailhead by driving past Holberg on the gravel logging road or arrange a shuttle from Port Hardy. Water access to Shushartie Bay, the other end of the North Coast Trail, is also available from Port Hardy by water taxi.

who head to Cape Scott itself are invited to sign the guest book at the lighthouse. Expect to see trace evidence of the late 19th century Danish settlers who tried to make this beautiful area their new home in the new world.

Many backpackers who want a taste of this park’s rugged beauty without the multi-day trek of the North Coast Trail embark from the Cape Scott trailhead to Nissen Bight, Nels Bight and Guise Bay, all within a day’s hike out. Those

Come prepared! The weather is highly changeable, and layered clothing topped by sturdy rain gear is essential. Overnight campsites are dotted along these routes. | 13 | 13

© Boomer Jerritt

Little Huson Caves Regional Park


Caving S

eeking an accessible yet thrillingly unique new experience? Vancouver Island North boasts the highest concentration of caves in Canada. Water has worked its alchemical magic on the rugged landscape for hundreds of thousands of years. Result: The relatively soft karst (limestone) topography is riddled with networks of subterranean getaways – some suitable for beginners, others only for the most expert cavers. Rookies of all ages can explore at Little Huson Caves Regional Park, a 45-minute drive south of

Everyone can get an easy access look at some of Canada’s finest karst formations from viewing platforms set up along the Alice Lake Loop. It includes stops at the Eternal Fountain with its soothing waterfall, and the Devil’s Bath, a very good example of a cenote, much the same as those found in the Yucatan. For their part, experienced cavers can explore some

of the longest, deepest karst caves in Canada. On the north Island, several of these caves are concentrated in two areas rich in limestone, the Quatsino formation and the Parsons Bay formations – the later is not exclusive to the north Island region as it stretches farther south on Vancouver Island. Guides are strongly recommended for the more difficult treks, and regional authorities ask that cavers steer clear of any unmapped caves. Information about the sport on Vancouver Island can be found through the Canadian Caver website at


ip up a dry suit, strap on an scuba cylinder and sink below the surface into an incredible marine wonderland. Vancouver Island North is worldrenowned for its scuba diving. These cold (around 10°C), clear, current-fed waters are home to an extraordinary diversity of life in jaw-dropping density. Enjoy stunning colour in great, substantial stretches. In these rich waters, where specimens often exceed the limits given in field guides, you may encounter more than ten species of sea slug on a single dive. Giant Pacific octopuses and wolf eels might be spotted around their dens. And rockfish may school around you. The rock walls are brightly painted with red soft coral, multi-hued sponges and vibrant anemones and sea stars. It’s an underwater photographer’s dreamscape.

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Seemingly endless stretches of coastline provide equally endless dive opportunities. Favorite spots in the area include the concentration of dive sites in the Broughton and Blackfish Archipelagos; the gardens of Zeballos; the expansive walls of Browning Pass near God’s Pocket Marine Provincial Park; and the vibrant life of Quatsino Narrows. Choose to rent gear (dry suits are a must) and join a local operator on guided trips out to prime locations. Opt for a live-aboard adventure. Or settle into the comfort of a dive resort. Whichever way you get your feet wet in this addictive pastime, you’re sure to want to explore all that this cold-water diver’s paradise has to offer.

© Jackie Hild ering emarinedet


Port McNeill, off the Zeballos road. A self-guided tour here includes stops at a natural rock bridge and walk-in, cathedral-style cave.

© Boomer Jerritt


Kayaking E

njoy the maritime environment at your own pace. Paddle into shallow coves, up narrow creeks and across lakes while appreciating a silence broken only by the soft smack of paddle against water. Hug the coastline or strike out for a nearby island to picnic on a deserted sandy beach. Since technique and balance are more important than sheer strength, this is one sport that’s increasingly popular with men, women and kids alike. Strap your own transportation to a roof rack, rent from a local outfitter or sign up for a guided tour in this world-class paddling destination. View intertidal life in the clear, cold waters. Seals, sea lions, orcas and maybe even humpback whales are happy to welcome respectful, low-impact visitors to their aquatic playground. The Lonely Planet travel guide ranked killer whale watching from a kayak in Johnstone Strait #2 in their Top 10 list of Canadian Adventures. Guides and fellow kayakers become fast friends on day trips or longer excursions that might include sleepovers in rustic campgrounds, comfortable base camps or luxurious resorts hidden away on remote islands. Weather and sea

© Catherine

Franchetti-B enwell

conditions can change quickly, so be prepared and travel in a group. A number of local kayaking companies offer tours, lessons and rentals. Experienced, long-distance kayakers tackle the West Coast Vancouver Island North Marine Trail, a newly designated route that traces the coastline from Port Hardy past Cape Scott Provincial Park and all the way to Tofino (www. Kayakers heading north to explore the spectacular Great Bear Rainforest sail via BC Ferries from Port Hardy’s Bear Cove terminal. | 15 | 15


Dining Best Fish & Chips in town! Great daily specials Open daily for breakfast, lunch & dinner Captain Hardy’s Restaurant 7145 Market St 250-949-7133

Locals Know:

gs to Do on the To check out the “Thin every issue of North Island” feature in te newspaper, the North Island Gazet ursday’s, for a distributed weekly on Th and activities listing of upcoming events communities. happening in North Island

Daily Specials served from 11am-11pm

Eat, relax and enjoy Telegraph Cove’s beautiful Killer Whale Cafe or our Old Saltery Pub

© Boomer Jerritt

Great food. Great service. beautiful view. 6555 Hardy Bay Rd, Port Hardy 250-949-6922

Located on the historic Telegraph Cove boardwalk

1.250.928.3155 While you are here come to the family friendly Glen Lyon restaurant and lounge.

We’re right on the main street!

We offer daily and nightly specials, yummy homemade food, great service, great atmosphere.

Glen Lyon Restaurant & Lounge 250-949-7135 6435 Hardy Bay Road, Port Hardy

Eat in, take out or drive thru Be it our family friendly dining for lunch or dinner, catching your favorite team playing, socializing on the only patio in town or a night out with friends... The Sporty offers a little something for everyone. Great daily lunch and dinner specials in house or have it delivered to your door! 7800 Market Street Port Hardy, BC


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Something for everyone! 250-949-2345 8950 Granville St. (Thunderbird Mall)



Did You Know: © Boomer Jerritt

Did You Know: It only takes 2 ½ ho urs to drive from the Comox Valley to Po rt McNeill. The com munities of Vancou ver Island North are closer than you m ight think!


ll roads on the North Island lead to Hwy 19. Routes into communities like Sayward, Port Alice and Coal Harbour are modern, paved thoroughfares. Other wilderness retreats and camping areas are only accessible via gravel logging roads. Visibility along these often very dusty roads can be restricted, so extreme caution is recommended. Remember: Logging trucks always have the right of way.

Ferries and water taxis are vital transportation links. Sointula (25 minute sailing) and Alert Bay (45 minute sailing) are a short ferry ride from Port McNeill. Port Hardy’s Bear Cove terminal is the gateway for sailings to Prince Rupert and the Central Coast. Contact, or phone 1-888-223-3779. When travelling by water, Channel 16 is strictly reserved for emergency communications. Weather information is available by calling 250-949-7148, or by tuning into Channels 21B or Wx 1, 2, or 3 on your VHF radio. Harbour Authorities, marina resorts, and fuel docks monitor Channel 66. Port Hardy airport has scheduled daily service to Vancouver and beyond. Charter companies in Port McNeill, Alert Bay and Port Hardy offer scenic flights and service to smaller communities. Seaplanes and helicopters can be booked for flightseeing trips while also dropping off passengers at wilderness fishing lodges. Daily scheduled bus service connects the North Island with mid and south Island destinations. Terminals are in Port McNeill (250-956-3304) and Port Hardy (250-949-7532). Local transit links North Island communities and is wheelchair accessible. For scheduling and fare information, contact Mount Waddington Transit (250-956-3151)

65+ DESTINATIONS 1.800.343.5963

North Coast Trail Shuttle Cape Scott Water Taxi Port Hardy to the Cape Scott North Coast Trail

One stop land & water transportation Ph: 250-949-6541 Cells: 250-902-8208 • 250-902-8202 | 17 | 17


Accommodations B&B Beverly & Jerry Reed 7735 Cedar Place, Port Hardy •


At Water’s Edge Bed & Breakfast 2202 Beach Drive Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0

250-956-2912 1-866-956-2912

4 oceanfront guest rooms each room with ensuite & private entrance (US & Can only) Full hot breakfast Open year round

