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Official Guide to

Vancouver Island North 2012

www.vancouverislandnor th.ca

www.nor thislandgazette.com


Whale Watching • Wildlife tours

ACTIVITIES

Fishing

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Whale Watch telegraph cove FishingFicaboriam, venet, venitaerat. northern VancouVer island Ut qui is pa voluptat res adist ut la illes soluptaturio tecuptatur? Quia ipiti dem quo odi aut landantiaes seritis maxim

British columBia’s 1st Whale Watching company – founded 1980

www.stubbs-island.com

reserVations or information

1-800-665-3066

Stubbs Island Whale Watching is dedicated to ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation. 2 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca NVI Visitor Guide STUBBS.indd 1

10/25/11 11:47:58 AM


ACTIVITIES | FISHING

www.northislandgazette.com | 3


Welcome to

Vancouver Island North V

ancouver Island North is the first word and last stop in western Canada for outdoor adventure. Unspoiled and largely undiscovered yet just a day’s travel from Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle, the upper third of the continent’s largest island offers a spectacularly green and aquamarine palette of forests, lakes, mountain peaks, saltwater inlets and jigsaw-puzzle coastline. Black bears forage for berries, whales splash about at sea and eagles soar overhead. The region also includes a swath of the magnificent Great Bear Rainforest on the mainland coast. Our friendly towns and villages welcome visitors with dining, shopping, cultural attractions and overnight options ranging from wilderness campgrounds to B&Bs, motels, hotels, cabins, cottages and resorts. Spend long days engaged in fresh-air pleasures, then relax in comfort while trading stories and planning tomorrow’s adventure. Expert guides and charter operators serve up the super, all-natural thrills. Troll for salmon in the Queen Charlotte Strait or steelhead and trout in inland lakes. Watch in awe as muscular orcas spyhop across ocean waves. Ski the world-class powder at crowd-free Mount Cain. Photograph black bears on the Island and their grizzly counterparts on the adjacent mainland coast. Try scuba diving at God’s Pocket Marine Park, surfing at Raft Cove or kayaking on the sheltered east or wild west coasts. Best of all, strap on a backpack for a trek into Cape Scott Provincial Park. The Kwakwaka’wakw peoples have called this region home for thousands of years. Alert Bay is internationally known for its remarkable First Nation cultural centre, public dance performances and the world’s tallest totem pole. In Fort Rupert, meanwhile, visitors 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 community museums throughout the region. The whale watching capital of Telegraph Cove is a virtual museum in itself with its wooden buildings, boardwalk and interpretive centre. Peaceful oceanfront communities 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 colourful taste of local 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.

Activities & Attractions Cape Scott Provincial Park............. 13 Caving.............................................. 14 Daytripping........................................ 5 Diving............................................... 14 First Nations..................................... 21 Hiking............................................... 12 Kayaking........................................... 15 Museums & Cultural Centres.......... 9 Sportfishing....................................... 7 While They’re Fishing....................... 8 Whales.............................................. 11 Wildlife............................................. 10 © 2012 North Island Gazette. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the North Island Gazette.

4 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Facilities & Information Accommodations...................... 18-19 Dining Guide................................... 17 Charters............................................. 6 Camping & Recreation Sites.......... 20 Regional Map............................ 32-33 Travelling.......................................... 16 Published by North Island Gazette in partnership with Vancouver Island North Tourism Box 458, Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0 Phone 250-949-6225 Fax 250-949-7655 publisher@northislandgazette.com

Communities Alert Bay..................................... 22-25 Coal Harbour.................................. 26 Holberg & Winter Harbour............ 28 Port Alice.................................... 29-31 Port Hardy.................................. 34-45 Port McNeill............................... 46-51 Quatsino........................................... 27 Sayward...................................... 52-53 Sointula....................................... 54-56 Telegraph Cove......................... 57-59 Woss/Nimpkish Valley.................... 60 Zeballos...................................... 61-62 Front Cover photos Eagle: Doug Bradshaw Orcas: Robin Quirk Man with Fish: Ryan Handley Alert Bay Totem: Vancouver Island North Side Bay-West Coast, Vancouver Island North Cheryl Mackay photo


ACTIVITIES

Whale Watching

Daytripping San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park

Kayaking

Why You’ve Got To Go

trail leading to the ocean • 2.5 km old-growth forest s che bea y • Huge sand ns • Unique sea stack formatio

Getting There

hours) west from • Drive 64 km (approx 1 ½ ing road logg el grav Por t Hardy via Bay, and Cape Scott • Follow signs to San Josef Provincial Park

Suggestions

with a low tide • If possible, time your visit ic picn a g Brin • ide transportation • Guides are available to prov tour tive and an interpre

s

Local Recommendation

between • Visit Ronning’s Garden, Cape Scott parking lot • Make a stop in Holberg for a meal and a cold drink

Holberg and the

ot To

Go • Close proxim ity to grizzly be ar habitat on the mainland coast means m ore viewing time • Active grizzly bear population • Experienced guides provide safe and educational tou rs

Getting There

• Tours depart daily (May -Sep t) from Telegraph Cove

Suggestions

men

• Seeing the marine environment from a kayak seat offers a unique perspective • The Lonely Planet ranked killer whale watching from a kayak #2 in their Top 10 list of Canadian Adventures • Day paddles can depart from the east coast, or from west coast inlets

Getting There

• Tours depart daily (Ma y/Jun-Oct) from Telegraph Cove, Por t Mc Neill, and Alert Bay

Suggestions

Getting There

• Dress in layers and bring a warm shir t and jacket, even in the summer months • Don’t forget your cam era!