• Large newly renovated rooms • 32” Flat screen TVs • Free Wifi • 3 piece Ensuite with heated floors • 1km to the airport, restaurant and cold beer and wine - 200 meters • Large kitchen and living room, open concept for guest use

4125 Byng Road, Port Hardy


Black Bear Resort & Spa


• 40 modern rooms • 11 cabins • Deluxe Continental Breakfast included • BBQ available for use • Wheelchair accessible rooms

dults only fitness centre Pool ~ Sauna ~ Hottub

• Meeting room available • Free fast DSL & Wireless Internet • Kitchenette units • Non-Smoking / No Pets


Oceanside RV Parking Fully serviced sites Suite rentals


Fax: 250.949.8486 • 18 | 18 |

Orange Tabby b&b • Private entrance • Private bath • WiFi • Brand new kitchen & common area for vacation rental Your hosts James & Susan Emerson


© Vancouver Island North

Did You Know:

San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park

Cluxewe Resort A Natural Wonder on Beautiful North Vancouver Island Come camping or stay in our fully equipped cottage by the sea and eat in our oceanside cafe. Get Here!! Go fly fishing right on our beach, go kayaking, birdwatching, hiking, barbecuing and play in our playground. “ A must do” come to the Cluxewe Cafe. Come enjoy our delicious food, relaxing atmosphere right on the ocean. Call the Cafe today at 1-250-230-1006.

The North Coast Trail in Cape Sc ott Provincial Park is a 58 km multi-day hik ing route that opened in 2008 and is alrea dy considered by man y to be one of the be st backcountry advent ures in the world.

Tri-Port Music Fes at Cluxewet! Check out o

ur web for more det site ails.

Cluxewe Resort

Book your stay with us today at 1-250-949-0378 Email us at Check out our website A Natural Wonder on Beautiful North Vancouver Island | 19 | 19


Camping & Recreation Sites

San Josef Heritage Park

250 288-3682

Link River Regional Park

250 956-3301

Marble River Provincial Park Port Alice RV & Campground 1201 Marine Drive

250 284-3422

Georgie Lake Port Hardy RV Resort

855 949-8188

Quatse River Campground

866 949-2395

Scotia Bay Resort Seven Hills Golf & RV Park

250 949-6484 250 949-9818

Stryker Bay RV Park Wildwoods Broughton Strait Campground

250 949-6753 250 956-3224

250 902-9346

Cluxewe Resort

250 949-0378

Clint Beek (Keogh Lake) Elk Creek Forest Recreation Site

250 282-0018

Fisherboy Trailer Park 1546 Sayward Road

250 282-3204

Village Centre Campground Info at Village Office

250 282-5512

Kelsey Bay RV & Campground

250 282-3762 888 882-3772

20 |


888 839-8022

Cedar Park Resort & Golfing www.

20 |


Nahwitti Lake


Cape Scott Provincial Park


250 974-7015


Alert Bay Campground








Nothing says summer like tent camping. Vancouver Island North caters to those who enjoy sleeping under the stars with options ranging from full-service family friendly spots to basic wilderness sites. Campgrounds in the region are provided by a mix of operators: forest companies, the Regional District of Mount Waddington, BC Provincial Parks, the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations, and private owners. The list here is only a partial summary of regional recreation sites. Please check at local Visitor Centres for further information.

Bere Point Harmony Shores Campground

250 956-3301

250 973-6793

Alder Bay Resort

888 956-4117

Telegraph Cove Resort

800 200-4665

Telegraph Cove Marina & RV Park 877 835-2683 Cape Scott Provincial Park Raft Cove Provincial Park San Josef Heritage Park

250 288-3682

Botel Park & Trail

250 969-4333

Kwaksistah Campground Outpost at Winter Harbour Winter Harbour Marina & RV

250 956-3301 250 969-4333 250 969-4293

Bonanza Lake Schoen Lake Provincial Park Vernon Lake Woss Lake Atluck Lake Via Atluck Rd, off the main road to Zeballos Anutz Lake On River Main Rd, off the main road to Zeballos Cevallos Campsite

250 761-4229

Fair Harbour Campsite 29km NW of Zeballos, via logging road Resolution Campsite 4km from Zeballos, on Fair Harbour Road Swan Song In Fair Harbour Zeballos RV Park

250 761-4229


First Nations E

ight thousand years ago – a millennia after the last ice age and long before the first Egyptian pyramids were erected – Canada’s First Nations shared this wild coastal region with eagles, black bears, orca whales and salmon. After a long period of cultural repression, timeless ancient traditions are again thriving as the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation preserves and celebrates their culture through art, dance, music, language and a sustainable day-to-day relationship with the natural world. Alert Bay on Cormorant Island is internationally renowned for its storytelling, summertime dance performances and the potlatch treasures housed inside the must-see U’mista Cultural Centre. The world’s tallest totem pole stands vigil outside the ‘Namgis Big House. Take a canoe trip or enjoy a salmon barbeque with First Nations guides. And visit an oceanfront graveyard filled with colorful memorial poles (please view respectfully from the road only). Enjoy the colourful displays of traditional and contemporary artwork in many locations throughout the village – keep your eye out for a favourite piece to add to your personal collection. Fort Rupert on the southern outskirts of Port Hardy is home to the Kwakiutl First Nation. This friendly enclave by the sea is known for its public galleries where internationally renowned carvers create magnificent art from chunks of timber. Authentic art pieces, gifts and prints can be purchased here.

© J.R. Rardon

Climb aboard in Port Hardy for a culturally inspired adventure to the world’s fastest navigable tidal rapids where your guide will help you visualize this area as it was years ago through stories of their traditional territory. Or launch your marine based cultural experience from Telegraph Cove to connect with the past, present and future of the Kwakwaka’wakw people.

Nakwakto Rapids Tours Guided by native storytellers and seasoned skippers, visit the world’s fastest navigable tidal rapids and explore coastal wilderness. Departing from the Art Shack, Seagate Dock Port Hardy 250-230-3574 A GNN Marine Service | 21 | 21


Alert Bay Home of the Killer Whale » Visitor Centre 250 974-5024


lert Bay is a rare, precious and unique First Nation cultural tourism experience. Said to be one of the last authentic fishing villages on Canada’s west coast, it’s easily accessible via a scenic 35-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill.

Alert Bay offers visitors museums, art galleries, a bustling marina, friendly locals and cozy accommodations and restaurants set within an unparalleled northern Pacific wilderness environment. The town centre, with its colorful heritage buildings dating back to 1870, sits on the sheltered western coastline of Cormorant Island. ‘Yalis is home to the ‘Namgis of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakwala speaking people). U’mista Cultural Centre, an internationally-

22 | 22 |

renowned cultural centre and museum, showcases the famed “Potlatch Collection” of ceremonial regalia, confiscated from the Kwakwaka’wakw in 1922 and reclaimed from various institutions and private collections around the world. U’mista is the starting point for a remarkable First Nation cultural experience. Towering above the traditional Big House in ‘Yalis is the world’s tallest totem pole, carved in two sections by six Kwakwaka’wakw artists (it was originally 53m/173 feet, but the top 10 feet of the pole fell to the ground during a storm in 2007). Watch traditional dance performances by the T’sasala Cultural Group in an authentic Big House, regular performances take place Thursday

to Saturday in July and August. Visit the ‘Namgis Burial Ground to see memorial and other totem poles (please view respectfully from the road only). Join in unique adventures such as canoe trips, salmon barbecues and island tours provided by local guides. Cormorant Island has more than 10 km (6 miles) of hiking and biking trails. The Ecological Park above town features a marshland boardwalk (a favorite spot for bald eagles and other birds) and an easy forest trail network marked with interpretive signage. Embark on a whale-watching expedition or spot marine wildlife from land. Steep climbs may make parts of the island a challenge, so it is recommended that visitors bring their vehicles.


Did You Know:

Š Teresa Bird

Gator Gardens is th e name used by m ost residents for the Alert Bay Ecolog ical Park. This name be came known amon gst locals because of the resemblan ce that marshy area of the park has to the everglades. | 23 | 23

24 | 24 |

Did You Know:

Alert Bay is interna tionally renowned as a cent re for aboriginal art and cultural attractions. Severa l art galleries showcase the work of contemporary Kw akwaka’wakw artists.

Locals Know:

You can get to Malc olm Island with your vehicle fo r free if you ask the ferry attend ant upon boarding the ferry from Alert Bay.

Alert Bay Accommodations

1-800-668-6722 250-974-5225 | 25 | 25



Coal Harbour ow:

Did You Kn

e Robertsample of th ex g in iv rv North The only su m crawler in ea st ” ck a tr ain rbour. Hornsby “ch y in Coal Ha la p is d n o is America


oad trips on the North Island are a treat for those who relish leisurely, spontaneous explorations that deliver memorable vistas, dozens of digital snapshots and many surprising rewards. One such detour off the highway just south of Port Hardy leads to Coal Harbour, a marine hub providing access to the fertile fishing grounds of Quatsino Sound. Over the last century Coal Harbour has been a mining town, military base and whaling station. Today it’s the perfect launch point for fishing charters, boaters, kayakers and campers heading into the scenic coastal waters and old-growth forests of Vancouver Island North’s wilderness areas. Explore Coal Harbour itself to learn the history and meet some of the locals, among whom is a growing community of artisans whose creativity is celebrated at a music and arts festival here each spring. Step back in time and take a look into the history of Coal Harbour. There is a small space at the Aircab hangar, near the marina, that is filled with a private

collection of local artifacts from the town’s logging and whaling periods as well as its time during the Second World War as a Royal Canadian Air Force base. On the grounds is the mammoth 6m/20 ft jawbone of a blue whale – evidence that Canada’s last whaling station operated here until the mid-1960s. Something old is new again in Coal Harbour this year. The Hornsby Steam Crawler, a one-of-a-kind, custom build steam crawler tractor, will return to the community for public display. This unique piece of machinery was inspired by the Yukon Gold Rush and customized for use in the forest industry on the British Columbia Coast. Fishing and crabbing tours are available locally. Boaters get provisions, coffee and sandwiches at the Whale’s Reach community store. Quatsino First Nations operate a marina in Coal Harbour that has serviced moorage, public washrooms, showers and a laundromat.

Come stay with us....

Whales Reach Lodge is located in Coal Harbour on the north end of Vancouver Island, 15km west of Port Hardy. The lodge offers a variety of fishing, including Salmon, Halibut, Snapper and Ling Cod. Additional activities include whale watching, scenic boat cruises, hiking or just relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

Whale�s Reach Lodge 1-604-315-9420 or 1-250-949-6681 General Store | 6 Lodging Rooms | Restaurant | Ice Machine | Self Serve Laundry Facilities

26 | 26 |

© Boomer Jerritt

Holberg & Winter Harbour ATTENTION

HIKERS! Last stop going in…first stop coming out for Cape Scott Provincial Park

Good food, good friends & good times for the entire family! Open Tuesday through Saturday 12pm – 10pm Sunday & Monday 12pm – 9pm

Downtown Holberg



choes and evidence of boom times in a classic west-coast rainforest environment can be found on journeys to what was once the site of the world’s largest floating logging camp. Holberg is an hour’s drive northwest of Port Hardy and the last stop before Cape Scott Provincial Park. The gravel logging road that takes you there is part of the fun, especially when stopping at the Shoe Tree – started as a joke by a local resident and now a Vancouver Island legend thanks to the hundreds of boots, sandals and shoes on its trunk and slung across its branches. The village is worth a long linger, and not strictly to enjoy the pub food and welcoming ambiance at the renowned Scarlet Ibis. Pick up provisions for the hiking, surfing or kayaking adventures ahead. And visit Ronning’s Garden, a circa 1910 homestead on the San Josef Wagon Road whose vast and exotic grounds sit in the middle of the rainforest. This unique garden, started by pioneering settler Bernt Ronning, complete with monkey puzzle trees and fascinating plants from around the world, almost disappeared when



he left his homestead, but has now been restored. Outdoor adventure is top priority for most visitors. Cape Scott Provincial Park is an unspoiled wonderland with its deserted beaches, sculpted coastline and marathon hiking trails. Raft Cove Provincial Park attracts daytrippers and campers who set up their tents on the sandy beach. And please keep it quiet, but surfers who prize seclusion and best-kept-secret beachfronts have rediscovered Raft Cove’s big waves. From Holberg, the gravel road ends at Winter Harbour. This tiny and historic fishing village offers safe year-round anchorage, a seaside boardwalk and access to oceanfront hikes along Botel Park Trail and out to the prime beachcombing at Grant Bay. Expect to head home with harbour photos of the playful sea otters that pop their curious heads above water and float on their backs. Kayakers will also put their waterproof digital cameras to good use when exploring the many paddling adventures available in Quatsino Sound via a Winter Harbour launch. | 27 | 27


Port Alice Gateway to the Wild and Wonderful West Coast » Village Office 250 284-3391


o-it-yourself adventurers find peace, lovely west-coast scenery and crowd-free access to the great outdoors in Port Alice. Perched on a pretty hillside facing the Neroutsos Inlet, this thriving community is the most southerly access point to Quatsino Sound and invites kayakers, scuba divers and charter fishing crews bound for the open Pacific. The town is a base camp for expeditions via boat or logging road to such remote getaways as Side Bay, Gooding Cove, Harvey Cove, Brooks Peninsula and Klaskino Inlet. Public launch facilities in town offer ocean access for travelers towing their own boats. Or get out on the water with a charter fishing or wildlife-viewing guide. Link River and Spruce Bay campgrounds at nearby Alice and Victoria Lakes are both favorite spots for freshwater fishing and outdoor recreation. The newly developed Alice Lake Loop Recreational Corridor provides easy access to view geological wonders like Devil’s Bath and the Eternal Fountain, part of the vast stretches of limestone that make Vancouver Island North prime spelunking (caving)

28 | 28 |

country. Wilderness hiking is at its best along the Marble River Trail leading to Bear Falls. Access the trail at Marble River Park and campsite along scenic Hwy 30 to Port Alice. In town, stroll the Sea Walk, a wheelchair-accessible pathway that follows the community’s coastline. Have a picnic, hike the short distance to Walkout Island when the tide is low, and don’t forget your binoculars! Hundreds of species of birds visit Neroutsos Inlet throughout the year. These same waters are home to orca, humpback, and grey whales, California and Steller sea lions, and migrating salmon. Cyclists of all skill levels tackle the trails of the Rumble Fest mountain bike race in early June for the annual (since 1994) competition. The popular weekend event features challenging races, including one for kids, a salmon barbeque and the Funky Bike Olympics. Golfers head for the Port Alice Golf and Country

Club, a challenging nine-hole course set against glorious mountain and ocean vistas; it once earned recognition from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! as the only course in the world requiring golfers to play around or over an Anglican church (which has since been relocated). The Tourism & Heritage Center offers information for travelers, a small gift shop stocked with souvenirs made by local artisans, and a well-documented look into Port Alice’s past. The town’s history dates back to the opening of a pulp mill circa World War I. It became the province’s first instant municipality in 1965 when the town was relocated to its present site, and is today home to many of the workers at Neucel Specialty Cellulose Pulp Mill, one of the North Island’s leading employers. Visitors to Port Alice will find beautiful and modern B&B’s, vacation rental homes, a hotel, and a fullservice campground. Services in town include a gas station, grocery, convenience and liquor stores, a bank, community centre, two restaurants and a new marina with moorage.



Did You Kn

© Darrell McIntosh

ing paradise a scuba div is t le In s o a life that is The Nerouts abundant se d n a s rk a world. with six-gill sh lourful in the co st o m e th among | 29 | 29

Port Alice Gateway to the Wild West Coast

Village of Port Alice

By logging road or boat, outdoor adventurers can access prime West Coast recreation sites such as Side Bay, Gooding Cove, Harvey Cove, Brooks Peninsula, Winter Harbour, Alice Lake, Link River, Victoria Lake and more!