Suggestions

ns • Visit the Whale Interpr etive Centre at the end of the boardwalk in Telegraph Cove • September offers the most diverse and active time of year for marine life

• Day rentals available from Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Telegraph Cove • Your rental provider will have important information on the local area and conditions • Choose layered clothing of nylon, polyester, or wool; avoid cotton • If you’re new to paddling, consider a guided kayak tour

Local Recommenda

tio

Photo: Robin Quirk

to: Nick Sims

Photo: Vancouver Island North

Grizzly Bear V iewing

Local Recom

er Jerritt

Why You’ve Got To Go

Local Recommendations

Why You’ve G

• Late May to mid-June is mating season , a particularly ac tive time for viewing • During the fal l bears are seen catching salmon • A good set of binoculars will get you a close r look

Photo: Boom

• This area is known to be one of the best places on ear th to view killer whales • Fur ther marine life inc ludes: whales, two porpoise spe humpback cies, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Steller sea lions, Minke whales, harbou r seals and a great diversity of sea birds • The scenery is specta cular • The waters of nor th-e astern Vancouver Island are typically cal m since they are protected from offshor e swell • Guided tours enhanc e the experience with sighting expertise and information on local marine life and the ecosystem

• Multi-day base camp and expedition kayak tours are ideal for true exploration of the marine environment and abundant wildlife Pho

More Information:

• www.bcparks.ca, under Cape Scott • www.waterlevels.gc.ca, Cape Scott site for tidal predictions

Why You’ve Got To Go

Fishing Why You’ve Got To Go

• You don’t have to travel far for the fish, often within a few minutes of the dock • Queen Charlotte Strait is situated on migration routes for salmon running on both the east and west coast of the Island • Halibut are here • Vancouver Island North waters also offer snapper, cod, crabs, prawns and more

Getting There

• Fishing day charters are available out of most communities, on both the west and east coast

Suggestions

Photo: B

oomer

dations • Explore Teleg raph Cove after returning from your tour • Stay for dinn er on the boardw alk • Remote wild erness lodges offer multi-day, pack aged viewing tou rs

Jerritt

• Book in advance so you’re not disappointed • You will need a fishing license which can be purchased online www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Local Recommendations

• Salmon fishing begins in May and runs through September • Halibut are abundant from March to November • Get out with a guide for Winter-Run Steelhead from November to April

Day Hikes

Photo: Vancouver

Island Nor th

Why You’ve Got To Go

• Riverside trails forest • Paths through the rain above the ocean • Rugged headlands • Seaside boardwalks ks • Expansive beach wal

Getting There

in and around all • Great variety of trails communities rth No nd Isla ver Vancou s tion ges sug for • See page 12 details and • Make sure to stop for community location information at s Visitor Centre

www.northislandgazette.com | 5


information

Charters Larry Weber 250-902-9493

larry@leisuresuitcharters.com www.leisuresuitcharters.com

Specializing in fishing trips for salmon, halibut & steelhead.

CODE 3 CHARTERS and accommodations

• salmon, halibut, cod or crab fishing tours • wildlife viewing • sightseeing tours

Regan Hickling

“30 years plus” experience in local waters

www.rumblebeachfishingcharter.com

250-956-0002 • cell: 250-230-1701 code3charters@telus.net • www.code3charters.com You get more than just a fishing charter with us! Box 457 Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0

Box 11, P B Portt Ali Alice, BC V0N 2N0 • 250-284-6204 or cell: 250-209-2779

North Island d

FISHING ADVENTURES ~ ~ ~ ~

salt water charters salmon & halibut year round over 25 years guiding experience

Reasonable Rates

Roland Presseau

250-956-2272 cell: 250-230-4069 www.nishad.com rolandfg@telus.net

SEASMOKE SAIL WITH THE WHALES

Sailing tours 4-5 hours Departs: Alert Bay & Alder Bay campsite Come stay with us at Alert Bay Accommodations www.alertbayaccommodations.com

1-877-663-6722 www.whaletime.com • mackaybd@telus.net

NAKWAKTO RAPIDS TOURS Let us guide you through our home lands with a  seasoned skipper and traditional storytellers born and raised in the region.

SEASMOKE Whale Watching

1-800-668-ORCA (6722) 250-974-5225

www.seasmokewhalewatching.com

6 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations

Office: (250) 949-8343 Email: ecdev@gwanak.info www.gwanak.info/home


ACTIVITIES | FISHING

ACTIVITIES

Sportfishing A

ll 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 delicious 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 waterfront communities. Or hire a qualified charter operator. Our salty sea dogs can spin some great tales while supplying 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 biting within the length of a monofilament fishing line cast from any available dock. Visitor Information Centres 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 when the fish are running. Salmon tend to migrate from May through September, and their numbers peak in the summer and fall. Halibut are abundant from March to November. 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 (http://www. dfo-mpo.gc.ca) for tips about regulations, licenses and conservation areas.

Top 10 Fishing Holes Freshwater

Saltwater

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

Blackfish Sound Dillon, Daphne and Duval Points Gordon Group Masterman Island Telegraph Cove Cormorant Island Cluxewe River Mouth Wells Passage Haddington Island Quatsino Sound

www.Tides and Tales.com photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 7


ACTIVITIES

While They’re Fishing C

heck Visitor Centres, coffee shop bulletin boards or the “Hot Spots” section of the North Island Gazette for the latest on festivals, concerts, special events, exhibits and other fun activities.