Activities • • • • • •

Fishing Kayaking Mountain Biking Hiking Golf Diving

Services • • • • • • • • • • • •

Accommodations & Campground Restaurants & Groceries Boat Launch & Fuel Services Gas Station & Fishing Bank & ATM Post Office Liquor Store Tourism Centre Fishing & Sightseeing Charters Health Centre Library Free Sani-Dump

Photos by Darrell McIntosh

30 | 30 | 250-284-3391


Mount Cain Ski Area Mount Cain Ski Area


Sat – Sun February 8 - 9 Sat – Sun February 22 -23 Sat February 22

Backcountry Festival Telefest North Island Concert Society presents Ken Lavigne in the Road to Carnegie Hall

Mount Cain Ski Area Mount Cain Ski Area


Sat March 8 Sat March 22 Sat March 22

Blueberry Jam Snowboard Festival Kid’s Fest North Island Concert Society presents Wolak-Donnelly Duo

Port Hardy


Sat April 12 Sun April 20

North Island Concert Society presents John Wort Hannam Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Port Hardy Alert Bay


Fri – Sun May 9 – 11 Sun May 11 Sat – Sun May 17 – 18 Fri – Mon May 17 – 19

Doug Innes Memorial Spring Bird Count Mothers Day Tea Tri-Port Motocross Spring Series Race Sointula Baseball Tournament

Sointula Alert Bay 7 Mile Track (just north of Port McNeill) Sointula


Sun June 1 Fri June 6 Sun June 8 Thurs – Sun June 12 – 15 Sun June 15 Sat – Sun June 21 – 22 Sun June 22

Tri-Port Speedway Race Day Oceans Day Celebration Oceans Day Celebration 56th Annual June Sports Tri-Port Speedway Race Day (Dads get free admission) 1/8 Mile Drag Racing Tri-Port Speedway Race Day

Port Hardy Port Hardy Sointula Alert Bay Port Hardy Port McNeill Airport Port Hardy

Tues July 1 Tues July 1 Every Thurs, Fri, Sat July 3 – August 23

Canada Day Regatta Canada Day Celebrations T’sasala Cultural Group Traditional Native Dance Performances Port McNeill Logger Sports Tri-Port Speedway Race Day FILOMI Days 1/8 Mile Drag Racing 32nd Annual Alert Bay Seafest 7th Annual Alert Bay Artfest 13th Annual Alert Bay Music Fest Tri-Port Speedway Race Day

Sointula Port Hardy, Port McNeill & Port Alice Alert Bay Port McNeill Port Hardy Port Hardy Port McNeill Airport Alert Bay Alert Bay Alert Bay Port Hardy

Sat August 2 Sat – Sun August 2 – 3 Sun August 3 Sun August 3 Sat August 9 Sat August 16 Sat – Sun August 16 – 17 Fri – Sun August 22 – 24 Sat – Sun August 23 – 24

T’sasala Cultural Group Traditional Native Dance Performances Telegraph Cove Boardwalk Craft Fair Tri-Port Speedway Race Day 6th Annual Alert Bay 360 Eco Paddle Telegraph Cove Fishing Derby Tri Port Music Festival OrcaFest Tri-Port Speedway Dirt Bowl Weekend Salmon Days 1/8 Mile Drag Racing

Alert Bay Telegraph Cove Port Hardy Alert Bay Telegraph Cove Cluxewe Resort (just north of Port McNeill) Port McNeill Port Hardy Sointula Port McNeill Airport


Sat – Sun September 6-7 Sat September 6 Sun September 28

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair Tri-Port Speedway Race Day Rivers Day

Port Hardy Port Hardy Port Hardy


Fri October 31

Halloween Fireworks and Costume Crawl

Port Hardy


Mon November 3

Pumpkin Patch Walk

Port Hardy

Sun December 7 Thurs January 1 (2015)

Santa Claus Parade Polar Bear Swim

Port Hardy Port Hardy & Port McNeill


Cain Cup Women’s Weekend

Sat July 5 Sat July 5 Fri – Sun July 18 – 20 Sat – Sun July 19 – 20 Fri – Sat July 25 – 26 Fri – Sun July 25 – 27 Sun July 27 Sat July 26



Every Thurs, Fri, Sat July 3 - August 23

Port Hardy Mount Cain Ski Area Mount Cain Ski Area

2014 Events - Vancouver Island North

Sat – Sun January 18 – 19 Sat January 25

All events are subject to change, please visit for most current listing. | 31 | 31

PORT ALICE YOUR GATEWAY TO THE WILD WEST COAST Visit this beautiful village, set in the vast area of wilderness. This is the gateway to the remote sandy beaches of the wild west coast.

Don’t leave town without it!

The great thing about having a Save-on-More card is that its benefits travel with you. But don’t worry if you don’t have a card. Just sign up in store and start taking advantage of the benefits right away. Thunderbird Mall Port Hardy 250-949-6455 Hours: 8am-9pm everyday 32 | | 33

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Telegraph Cove 36 | 36 |








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now: Did You Kry Club meets

© Leslie Driemel

Rota Port Hardy oon day at 12 n rs u h T ry e v e ok & Grill at Seto’s W ville Street. 9040 Gran

38 | 38 |

Port Hardy » Visitor Centre 1-866-427-3901


reature comforts, shopping and dining, cooperative and First Nations art galleries, plenty of accommodation options, ancient archaeological finds, and easy access to the great outdoors. It’s all available in Vancouver Island North’s largest centre (population: 4,000), a friendly town with developing cultural and ecotourism industries that sits pretty at the very edge of the coastal wilderness.

than an hour past the village of Holberg leads to the windswept, see-forever beaches of Cape Scott Provincial Park. First Nations guides share traditional stories and take marine adventurers to run the world’s fastest navigable tidal rapids. Amateur spelunkers, meanwhile, can get a taste of an eerie subterranean world at Devil’s Bath, one geological wonder in a series of them included in the Alice Lake Loop tour.

BC Ferries’ famous “Inside Passage” long-haul sailing to Prince Rupert on the mainland arrives and departs from nearby Bear Cove, as do sailings to the Central Coast. The Inside Passage journey was recently rated as one of the most beautiful ferry trips in the world by the discerning editors of Travel+Leisure magazine. Port Hardy is also the main departure point for water taxis and land shuttles destined for Cape Scott Provincial Park’s magnificent North Coast Trail.

Another pleasurable option is to simply hang out in Port Hardy and relish the myriad of diversions found within town limits. Picnic with the family on stretches of sand at Storey’s Beach. Shop for locally produced art, crafts, and seafood (the town is famous for its smoked and candied salmon). Snap pictures of the chainsaw carvings at Carrot Park. Thrill to stock car and motocross races in the summer. Step back into the past at the Port Hardy Museum and Archives. Check out the work of local artists at the cooperative art gallery. Or take a pleasant, forest-shaded riverside stroll from the marina to the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, an interpretive exhibition space and hatchery rolled into one modern facility.

“Live the Adventure” is Port Hardy’s motto, and many ferry passengers wisely book rooms and explore this remote yet civilized part of the world for a few fascinating days before or after their sailings. Land-based adventurers discover hiking, caving and wildlife such as bald eagles and black bears, the latter frequently seen grazing in plain sight alongside the highway. Wildlife-watching daytrips depart from a bustling town marina packed with fishing vessels and visiting pleasure craft. Orcas, humpbacks and dolphins frolic offshore in Queen Charlotte Strait while longer treks out to sea head to grizzly bear country in Smith and Knight Inlets along the mainland coast. Also nearby is the big-wave surfing at Raft Cove, world-class scuba diving at God’s Pocket Provincial Marine Park, and freshwater fishing in local lakes and river systems. Coal Harbour, just 20 minutes away by car, provides boaters and kayakers with a convenient launch point for trips to the wild west coast via Quatsino Sound. A bumpy ride of less

Totem poles dotted throughout Port Hardy are a tribute to the people who have lived off the resources of land and sea here for over 8,000 years. Today’s Kwakiutl First Nation reside in Fort Rupert, a few minutes south of town with its colourful murals, totems, cemetery, and white shell beach. Internationally renowned carvers demonstrate their skills, crack jokes and share stories at the Copper Maker Gallery, a favorite stop for art collectors. The town’s relatively recent history is saluted annually during FILOMI Days on the third weekend in July. FILOMI stands for ‘fishing-logging-mining,’ and its namesake festival has become Port Hardy’s signature summer event. The festivities include a salmon derby, boat-building contest, street hockey



and volleyball tournaments, the Tri-Port Dragon Boat Society Regatta, a parade, and spectacular fireworks display. Summer gets underway in June with Oceans Day. In the fall, costumed kids spill out on to Market Street for trick-or-treating during the Costume Crawl, while grinning jack-o’-lanterns and a haunted house highlight family friendly Halloween fun during the Pumpkin Patch Walk. And Christmas is heralded with a Santa Claus parade in early December. Hiking is one of Port Hardy’s most popular pastimes, and there are trails galore for all fitness levels in town and within a short drive. The newest is the Fort Rupert Trail, which follows an ancient First Nations path from Bear Cove Road to Storey’s Beach; the hour-long one-way ramble winds through the forest, across a boardwalk and alongside a sparkling blue lake. Far more rugged and challenging is the 11 km out-and-back Tex Lyon Trail, which can be accessed from Storey’s Beach. The Marble River Trail off the road to Port Alice offers an easy hike out to salmon-spawning viewing areas at Bear Falls. The Nahwitti Trail near Holberg is another gentle route through oldgrowth giants to Nahwitti Lake. And day hikers get a teaser of the marathon hiking possibilities in Cape Scott Provincial Park by driving west past the Shoe Tree to the park’s trailhead and walking the 2.5 km out to breathtaking San Josef Bay, the trail takes about 45 on a well groomed trail to get to the beach where you will walk out on to a huge stretch of white sand. The trail to San Josef Bay is accessible for high clearance “BOB” style strollers and assisted wheel chairs equipped for gravel trails with some sloping sections. The staff at the Visitor Centre is happy to assist with information on local attractions and activities. It’s open year-round in the heart of town on Market Street. Make your choice here from a diverse slate of accommodations that includes hotels, B&Bs, cabins, cottages, hostels and campgrounds. | 39 | 39

40 | 40 | | 41 | 41

! n i p a e L

to Salmon’s World

Come visit the Salmon Centre! Explore our unique habitat displays and get up close and personal with salmon. See salmon predators and prey and find out who’s eating who in the ecosystem. A visit to the Salmon Centre is a fun and educational experience for all ages. Find out what the staff at the Salmon Centre are doing to help maintain healthy salmon stocks.

The Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre is operated by the Northern Vancouver Island Salmon Enhancement Association. All proceeds support Salmon Enhancement activities on Northern Vancouver Island.

uatse Salmon Stewardship Centre Next to the Quatse River Campground, just minutes from the airport, ferry or downtown. 8400 Byng Road, Port Hardy Call 250-902-0336 or 250-949-9022 Open May through September, Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

42 | 42 |


Regional Park & Campground Port Hardy, BC

The campground is situated within a richly forested regional park containing trees hundreds of years old, with the wild flora and fauna found in old growth forests. All campsites are conveniently located close to firewood, washrooms, and a resident manager. The Quatse River Campground is operated by the Northern Vancouver Island Salmon Enhancement Association. Proceeds generated in the campground support Salmon Enhancement activities on Northern Vancouver Island. • • • • • • • • • • •

62 tenting or RV sites power (20 amp) and water hookups sani-dump free hot showers coin laundry firewood by donation hiking and fishing trails wheelchair accessible leashed pets welcome WIFI Internet reservations recommended

Your hosts: Ken and Debra Hine For more information and reservations: Tel: 250-949-2395 Toll Free: 1-866-949-2395 We are located at 8400 Byng Road, Port Hardy, BC, next to the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre. Visit our Facebook page for current info on bear sightings, video nights and MORE!

Salmon & Halibut

Fishing at its Best!

Stay at one of our four land based lodges or one of our two floating lodges – each with spectacular ocean vistas!


North Island

Transportation Services Ltd

250-949-6300 Box 1074, Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0

Local freight and passenger transportation is our specialty!

Wildwood the place to come for great camping & fishing.


et us package your experience of a lifetime! We arrange sport fishing trips!

Full facilities ■ Small boat wharf ■ Pets allowed ■ Showers and more! ■ Family owned & operated ■

Wildwoods Campground


Deluxe facilities • 40 ocean view rooms • 150-slip marina with power & water • Fuel dock & propane • Showers & laundry • 60-ton Travelift • Full service workyard • Complete marine store • Meeting room • Quarterdeck Pub & Restaurant • Liquor store 6555 Hardy Bay Rd., Port Hardy, BC 1.877.902.0459 •

Located on Bear Cove Road

Box 801, Port Hardy, BC or 250.949.7454 | 43 | 43

A million dollar view.... Modern Port Hardy Accommodations

with Nature at Its Best!


44 deluxe rooms with spectacular ocean views  Business suites and family rooms  Free wireless internet  Photocopying and faxing available  Small meeting room (10-12 people)  Pub and restaurant on premises  Close to town and ferry terminal


250-949-8381 More than Chinese food! We make our own burgers, homemade soups, appies, wings and char broiled steaks. Find us on our Fac ebook Page: S eto’s W ok & G rill

North Coast Trail Shuttle Cape Scott Water Taxi Port Hardy to the Cape Scott North Coast Trail 6435 Hardy Bay Road Port Hardy 250-949-7115


One stop land & water transportation The Cape Scott North Coast Trail Shuttle May 1-Sept.15 Ph: 250-949-6541 Cells: 250-902-8208 • 250-902-8202

44 | 44 |

North Island

Health is where the heart is.

Serving the

“I’ll travel the island for you”

For all your real estate needs…call Merrilee

While you are visiting come into our store for all your needs.

Merrilee Tognela

250-230-5220 4200 Island Highway North, Nanaimo, BC V9T 1W6 Office Phone: 250-758-7653 1-800-779-4966

Pharmacy Hours Mon-Fri: 9am-9pm Sat: 9am-6pm • Sun: 10am-5pm

8925 Granville Street Port Hardy » 250-949-6552

Aeroplan Points can now be collected at Rexall


7070 Market Street Port Hardy


Open 7 days a week to serve you

Your one stop fishing store!

• Camping • Fishing • Housewares

• Hardware • & much much more!

The Hotel with Heart Centrally located in downtown Port Hardy Free wireless high speed Internet in rooms Microwave, fridge, coffeemaker & cable TV Free extended & oversize vehicle parking Pet friendly

Book your adventure with us: Fishing Charters Land & Sea Tours Whale Watching Kayaking

Banquet & meeting rooms 2 blocks from the ocean For reservations call 250-949-8899 or email | 45 | 45


Marine Electronics & Supplies

✮ Certified inboard/ outboard mechanic ✮ Sales & Service

Camping on Northern Vancouver Island

Breathtaking Estuary and Riverside Views Many easy pull through sites Beautifully treed tenting area Free hot showers and firewood Laundry facilities Five minutes from BC Ferries Clean, safe & family friendly environment Toll Free: 1-855-949-8118 8080 Goodspeed Road, Port Hardy, British Columbia

Stryker Electronics Ltd. 6710 Hardy Bay Road Port Hardy

250-949-8022 » 1-888-839-8022

Enjoy nature with us!


• Panoramic ocean view from the rooms. • Ferry shuttle available through North Island Transportation. • Pet-friendly rooms available. • Senior/corporate discount rates available off the peak season. • Wireless internet in the building. • Some triple rooms available. • All rooms are accessible by stairs only.

NORTH SHORE INN 7370 Market Street, Port Hardy 250-949-8500 • 1-877-949-8516

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Royal LePage Advance - Port Hardy Office 250-949-7231 North Island:

Sandra Masales - 250-902-9271 Karin Moeller - 250-949-0145

Alert Bay & Sointula: Joy Davidson - 250-902-8802 Sayward:

Susan Mallinson - 250-203-3545


Locals K


A new 1 km public trail throu and ancie gh quiet nt cedar hemlock forests pro new picnic v id es access site and s to the wim beac h at Colo ny Lake.




n 1894 Norwegian colonists arrived in Quatsino Sound aboard the steamship Mischief, with shared dreams of a prosperous life in this remote North Island wilderness. They chose an idyllic stretch of sunny shoreline and began work to build their new community. The land, forest and sea provided an income for these hardy souls and the town soon became a central hub for the Quatsino Sound area, providing goods and services to support the influx of settlers and job seekers. Nestled near the government wharf is historic St. Olaf’s Anglican Church. Dating back to 1897 and originally built as a small one room school, it is one of the oldest buildings still in use on northern Vancouver Island. The ‘new’ Quatsino Elementary School was built in 1933 overlooking the government wharf, is one of the last one-room schools in BC. With a minimum enrollment of just six students, it offers

a unique and fantastic educational opportunity. The community’s “Bergh Cove Organic Schoolyard Garden” now shares this site and provides fresh produce during the harvest season. The Quatsino Museum & Archives, just across from the government dock, provides free high-speed internet access and light snacks in addition to offering a glimpse at Quatsino’s rich and diverse 118-year history. Today the tiny hamlet of Quatsino, which is still accessible only by water and air, is a quiet place where change comes slowly. With just 8 km of gravel road connecting homes, fishing lodges and retreats that stretch single file along the shoreline, residents and visitors alike take pleasure in a breath of fresh air as they step back to a simpler way of life still linked to the land, forest and sea amidst the solitude and natural beauty of Quatsino Sound. | 47 | 47