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. Enjoy a drop-in work-out, yoga class and much more at recreation centres in the region. Pamper, delight and spoil yourself with a spa or massage package that generates warmth from the inside out. Skilled bodyworkers work their magic in Port Hardy, Sointula, Port Alice, Alert Bay, Port McNeill and Coal Harbour.

Kellie Dukes

Relaxation Facilitator

A 1.5 to 2 hour pure relaxation massage using heated & cooled jade stones 7565 Glacier Crescent East PO Box 1662 Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0 Tel: 250-230-0095 Fax: 250-949-7893 strokesofjade@yahoo.ca

Seven Hills Golf Country Club

Blonde Ambition creates a relaxing atmosphere for all you tired travellers. Creating packages that meet all your needs.

B

Blonde Ambition

Come in or call today to see what we have to offer. Hairstylist: Cara Strasdine Working with all ages to accommodate any service. Senior colour specialist

250-949-9798 7205 Market St. Port Hardy

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.

hook-up • Power cart rentals, club rentals

250-949-9818 sevenhillsgolf.ca

We are your one stop shop

The for all your custom Port Hardy souvenirs. Hobby • shirts • hats • mugs Nook • stickers • magnets • water bottles

Thunderbird Mall Port Hardy • 250-949-6544 8 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Storey’s Beach Steve Fines photo


ACTIVITIES | miscellaneous

ACTIVITIES

Museums & Cultural Centres F

rom First Nations culture to marine ecology, utopian settlements to logging, fishing and mining, Vancouver Island North boasts 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 archeological 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 museums with its unparalleled collection of potlatch regalia. Modeled after a big house, it is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation. The gift shop features superb jewellery, carvings, textiles and more. • Forestry has been the North Island’s leading commercial activity 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. • Boaters heading northwest across Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound are advised to linger in Echo Bay and visit Billy Procter’s Museum and Gift Shop. The author and life-long area resident has collected fascinating memorabilia from the logging, fishing and trapping eras. • 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 marine wildlife. • It’s a salmon’s world at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre in Port Hardy. Located beside a working hatchery, the Centre features interactive exhibits, games and a family theatre. Learn about the perilous journey of salmon and their incredible survival stories. • 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, fashion items, greeting cards, honey and jams. • 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 airforce hanger. • 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: quatsino.museum@recn.ca.

Whale Interpretive CentreTelegraph Cove Ken Manning photo Old Airforce Hangar-Coal Harbour JR Rardon photo Port Hardy Museum Teresa Bird photo

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ACTIVITIES | wildlife

ACTIVITIES

Wildlife

• If

Jackie Hildering photo www.themarinedetective.ca

T

he wildlife is one of the best reasons to visit Vancouver Island North. Expect your first sightings to be 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. Though shy and rarely seen, wolves and cougars roam the backwoods. Great blue herons fish at the edge of estuaries that echo with the sweet call of songbirds. 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. 10 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

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

GREAT BEAR LODGE Bear-viewing at floating wilderness lodge.           www.greatbeartours.com

GRIZZLY BEARS OF KNIGHT INLET

For over 15 years Tide Rip Grizzly Tours has been leading daily expeditions to view and photograph the wild coastal grizzly bears of Knight Inlet, British Columbia. Climb aboard one of our Coast Guard-certified vessels under the command of our local knowledgeable Naturalists for an intimate experience with one of the largest carnivores on Earth in a truly remote rainforest setting!

Visit: www.grizzlycanada.com

Call: 001 250-928-3090 Email: tiderip@telus.net


ACTIVITIES | whales

ACTIVITIES

Whales T

he most celebrated residents of Vancouver Island North are its marine mammals. Members of a population of some 260 fish-eating orcas known as the “Northern Residents” are often in the area in pursuit of salmon. The more stealthy marine mammal-eating population of killer whales known as “Transients” are also often hunting in the area. Spring and fall are the best times to view large numbers of acrobatic Pacific white-sided dolphins and the world’s largest sea lion species, the Steller sea lion, is regularly found growling on the rocks. Humpback whales have been flipping their tales with increasing frequency in local waters. You can also see a slew of other local denizens while on a wildlife viewing trip such as Minke whales, Pacific harbour seals, Dall’s and harbour porpoise, and a prodigious array of seabirds. Vancouver Island North sightseeing crews view these magnificent creatures with respect. The small community of operators here is dedicated to ensuring safe, sustainable encounters that serve the whales 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 marine mammals won’t make a memorable encounter on their own terms. Be Whale Wise Guidelines apply to all tour operators, commercial and pleasure crafts, as well as kayaks and other self-propelled crafts: • Be cautious and courteous, approaching known areas of marine wildlife activity with extreme caution • Reduce speed to less than 7 knots when within 400 meters of the nearest whale • Keep clear of the whales’ path • Do not approach whales from the front or behind, always approach and depart from the side • Do not approach or position your vessel closer than 100 meters to any whale • Stay on the offshore side of the whales when they are travelling close to shore • Do not swim with, touch or feed marine wildlife Jackie Hildering photo www.themarinedetective.ca

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ACTIVITIES | hiking

ACTIVITIES

Hiking

Road to Raft Cove trailhead Pat Corbett-Labatt photo

V

ancouver Island North is a hiker’s dream. Trails and abandoned logging roads penetrate deep into the wilderness landscape, offering easy access to remote forests, streams, and lakes. Many seaside communities are lined with wheelchair-accessible seawalls and boardwalks perfect for family outings and romantic sunset strolls prior to an evening meal. Check in at local Visitor Centres for details on such hiking options as the following: Port Hardy’s Quatse Loop and Estuary Trails lead from the fisherman’s wharf and oceanfront hotels. The Quatse Estuary is home to eagles, herons and all kinds of birdlife. The forested 2.5 km Quatse Loop Trail veers off and follows the river past the brand new Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre with its interpretive displays and hatchery. 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. The beach is one terminus of the lovely Port Hardy Commuter Trail, a newly signed and upgraded route that follows an ancient First Nations pathway through the forest and past a lake to Bear Cove. Port McNeill’s Visitor Centre is a good departure point for the McNeill Bay Trail which follows the shoreline to Bear Creek and local tidal flats. Not far from town, the Cluxewe Salt Marsh Trail offers a sweet 45-minute return trip to the beach. 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 birdwatching 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. 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 four-wheel drive vehicles necessary to access it, the Stowe Creek Trail leading to the peak of H’Kusam Mountain. 12 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

250-956-2411

info@islanddaytrippers.com www.islanddaytrippers.com Port McNeill, BC

Book a Hike Now!


ACTIVITIES

Cape Scott Provincial Park www.bcparks.ca

T

he windswept northern tip of Vancouver Island is home to Cape Scott Provincial Park. Still relatively undiscovered, the park’s sweeping tidal flats, forested trails and ocean-slammed headlands are increasingly showing up on the radar of the international backpacking community. All members of the family will enjoy the 90-minute return trip to San Josef Bay’s sandy beach on a well-groomed path from the trailhead parking lot. Or for the adventurers, the ultimate backcountry experience is found on the North Coast Trail. A particularly challenging route for experienced hikers only that traverses steep headlands, muddy swamps and cavernous gorges with the aid of fixed ropes, boardwalks and cable cars. This is a 54km one-way trip that requires a minimum of five days. Access the North Coast Trail through the Cape Scott trailhead by driving via Holberg on the gravel logging road or arrange a shuttle from Port Hardy. Water access to Shushartie Bay at the other end of the trail is also available from Port Hardy by water taxi. 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. Those who head to Cape Scott itself are invited to sign the guest book at the lighthouse. Expect to see remains of buildings and other trace evidence of the late 19th century Danish settlers who tried to make this beautiful area their new home in the new world. Come prepared! The weather is highly changeable, and layered clothing topped by sturdy rain gear is essential. Overnight campsites are dotted along the route.

San Josef Bay Trail in Cape Scott Provincial Park Boomer Jerritt photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 13


ACTIVITIES

Caving

www.rdmw.bc.ca, parks page

Little Hu son Cav e Boomer Jer ritt ph s oto

T

here is no shortage of sea level and higher thrills locally. Yet adventurers also go underground when exploring the highest concentration of caves in Canada. 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 Port McNeill off the Zeballos road. A self-guided tour here includes stops at a natural rock bridge and walk-in, cathedral-style cave. 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, an eerie lake that some fanciful souls claim is bottomless. One highlight of the route is the Vanishing River, which dips underground for the length of ten football fields before rising again to the surface (where it is given an apt new name, the Reappearing River). For their part, experienced cavers can explore some of the longest, deepest karst caves in Canada on Vancouver Island North. Several are concentrated in an area rich in limestone called the Quatsino formation. Guides are strongly recommended for the more difficult treks, and regional authorities ask that spelunkers steer clear of any unmapped caves. Information about the sport can be found through the Canadian Caver website at www.cancaver.ca.

Diving

www.themarinedetective.ca

V

ancouver Island North is world-renowned for its diving. These cold (around 10°C), clear, current-fed waters house an extraordinary diversity of life in jaw-dropping density. Enjoy stunning colour in great, substantial stretches.  More than ten species of sea slug can be seen on a single dive. In these rich waters, giant Pacific octopuses and wolf eels might be spotted around their dens and rockfish may school around you. Note that the size of organisms in these rich waters often exceeds the limits given in field guides. The rock walls themselves are splashed with colour in the form of red soft coral, multi-hued sponges and vibrant anemones and sea stars. This is an underwater photographer’s paradise.

Kari Watk

ins photo

The seemingly endless stretches of coastline on Northern Vancouver Island provide equally endless dive opportunities. You can never tire of the great adventure of diving in this area: from the concentration of dive sites in the Broughton and Blackfish Archipelagos to the gardens of Zeballos; and the expansive walls of Browning Pass near God’s Pocket Marine Provincial Park to the vibrant life of Quatsino Narrows. The options are plentiful. Choose to rent gear (dry suits are a must) and seek the expertise of a local operator who will escort divers to the prime location. Opt for a live-aboard adventure. Or settle into the comfort of a dive resort situated close to the best diving spots. No question, Vancouver Island North is a cold-water diver’s paradise. And please be advised: One trip here very likely won’t be enough. 14 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Jackie Hildering photos www.themarinedetective.ca


ACTIVITIES

Kayaking Sea Kayaking Whale Watching Lodge-Based Multi-Sport Yoga Family Mothership Tours Explorer Tours Conservation Tours