Port McNeill

Gateway to the Broughton Archipelago

© Doug Bradshaw » Visitor Centre 1-888-956-3131

48 | 48 |

his friendly, unpretentious and welcoming ecotourism capital is two hours north of Campbell River and four hours drive from BC Ferries terminals in Nanaimo. That’s not far given that the town provides direct access to the pristine channels, mazy waterways and sheltered moorages of the world-renowned Broughton Archipelago Provincial Marine Park. Better still, its central location on Vancouver Island’s northeast coastline makes it a great spot for spontaneous and unplanned jaunts around the region as a whole, especially with Alert Bay and Sointula short sails away from Port McNeill’s own BC Ferries dock. Many visitors settle in for multi-night stays by booking local accommodations, pitching tents or parking RVs, then checking out the town’s amenities. Learn about the area’s ancient and contemporary history at the Port McNeill Heritage Museum, which houses a rich collection of artifacts inside a rustic log building. Catch a movie or concert at the Gate House Theatre (check for schedule). Play a round or two with an ocean view at the par-three golf course. Dine on wide array of seafood or a range of ethnic fare – Greek, Mexican, Italian and Chinese included. Or

take photos of friends and loved ones dwarfed by the world’s largest Sitka Spruce burl. (A burl is the unique outgrowth of wood that grows from the trunks of big trees). One favorite destination in town is the seawall and newly expanded harbour area. Drink in the ocean views here along with a cup of baristaprepared coffee as bald eagles circle above a busy waterfront dotted with pleasure craft, fishing boats and float planes. The marina is especially busy from May to September as boaters pull in to refuel and pick up provisions before heading back out into one of the planet’s most beautiful and pristine maritime environments. The postcard Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago, with dozens of small, undeveloped islands, is world-renowned for whale watching, sea kayaking and scuba diving. Each of these pastimes is expertly served by an array of guides, suppliers and rental operations – all of them providing ready access to the region’s spectacular offshore wildlife. The area is famed for killer whales, humpback whales, Pacific whitesided dolphins, Steller sea lions, minke whales, harbour seals, Dall’s porpoise and a who’s who

ow: Locals Kn a great home base for

ill is er by Port McNe ities wheth v ti c a d n Isla makes it all North al location tr n e c s It . and land or sea xperiences e t s ri u to ll for a convenient . adventures

of seabirds. Local guides offer everything from daytrips to week-long adventures. There’s also a host of fishing charter operations here whose expertise includes finding halibut and the five Pacific salmon species - chinook, sockeye, pink, chum and coho. Port McNeill truly is where the wild things are! Northern Gulf Island explorers take BC Ferries sailings to nearby Alert Bay and Sointula, two wonderful destinations with plenty of heritage, history and natural splendor of their own. Back on terra firma in Port McNeill, hikers enjoy striding along the Schoolhouse Creek trail next to a salmon enhancement stream that runs through town. The town’s population swells in August for the annual Orcafest, a weekend bonanza featuring an open-air market, parade, and slo-pitch baseball tournament. Drag-racing enthusiasts take in the heart-pounding action at the Rumble on the Runway series in the summer. And those who want to get away from it all can strap in for flightseeing excursions via plane or helicopter. The whirlybirds can also do drop-off and pick-up runs to the region’s remote and wild backcountry.




Did You K

eets tary Club m o R l il e N c Port M noon sday at 12 e n d e W ry eve a Way Inn at the Haid pbell Way. 1817 Cam | 49 | 49


Gateway to the Broughton Archipelago



Abundant Wildlife Ocean Vistas Majestic Mountains

Whale Watching Kayaking World Class Fishing

Port McNeill Visitor Centre 1-888-956-3131 1594 Beach Drive, Box 129 Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0 email:

50 | 50 |

Port McNeill Museum

250-956-9898 351 Shelley Crescent Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0

© Debbi Ryan

Did You Know:

Killer whale watchi ng from a kayak in Johnstone Strait was rated #2 in the Lonely Planet’s To p 10 list of Canad ia n Adventures.

Haida-Way Motor Inn • Upgraded rooms • Free wireless Internet access • Complimentary breakfast included with regular room rate • New queen size beds and new carpets • Non-smoking kitchen untis • Competitive room rate • Microwave, fridge, coffee maker in each room • Cafe, dining room and pub • Cold beer & wine store onsite Only 30 minutes from Port Hardy and the Prince Rupert Ferry & 25 minutes from Telegraph Cove

1-800-956-3373 OR 1-250-956-3373 1817 Campbell Way, Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0 | 51 | 51

ardy nd Port H a l il e N c early en Port M spring and ay betwe e w h th ig g h n ri e u Th g on the Alley” - d ars grazin as “Bear e b n k w c o la n k b is n to see ort Alice is commo near the P t u o e y e e summer it a clos bear. rass. Keep s to spot a e c la p ly e roadside g k ore li ne of the m turn-off, o


Locals Kn

President’s Choice

We deliver! 250-956-2881 #2-311 Hemlock St. Port McNeill

Weekly Flyer Instore

© Catherine Hufnagel

Your Neighbourhood Grocer

Complete Shopping Port McNeill Groceries • Produce • Meat Dairy • Deli • Bakery Huge Selection • Friendly Staff Open daily 8 am - 9 pm

250-956-4404 52 | 52 |

Broughton Archipelago T

his is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots on the planet with a relaxed pace that is a thing of envy. The unimaginable natural beauty and the solitude of being the only vessel in sight are just a couple of the things that attract more boaters to this region each year. Visitors with go-anywhere freedom can immerse themselves in the midst of it all at water level - either by kayak, pleasure boat or on guided wildlife expeditions. The region’s legendary sailing and paddling expeditions head deep into the Broughton Archipelago, a mazy region of waterways and numerous islands large and small clustered northeast of Port McNeill beyond Sointula and Alert Bay. Every traveller’s experience here will

be unique yet it’s sure to include deep lungsful of crisp ocean air, open-water adventures, long stretches of shoreline exploration and a few tricky tidal crossings. Paddle or sail where you choose into impossibly scenic inlets or onto white-shell beaches. Camp under the stars or fall asleep while rocking gently in a secluded moorage. Most memorably of all, there’s sure to be surprise encounters with seals, orcas or even humpback whales. Waterproof digital cameras will get a serious workout, guaranteed. Echo Bay on Gilford Island is the region’s one main port of call, either by water or floatplane. It’s home to a full-service marina as well as a remarkable museum and replica hand-loggers shack created by author, naturalist and retired

fisherman Billy Proctor. Shop for art, dine at a pig roast, take a wilderness painting class and head into the forest on guided forays for wild food. While exploring this wild Island archipelago be aware of the growing population of cougars, once seen rarely, now much more prevalent. Marinas, affordable lodgings and oceanside campgrounds can also be found up Tribune Channel, past the narrows into Drury Inlet and throughout in this postcard region.



Those seeking a more solitary communion with nature can easily find it in one of the many secluded coves noted in any of the half-dozen boaters’ guides to the Broughton Archipelago. In every way, the Broughton Archipelago welcomes your visit and can enrich your life.

Once in a lifetime…May not be enough.

Music, Helicopter Fishing, Ocean Fishing, Fresh Water Fly Fishing, Fitness, Helicopter Adventures, Glacier Lunches, Bear Watching, Hot Tubs, Whale Watching, First Nations Cultural Experiences, Boating, Gourmet Coastal Cuisine, Private Cabins, Remote Luxury, Kayaking, Hiking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Massage, Rock Climbing, Photography Lessons, Wildlife, Outdoor Rain Shower, Memories Created, Tailor-Made | 53 | 53

Watch for a mysterious steamy ring round the peak of Hkusam Mountain - the Kwakwaka’wakw People called it Hiatsee Saklekum: “Where the breath of the sea lion gathers at the blow-hole”.

Sayward Junction

Gas & Convenience

© Catherine Hufnagel

*Propane *Gas *Diesel *Souvenirs & much more at the Junction


Open 7 days a week 6am-10pm

CYPRESS TREE COLD BEER & WINE Open 7 days a week

Restaurant open ALL YEAR ROUND at the Club House 7am-7pm Come Golf one of Vancouver Island’s toughest 9 hole executive courses.

Corner of Sayward turnoff & Island Highway

The course is open daily from 9am to 7pm weather permitting April to Oct. 31

Cold Beer at Liquor Store Prices

Club House is open from 10am to 7pm where you can rent clubs and pull carts.


There are balls, tees, snacks, drinks, and gifts for sale.

Whale Watching & grizzly Bear excursions

CYPRESS COFFEE HUT & GALLERY 11:00 am - 8:00 pm *Expressos *Lattes *Cappuccinos *Fruit Smoothies *16 different flavours of ice cream

Cypress tree inn Located next door to Sayward Gas & Convenience

*Home Cooking *Free Internet access *Free Long Distance anywhere in North America available to customers

rated “excellent”

Open 7 days a week

group tours & custom charters

1-866-501-ORCA (6722) campbell river across from fisherman’s Wharf

54 | 54 |

Wi r

sprechen Deutsch!