1-800-616-1943 www.seakayakadventures.com info@seakayakadventures.com

Sea Kayaking with Whales Vancouver Island - Haida Gwaii - Great Bear Rainforest

• No Experience Necessary For Most Tours • Base Camp and Expedition Style Tours • Maximum of 8 Guests with 2 Guides • One to Fifteen Day Adventures • Scheduled Family Departures

www.kingfisher.ca

1-866-546-4347

BROUGHTON ARCHIPELAGO.ca Sea Kayaking in Comfort

Float house Inn Waterfront Cabins Kayak Tours & Rentals Water Taxi Service On-site Massage

250-230-0088

PADDLER’S INN.ca

S

trap your own transportation to a roof rack, rent from a local outfitter or sign up for a guided kayaking tour, then dip your paddle into the seas, rivers and lakes of Vancouver Island North. This world-class paddling destination is known for its abundant wildlife, well-charted channels, easy crossings between islands, some tricky technical passages when the tides are running, and endless beaches on which to rest, relax and picnic. The scenery and wildlife of Johnstone Strait, the Broughton Archipelago and Quatsino Sound is even more magnificent when viewed from a kayak seat perched inches above the waves. View the marine wildlife – seals, sea lions, killer whales and humpback whales included. The Lonely Planet travel guide ranked killer whale watching from a kayak in Johnstone Strait #2 in their Top 10 list of Canadian Adventures. Weather and sea conditions can change quickly, so be prepared and travel in a group. A number of local kayaking companies offer tours, lessons and rentals. One dramatic highlight, for experienced adventurers only, is the West Coast Vancouver Island North Marine Trail, a newly designated kayaking route tracing the coastline from Port Hardy past Cape Scott Provincial Park and all the way to Tofino. Kayakers heading north to explore the spectacular Great Bear Rainforest sail via BC Ferries from Port Hardy’s Bear Cove terminal. Boomer Jerritt photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 15


information

Travelling

www.drive.ca, BC Road Report 800-550-4997

A

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 www.BCFerries.com, or phone 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 are wheelchair accessible. For scheduling and fare information, contact Mount Waddington Transit (250.956.3151) www.transitbc.com/regions/mtw/.

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 www.northcoasttrailshuttle.com

Beckie Book Agency Operator

al Free loc pick up

National Car & Truck Sales • Leasing • Rentals Box 1485, Byng Road Port Hardy Airport Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0

Ph: 250-949-7121 Fx: 250-949-9864 beckie.book@nationalcar.com victoria duncan nanaimo courtenay/comox port hardy north vancouver www.nationalcarsales.ca www.drivenational.ca

Highway 19, the North Island Route Boomer Jerritt photo

16 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


information

Dining Guide Best View in Town

Daily Specials served from 11am-11pm

Reflections Reflections Restaurant Restaurant Breakfast ~ Lunch ~ Dinner 250-949-9290

café guido

6435 Hardy Bay Rd, Port Hardy

Eat in, take out or drive thru

SHoP great new books and funky giftware in the Book Nook SIP indulge in espressos & lattes, smoothies & teas Savour sweet homemade scones, cinnamon buns & paninis 7135 Market Street 250.949.9808

6555 Hardy Bay Rd, Port Hardy 250-949-6922

Port Hardy WI-FI Hotspot

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

Bo•Banee’s Cafe Featuring MEXICAN cuisine, and WESTERN fare. • Family Room Available • Creative Daily Specials • 16 TV Screens for all your Sports Needs & Special Events

Fabulous HOMEMADE PIES, made with love

250-949-7811

www.thesporty.com 8700 Hastings St. Port Hardy

#4-1705 CAMPBELL WAY • PORT MCNEILL

250-956-2739

Pauline Steele photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 17


facilities

Accommodations

See individual communities for more accommodations

MAGNIFICENT OCEAN VIEW PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION FAMILY FRIENDLY, PETS WELCOME

Catherin

e Hufna

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

250.949.8510

www.orangetabbybb.com

gel pho

to

At Water’s Edge Bed & Breakfast Hostess: Karen Stewart 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 www.atwatersedge.ca Open year round info@atwatersedge.ca

B&B Beverly & Jerry Reed 7735 Cedar Place, Port Hardy oceanvue@island.net • www.island.net/~oceanvue

250.949.8302

18 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


t

facilities | accommodations

Telegraph Cove Julie Foster photo

Inlet Haven B&B

aterfront rt McNeill w photo Kari Watkins

y on Po Steam donke

Port Alice, Port Po Ali A lice c , BC ce C www.inlethaven.com jimbon@cablerocket.com

• totally private entrances • all rooms nonsmoking • wireless Internet • pets & children welcome

250-284-3216

Jim & Bonnie Overland

Sayward Valley

Fisherboy Park Resort motel • campground • grocery • liquor

Clean Modern Accommodation

Cabins, kitchenettes Motel Rooms Full Service Grocery & General Store Liquor Agency & Movie Rentals Fishing & Hunting Licenses Commercial, Business Travellers Welcome Ample Parking for any size rigs with trailers or boats

and accommodations

private hottub • queen size beds • satellite TV • wireless Internet • breakfast included 250-956-0002 • cell: 250-230-1701 code3charters@telus.net • www.code3charters.com Box 457 Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0

Large Fully Serviced Campground

Spacious treed private sites Some pull throughs available Tent sites, showers & fire pits Social centre w/cable tv & wifi Close to fishing, golf & hiking Within walking distance of 2 restaurants & pub Bicycle friendly

2 rooms

Enjoy our oceanfront suites as B&B or B-on-your-own

Phone: 250-282-3204 Toll Free: 1-866-357-0598

Fully self-contained suites for rent by day, week, month Private Entrances Full Kitchens Laundry Facilities

www.fisherboypark.com fisherboypark@telus.net

Find us on Google Earth 1546 Sayward Road, Sayward, BC V0P 1R0 Just 1/4 mile off the Hwy 19 junction at Sayward Rd towards Kelsey Bay/Sayward

CODE 3 CHARTERS

Convenient stopover for North or South bound Port Hardy Ferry traffic 45 minutes North of Campbell River

250.949.7338 smasales@telus.net www.scotiabaybnb.com

Main photo Port McNeill boat ramp Cheryl MacKay photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 19


FACILITIES

PORT McNEILL SAYWARD

20 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

TELEGRAPH SOINTULA COVE WEST COAST WINTER HARBOUR

Marble River Provincial Park www.bcparks.ca Port Alice RV & Campground 1201 Marine Drive 250 284-3422 Spruce Bay www.westernforest.com/nature/nvir.html Victoria Lake www.westernforest.com/nature/nvir.html Georgie Lake www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca Port Hardy RV Resort www.porthardyrvresort.com 250 949-8111 Quatse River Campground www.QuatseCampground.com 866 949-2395 Scotia Bay Resort www.scotiabayresort.com 250 949-6484 Seven Hills Golf & RV Park 250 949-9818 Stryker Bay RV Park stryker@cablerocket.com 888 839-8022 Wildwoods www.wildwoodscampsite.com 250 949-6753 Broughton Strait Campground www.broughtonstraitcampsite.com 250 956-3224 Cedar Park Resort & Golfing www. cedarparkresort-rv.com 250 902-9346 Cluxewe Resort www.cluxewe.com 250 949-0378 O’Connor Lake www.westernforest.com/nature/nvir.html 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 & 250 282-3762 Campground 888 882-3772

WOSS / NIMPKISH

250 974-7015

ZEBALLOS & ZEBALLOS ROAD

ALERT BAY

Nahwitti Lake www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca Campsites also located at Koprino, Rupert Arm, San Josef River & Swan Lake www.westernforest.com/nature/nvir.html Link River Regional Park www.rdmw.bc.ca 250 956-3301

PORT HARDY

Alert Bay Campground www.alertbay.ca

PORT ALICE HOLBERG

Camping & Recreation Sites Bere Point www.rdmw.bc.ca Harmony Shores Campground www.sointulainfo.ca Alder Bay Resort www.AlderBayResort.com

250 956-3301

250 973-6793 888 956-4117

Telegraph Cove Resort www.TelegraphCoveResort.com 800 200-4665 Telegraph Cove Marina & RV Park www.TelegraphCove.ca 877 835-2683 Cape Scott Provincial Park www.bcparks.ca Cape Palmerston www.westernforest.com/nature/nvir.html Raft Cove Provincial Park www.bcparks.ca San Josef Heritage Park 250 286-9422 Botel Park & Trail www.WinterHarbour.ca 250 969-4333 Kwaksistah Campground www.rdmw.bc.ca 250 956-3301 Outpost at Winter Harbour www.winterharbour.ca 250 969-4333 Winter Harbour Marina & RV www.winterharbourlodge.ca 250 969-4293 Bonanza Lake www.SitesAndTrailsBC.ca Schoen Lake Provincial Park www.bcparks.ca Vernon Lake 25 km SE of Woss, via logging road Woss Lake www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca 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 www.zeballos.com 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 www.zeballos.com

250 761-4229


ACTIVITIES

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, killer whales and salmon. In danger of extinction not long ago, 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 colourful memorial poles (please view respectfully from the road only). 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 several public galleries where internationally renowned carvers create magnificent art from chunks of timber. Affordable gifts and prints can be purchased here.

NAKWAKTO RAPIDS TOURS Experience pristine wilderness. Feel the power of the world's fastest navigable saltwater rapid. We will take you to the rapids from Port Hardy in comfort on our 28' vessel.

Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw

Office: (250) 949-8343 Email: ecdev@gwanak.info www.gwanak.info/home

Nations

Fort Rupert Big House Bruce Winfield photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 21


Communities

Alert Bay Home of the Killer Whale www.AlertBay.ca Visitor Centre 250-974-5024

Bikes in the Bay

$25 Full Day ✦ $15 Half Day

— RENT A BIKE — 250-974-2221

oceanview cabins

Your home away from home

Looking Good Salon FULL SERVICE SALON Fully equipped fitness gym on location

Downtown Alert Bay - turn right off ferry 1/2 block Open 9-5 Tuesday to Saturday Sunday/Monday rentals - Please phone ahead gorval@cablerocket.com Brenda Gordon Ask about our Apres Bike SPA Treatments

Alert Bay, BC • www.oceanviewcabins.ca • 1-877-974-5457

22 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


A

rriving via a scenic 40-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill, visitors will experience a rare, precious and utterly unique First Nation cultural tourism destination. Alert Bay is said to be the last authentic fishing village on Canada’s west coast. 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 small 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-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 experience.

Memorial totem pole at ‘Namgis Burial Boomer Jerritt photo

Home to 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’sasal-a Cultural Group in the traditional Big House. 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. www.northislandgazette.com | 23


24 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


communitieS | alert bay

C

ormorant Island has more than 10 km (6 miles) of hiking and biking trails. The Ecological Park above town features a marshland boardwalk (a favourite 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.