Summer (May 1) 7am-9pm Winter (Sept 15) 7am-8pm

250.282.3648 fax: 250.282-3648

H’kusam Klimb

© Boomer Jerritt




Locals Know:

Lovely White Ri ver Provincial Pa rk (aka the Cathedral G rove of the North Island) was saved for po sterity in May 19 90 when three local logger s refused to cut do wn this remarkable stand of giant trees.

Sayward » » Visitor Centre 250 282-0018


etour off the fast track and take a deep, invigorating breath of clean west coast air as you enter a land of forests, mountains and winding hiking trails on the edge of peaceful Johnston Strait. Sayward is the gateway to Vancouver Island North’s rich bounty of outdoor pleasures. The quaint and rustic village is an hour’s scenic highway drive north of Campbell River and 90 minutes south of Port McNeill.

the way, visitors will be rewarded with views of some massive Douglas fir and western red cedar trees – giants which, no doubt, helped White River earn the nickname, “the Cathedral Grove of the North Island.” White River Provincial Park on northern Vancouver Island is a small, undeveloped wilderness area that offers excellent fishing opportunities and protection for important Roosevelt elk and black bear habitat.

Get oriented for unscripted, do-it-yourself outdoor adventure by checking in at two spots – Highway 19 at the Sayward turnoff or the wharf at the end of the Sayward Road in Kelsey Bay. Here you’ll find maps, accommodation information and friendly advice on area hiking, walking, bicycling, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, camping (by the village pond or oceanside), wildlife/bird watching and killer-whale , dolphin, and porpoise sightings.

Three unserviced campsites serve those who trek off the grid. Yet the wilderness has also been tamed in beautiful fashion in a few easily accessible spots. Nature buffs, couples and family groups wander acres of woodland trails at Victorian Garden Gate Manor. Birdwatchers eager for sightings of trumpeter swans, herons, bald eagles and more head for the estuary at the Salmon River Wildlife Reserve or the wheelchair-accessible Kelly’s Trail. Local guides can be hired for fishing expeditions and wildlife viewing.

Backpackers and casual hikers explore a trail network that follows ancient First Nations trade routes in criss-crossing what’s aptly named as the Valley of Trails. The Dalrymple Forest Interpretive Trail offers a gentle self-guided stroll to a shaded, moss-scented glade. Test stamina and strength on the challenging H’kusam Klimb, a day-long ascent and return; awe-inspiring valley views and lush alpine picnic spots reward those who reach the mile-high summit. White River Provincial Park is a small, undeveloped wilderness area that offers excellent fishing opportunities and protection for important Roosevelt elk and black bear habitat. This scenic park and its old-growth forest were stunning enough for Hollywood to take notice – portions of White River were used as a film site for the movie The Scarlet Letter, filmed here in 1994. Visitors to the park today will find remnants of the film set, including wide boardwalks designed to accommodate horse-drawn carriages. A short loop trail through the forest leads down to the White River. Along

Sayward’s wharfs and community life as a whole gets busy in the summer. Artists display their works during summer weekends at Ocean View Gifts in Al’s Room, on the Wharf in Kelsey Bay. This wharf is owned and operated by Sayward Futures Society, a not for profit organization whose volunteers not only look after the wharf, but also work in the Gift store/ Tourist Info Centre. The store carries not only local artwork, but some groceries and snacks along with fishing tackle. An annual vintage car show is held in June. Artists, including world-renowned wood carver Glenn Greensides, display their work at Art in the Park in July. August is bookended by the Oscar Daze slo-pitch baseball tournament and the Tour de Rock Fishing Derby, a fundraiser for Cops for Cancer. Fresh produce and good food are great reasons to visit the weekend market before relaxing in Heritage Park in the shade of an oak tree planted in 1936 to mark the coronation of England’s King George IV. | 55 | 55

Š Teresa Bird

56 | 56 |

© Christine van Reeuwyk


Locals Know:


World wide, Mal colm Island is th e only place where old fishing nets are washed, cut with a particular techniqu e and woven to gether to create unique rugs by local ladies.


A Place of Harmony » » Visitor Centre 250 973-2001


fascinating history, free bike rentals, a historic co-operative store and plenty of rural charm and character makes Sointula on sprawling Malcolm Island a memorable getaway from the already remote pleasures of Vancouver Island North. The town’s name means “place of harmony” in Finnish. It was established in the late 19th century when a colony of Scandinavian settlers arrived with utopian dreams. While their ambitious plans were derailed within a decade, visitors will quickly learn that these visionaries chose the right place for a fresh air and salt water paradise on earth.

Visit the local museum, one of the best for its size, to learn about the island’s unique history. Drop into BC’s longest running cooperative store, formed as the Sointula Co-operative Store Association in 1909. A bistro, bakery and deli provide a good range of food options, and it’s possible to shop for island made art and crafts at a few shops and home studios. The Sointula Resource Centre Society’s visitor information staff can point the way to the island’s B&B establishments and other accommodation options.

Most visitors today arrive via a 25-minute BC Ferries sailing from Port McNeill. Many park their cars and travel either as pedestrians or cyclists. From May to September, those without bikes can borrow one for the day by checking in at the Sointula Resource Centre right off the ferry dock. The island invites exploration, and a car is helpful when heading to popular destinations like Bere Point, Mitchell Bay or the Pulteney Point Lighthouse. Boaters utilize the good moorage in the Malcolm Island Lions Harbour. Hikers rack up the mileage on the Mateoja Heritage trail, meandering back in time to an early 1900’s homestead. Ocean breezes and easy strolling are in store on the Kaleva Road Walkway, a 3 km seaside interpretive trail overlooking Broughton Strait. Bere Point Regional Park is the island’s only public campground. It’s the starting point for the Beautiful Bay trail, which winds along a rocky ridge that offers breathtaking ocean glimpses. Some hikers are lucky enough to witness killer whales rubbing on the pebble beaches below the viewing platform at the start of the trail.

Oceanside Retreat • Cozy 1-2 Bedrooms • Kitchens equipped like home Sat. TV, WiFi, BBQ, Walking path & beach access • Daily/Weekly Rates

Sointula, Malcolm Island • 250-973-6486 • | 57 | 57

Sea Wolf Adventures invites visitors to experience authentic aboriginal culture first hand. Experience the beauty of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation History with traditionally trained guides. First Nation interpretive kayak transport and Water Taxi into the Broughton Archipelago and surrounding areas.


Locals Kn

ear to es of the y the m ti t s e b very ring One of the and marine life is du unning, s nr view whale tember. With salmo changes Sep l ex month of nd big tida ales and a , g n li o o h h sc d source, w racted to small fish o fo ir e h t ting are att concentra mammals e in r a m r many othe this area.

Whale Interpretive Centre, Telegraph Cove, BC Visit the WIC and: • view an invertebrate Aquarium • enjoy a “kids corner” of activities • have easy access to the interpreters • view marine education videos and presentations Hours: May - September open daily • view articulated skeletons and further displays (baleen, invertebrate, plankton, October - May by appointment only whaling artifacts) Box 2-3, Telegraph Cove, BC V0N 3J0 Phone: May - September: 250-928-3129 email: web: Oct - May: 250-928-3187 250-902-WOLF (9653) Telegraph Cove North Vancouver Island.

Your Gateway to


Now sellintg waterfrones! home sit

Orcas & humpback whales, grizzly bear & cultural tours Whale Interpretive Centre Fishing, hiking, kayaking Waterfront dockside 29 suites. Every unit has a full kitchen with a spectacular view of Johnstone Strait 48 fully serviced RV sites with ocean & cove views Marina & boat launch have sturdy cedar docks, potable water and power.