SEASMOKE SAIL WITH THE WHALES

Sailing tours 4-5 hours Departs: Alert Bay & Alder Bay campsite Come stay with us at Alert Bay Accommodations www.alertbayaccommodations.com

SEASMOKE Whale Watching

1-800-668-ORCA (6722) 250-974-5225

www.seasmokewhalewatching.com

Alert Bay Accommodations

www.alertbayaccommodations.com

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

Alert Bay, Cormorant Island Boomer Jerritt photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 25


Communities

Coal Harbour P

retty Coal Harbour has been a mining town, military base and whaling station at various times over the past century. Today it’s a quiet and convenient (20 minutes from Port Hardy) departure point for boaters, kayakers and charter fishing expeditions destined for the calm waters of Quatsino Sound and the wilder open Pacific beyond. An inviting waterfront is one of the upsides of this small hamlet, as is the lovely, winding drive here from the turnoff on Highway 19. Not to be missed (and impossible to do so) is the reminder of Coal Harbour’s history as British Columbia’s last-ever whaling station-namely the huge (6m/20ft) jawbone of a blue whale, the largest animal that ever lived. As a testimony to how quickly society can evolve, this beautiful ocean community has gone from closing as a whaling station in 1967 to being home to many artisans, inspired by the extraordinary seascape and marine life. Times have changed and whales are again revered here – sometimes in the form of artwork created by local artisans based in home studios. Fishing guides are available to track down the best spots for salmon and halibut, and outings are as much about wildlife watching (orcas and humpback whales included) as reeling in the big one.

26 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

www.Tides and Tales.com photo


ACTIVITIES | FISHING

Communities

Quatsino www.quatsino.org

I

n 1894 Norwegian colonists arrived in Quatsino Sound aboard the steamship Mischief with shared dreams of a prosperous life in this remote wilderness. Today, Quatsino offers a more relaxed, quieter way of life, and its remote location ensures that change comes slowly. Accessible only by water and air, residents and visitors alike experience a breath of fresh air as they step back to a simpler way of life. At the core of the community Quatsino Elementary School, built in 1933, overlooks the Government Wharf. A community organic garden now shares this site, providing fresh produce during the harvest season. Nestled nearby is historic St. Olaf’s Anglican Church. Dating back to 1897, it is one of the oldest buildings still in use on Vancouver Island North. The Quatsino Museum & Archives, while providing free high-speed internet and light snacks to guests, offers a glimpse of Quatsino’s diverse 116 year history. With just 8km of gravel road connecting homes, fishing lodges and retreats that stretch single file along the shoreline, Quatsino enjoys its unique solitude amidst the natural beauty of the Sound.

www.northislandgazette.com | 27


Communities

Holberg & Winter Harbour O

nce 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 magnificent Cape Scott Provincial Park (bcparks.ca). The gravel logging road is part of the fun, especially when stopping at the Shoe Tree – started as a joke by a local resident but now a Vancouver Island legend thanks to the hundreds of boots, sandals and footwear on its trunk and slung across its branches. Holberg is worth a long linger, and not strictly to enjoy the pub food and welcoming ambience at the renowned Scarlet Ibis. Pick up the provisions for the hiking, surfing or kayaking adventures ahead. And visit Ronning’s Garden, a circa 1910 homestead located near the San Josef Wagon Road whose vast and exotic grounds, complete with monkey puzzle trees, sit in the middle of the rainforest. This unique garden, started in 1910 by the original owner who brought in fascinating plants from around the world, almost disappeared after his death but today has been restored. 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, Vancouver Island’s western-most settlement. 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 photos of the playful sea otters that pop their curious heads above water and float on their backs in the harbour. Kayakers won’t be able to resist the many paddling adventures in Quatsino Sound available via a Winter Harbour launch.

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

Holberg

Good food, good friends & good times for the entire family

Open Tues - Sat• 12pm - 10pm Sun & Mon • 12pm - 9pm

28 |

Downtown Holberg 250-288-3386 www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Ronnings Garden, near Holberg Boomer Jerritt photo


communities

Port Alice

Gateway to the Wild and Wonderful West Coast www.PortAlice.ca • Village Office 250-284-3391

P

eaceful Port Alice attracts fresh-air enthusiasts craving crowd-free access to the great outdoors. Perched on a pretty hillside facing the Neroutsos Inlet, this thriving community is the most southerly access point to Quatsino Sound and gives kayakers, scuba divers and charter fishing crews access to 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 launching facilities in town offer easy ocean access for travelers towing their own boats. Or get out on the water with a charter fishing or wildlife-viewing guide. Cyclists of all skill levels tackle the trails of the Rumble Fest mountain bike race. Beginners and experienced riders alike gather 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 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). Geology buffs are fascinated by such spectacular rock formations as Devil’s Bath, Vanishing River and the Eternal Fountain, all part of the vast stretches of limestone that make Vancouver Island North prime spelunking (caving) country. Easy access viewing platforms along the newly developed Alice Lake Loop Recreational Corridor allow drivers and hikers to get a good look at these geological wonders. 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 full-service campground. Services in town include a gas station, grocery, hardware, and liquor stores, a bank, and a variety of restaurants. Enjoy strolling the Seawalk, a wheelchair-accessible pathway that follows the community’s coastline. Have a picnic, hike the short distance to Walk-out 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 Stellar sea lions, and migrating salmon. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself adventurer, or simply seeking a quiet place to relax while surrounded by majestic west coast scenery, Port Alice is a community that will meet your expectations.