1-877-Tel-Cove »

58 | 58 |

© Teresa Bird



Did You Know:

The wildlife viewin g community on N orthern Vancouver Island ca res so much about the whales that they initiated a prog ram to inform boat ers how to do what’s right for the whales. When you see this flag on a nearby vessel wha les are in the area Slow down and watch for blows. Se e

Telegraph Cove S

tep back in time and set sail into a marine mammal wonderland at Telegraph Cove. This historic and picturesque waterfront village is perched at the entrance to Johnstone Strait, the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park and the Blackfish Archipelago. A top-10 winner of best towns to visit in a poll of Canadian travel writers, it’s among the last surviving boardwalk communities on the west coast. Kayakers, wildlife viewers, pleasure boaters, scuba divers and sports-fishing enthusiasts clearly agree as they book early to avoid disappointment and magnetically return to this secluded, truly magical dot on the Vancouver Island North map. Whale watching vessels set out on daytrips and multiday adventures during the May to October season. Visitors here have the opportunity to enter into a rare, precious and respectful experience in wildlife viewing. The density and abundance of marine mammals in this area is truly astonishing. It is common to have the privilege of spotting killer whales (orca), humpback whales, minke whales, Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoise, harbour seals and Pacific white-sided dolphins. River otters and black bears are also often sighted. These waters are one of most predicable places to see killer whales in the wild. The area is frequented by both

the mammal-eating killer whale population known as “Bigg’s killer whales” (or “transients”) and the fisheating killer whale population known as the “Northern Residents.” The latter come to the area to feed on salmon and to rub their bellies on “rubbing beaches”. They are the only population of killer whales in the world known to have this rubbing behaviour. The beaches they most often use have been recognized as critical habitat and protected as a sanctuary known as the Dr. Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve at Robson Bight. Both the land and water areas of the reserve are not open to the public. The Whale Interpretive Centre (WIC) in Telegraph Cove provides an additional opportunity to learn about local marine life. This wonderful facility offers a highly educational and engaging experience that focuses on the biology of local marine mammals, the threats they face, and how we can all work toward their conservation. The WIC is home to a fascinating collection of marine mammal skeletons and interactive displays. The feature skeleton is that of a 60’ (17 meter) fin whale. The abundant marine mammal populations in the area congregate here due to the large numbers of salmon and other fish to feed on which also means

that this one of the best area on Vancouver Island for sport fishermen to haul in a prize catch. Telegraph Cove’s history is embodied in its restored wooden buildings and boardwalk. In 1912, it was chosen as the northern terminus for the telegraph line from Campbell River and earned a name in the process. A lumber mill and salmon saltery followed. During the Second World War the village served as a military relay station. Its genesis into a whale-watching mecca began in 1980 with the launch of BC’s first such enterprise. A 20-minute drive south of Port McNeill and yet still a world away, Telegraph Cove is home to a resort with historic cabins along the boardwalk, condo-style lodging, two campgrounds, RV parks, vacation rental homes and a pair of full-service marinas. The town’s small array of businesses includes its tour operators (whale watching, kayak adventures/rentals, fishingcharters, and grizzly bear viewing daytrips) along with a restaurant and pub, a general store and two patio cafés. Result: It’s a pleasure to unwind here in comfort after a day on the water, trading stories about spectacular sightings over a good meal before enjoying a deep sleep in this peaceful getaway destination. | 59 | 59


cOve Resort

Telegraph Cove Resort

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a truly unique experience

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120 site wooded R.V. Park and campsite. Campfires permitted and firewood available.


Wastell Manor, 5 room Antique Hotel. 20 fully contained cabins and houses for rent. Many have woodstoves. 140 berth marina and launch ramp.

to come?

Marine gas, general stores, shops, wireless Internet available. Killer Whale Cafe, Old Saltery Pub

Salmon Barbeques on Wednesday & Saturday evenings at restaurant. Great Sport Fishing Area Fishing Charters for Salmon & Halibut available.

Klaus Gretzmacher photos

Ph: (250) 928-3131 Fx: (250) 928-3105 60 | 60 |


© Boomer Jerritt


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Woss & Nimpkish Valley


ne of BC’s best-kept secret ski hills, plentiful hiking trails, watersportsfriendly lakes, intriguing local history and a largely unspoiled natural landscape: It’s all part of the adventure that awaits active explorers who turn off Highway 19 at Woss, some 130 km north of Campbell River. Logging has been a mainstay occupation here in the Nimpkish Valley since European settlers first arrived. In fact, Woss is the site of the only operational railroad logging enterprise in Canada. Steam Locomotive 113, built in 1920 for rail logging, is a historic local treasure that honours the community’s heritage. Beyond the logging zones are emerald-green parks and backcountry wilderness. The Nimpkish Valley Ecological Reserve protects the oldest trees in the region. Schoen means “beautiful” in German, and it’s exactly the right word for Schoen Lake Provincial Park (open March to October). Boaters launch from its gravel beaches. And climbers head for the heights via the trail network here and at

Pinder Peak and Rugged Mountain. North of Woss is Nimpkish Lake, a breezy favourite with windsurfers and kiteboarders. First-time spelunkers get a taste of the caving experience at Little Huson Regional Park’s “walk-in” limestone caves and unique land formations. Powder blues aren’t an issue for North Island skiers. Open on weekends and select Mondays, Mount Cain is a funky, community-run, family-oriented resort virtually free of line-ups. With room aplenty to carve sweeping ‘s’ patterns into the snow that’s piled up during the week, enthusiasts ride the t-bar lifts, inhale pure oxygen and test themselves on 18 runs and 457 metres of vertical drop. Café-style meals, slope-side accommodations and affordable lift prices contribute to the relaxed vibes. Off-season, Mount Cain’s high alpine meadows attract hikers and wildlife watchers.




BC 250-281-4228 | 61 | 61




Z ow: n K s l a c o L

of the beginning e h t t s ju r. The drive is has to offe t any s The scenic o ll a b e Z istas one a beautiful v here is second to n g in sports fish ar. e time of y

Come, Explore & Discover There’s Gold In Them Hills! Heritage Buildings, Self GuidedWalking Tours, Heritage Museum Outdoor Recreation Paradise Sportfishing, Kayaking, Walking Trails, Birdwatching, Diving, Rock Climbing Visitor Services Restaurants, Accommodations, Camping and RV Sites, Boat Launch, Store, Fuel

Call us at (250) 761-4229 between 8:30-4:30 Mon. to Fri. or check us out online at

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eballos is pure gold as an outdoor adventure destination on the sheltered inland Pacific coastline of Vancouver Island North. It’s a perfect jumping-off point for Kyuquot Sound and the marine getaways at Catala and Nuchatlitz provincial parks. Hire maritime guides and their boats in town or bring your own transportation. To get here, head north for 15 minutes from Woss on Highway 19, then travel west for about an hour on a gravel logging road. The scenery, rewarding vistas and remote beauty of the place fully justifies the trip. This was once booming gold-rush country. Between 1938 and 1942, a bustling town rose practically overnight as the fever peaked with the extraction of $13 million in claims. Production halted post-World War II when the price of gold dropped and material and labour costs spiked, leaving stores of the precious metal in the ground. Those who remained turned to forestry and fish processing, key industries to this day. Explore regional history at the family-friendly Zeballos Heritage Museum. Sport fishing is a favorite way to get out on the water in pursuit of salmon, halibut, red snapper and rockfish. Troll in the relatively sheltered Zeballos Inlet. Cruise towards the Esperanza Inlet and the wilder waters of the open Pacific. Or cast lines for cut-throat and rainbow trout in the Zeballos and Kaouk rivers. Scuba divers explore the rock walls at Tahsis Narrows, surfers head for Nootka Island, and birdwatchers congregate in local estuaries. After enjoying the relaxed pace of Zeballos, motorists can follow the gravel road to Fair Harbour, a great launching point for marine adventures. Gorgeous, beach-lined Rugged Point Marine Park is an easy day paddle from the shoreline.

Grizzly Bears of Knight inlet

Tide Rip

1-888-643-9319 • 1-250-928-3090

FP | 63 | 63

Port M Neill V A N C O U V E R




The Heart of Your North Island Adventure!

Kayaking Caving Hiking Biking Diving Birding Golf Skiing Marine Tours & Charters Saltwater & Freshwater Fishing Whale Watching Grizzly Tours Museums RVing & Camping Nature Tours Scenic Flights Galleries & Studios Photography Hunting

Tide Rip Tours

Dalewood Inn • 250-928-3090 • 1-888-643-9319 Grizzly Bears of Knight Inlet

1703 Broughton Blvd. 1-855-956-3304 Gym Facilities • Liquor Store Oceanview Restaurant

Oceanview Cabins

Best place in the Bay 390 Poplar Road, Alert Bay 877-974 5457

SuperValu #2-311 Hemlock Street 250-956-2881 Groceries 7 Days A Week

North Island Kayak Whale & Wildlife Kayak Tours 2 hours to 8 days Telegraph Cove, Johnstone Strait & the Broughton Archipelago 1-877-949-7707

SeaRose Studio Paintings • Pottery • Art Getaways Yvonne Maximchuk 250-974-8134 Echo Bay, Broughton Archipelago

Tourism Port McNeill P.O. Box 728, Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0 Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre P.O. Box 129 1594 Beach Drive, Port McNeill Toll Free in Canada & USA: 1-888-956-3131 • 64 |

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2014 North Island Tourism Guide  
2014 North Island Tourism Guide