Port Alice RV Park & Campground & Oceanview Restaurant

l u f i t u Beeaanview 1201 Marine Dr. oc

full hookups cablevision tenting laundry facilities wheelchair accessible boat storage coffee shop full washrooms with large showers Neroutsos Inlet, Port Alice Nick Sims photo

Port Alice, BC

(250) 284-3422

Ozzie & Retta Vezina www.northislandgazette.com | 29


Welcome to

Port Alice

Gateway to the Wild West Coast

30 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


T

he Village of Port Alice lies at the end of a scenic 30 minute drive along Highway 30, which is accessed off Highway 19 between Port McNeill and Port Hardy. After taking the highway’s last turn into the community, visitors will marvel at the vastness of the majestic ocean inlet and lush green forest into which Port Alice is nestled. Regular sightings of eagles, deer, various fish and whale species, sea lions and even the odd black bear immediately let visitors know they have broken away from the bustle of urban living. At the same time, a wide range of community services, accommodations, food & beverage services, sightseeing or fishing charters and, some very popular seasonal special events provide travelers with a wide range of modern amenities. For the do-it-yourself adventurer Port Alice and area is a mecca of outdoor opportunities; camping, kayaking, fishing, hiking, caving, mountain biking….stop into the Village’s Tourism Information & Heritage Centre for detailed information. The well-kept Village boasts friendly people, a scenic seawalk spanning the length of town and an oceanside park to enjoy a picnic. Port Alice looks forward to hosting you! For more information

Web: www.portalice.ca Email: info@portalice.ca Phone: 250.284.3391 Fax: 250.284.3416 Special Events (Please call for dates - 250-284-3391) • • • •

RumbleFest Bike Race Oscar Hickes Memorial Hockey Tournament Port Alice Christmas Craft Fair Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair

Port Alice Offers • RV Park & Campgrounds • Free Sani-Dump • Boat Launch • Health Centre • Bank & ATM • Gas Station • Boat Fuel Services • Fishing & Sightseeing Charters

• Thrift Store • Hardware Store • Food & Beverage Services • Tourism & Heritage Centre • Grocery Stores • Post Office • Liquor Store • Library

Accommodations Copper Coast

1-877-762-2628

Ten Ten at the Beach Accommodation 250.284.3987

Forest Grove Apts 250.284.6323

The Sandy Pines Vacation Rental

www.coppercoastresort.com

www.wix.com/mherli/port-alice

Inlet Haven B&B www.inlethaven.com

250.284.6323

250.284.6323 Port Alice RV Park & Campground 250.284.3422

Quatsino Chalet Hotel 250.284.3338 Westgate B&B

bobdeb@cablerocket.com

250.284.3558 Food & Beverage Services • • • • • •

J&K’s Takeaway Ocean View Restaurant Port Alice Golf Club (summer only) Quatsino Chalet Restaurant & Lounge Royal Canadian Legion Victorian Steak House

Charters Castaway Marine Charters www.castawaymarine.ca 250-284-3572 or 250-209-2599 Rumble Beach Fishing Charters www.rumblebeachfishingcharters.com 250-284-6204 or 250-209-2779

www.northislandgazette.com | 31


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34 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


Communities

Port Hardy www.PortHardy.travel Visitor Centre 1-866-427-3901

V

ancouver Island North’s largest centre (population: 4,000) offers a friendly, downhome version of rugged and magical west coast life. While Port Hardy sits pretty at the very edge of the coastal wilderness, it also boasts the region’s best selection of creature comforts (restaurants, shopping, oceanside parks), plenty of accommodations, a developing ecotourism industry and quick access to the natural splendor that surrounds the town on all sides. BC Ferries’ famous “Inside Passage” long-haul sailings to Prince Rupert on the mainland arrive and depart from nearby Bear Cove, as do summer-only sailings on the “Discovery Coast” route. 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. 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 than an hour past the village of Holberg leads to the windswept, see-forever beaches of Cape Scott Provincial Park. 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. Another supremely pleasurable option is to simply hang out in Port Hardy and relish the myriad diversions found within town limits. Picnic with the family on the sun-baked stretches of sand at Storey’s Beach. Shop for locally produced art, crafts, chocolate and fresh 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 some 200 local artists at one of British Columbia’s best cooperative art galleries. Or take a pleasant, forest-shaded riverside stroll from the marina to the new Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, an interpretive exhibition space and hatchery rolled into one modern facility.

Market Street, Port Hardy Boomer Jerritt photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 35


Port Hardy & District Chamber of Commerce Tel: 1-866-427-3901 250-949-7622 www.ph-chamber.bc.ca 36 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


come to Port hArdy‌

Live the Adventure

Tourism Port Hardy www.porthardy.travel www.northislandgazette.com | 37


to Ferry, Airport & Storey’s Beach

s photo

Steve Fine

38 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

to Airport


communities | port hardy

“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 Johnstone Strait while longer treks out to sea head to grizzly bear country in Smith and Knight Inlets along the mainland coast. Larry Walker photo

North Island

Transportation Services Ltd 250-949-6300

Shuttle Service Port Hardy to & from BC Ferries Bear Cove Terminal Port Hardy to & from Port Hardy Airport

Local freight & passenger transportation is our specialty

May 15 to Sept. 15th

Specializing in Cantonese & Canadian Dishes Dining Room • Lounge Take-out • Catering Banquet & Meeting Rooms

Port Hardy Inn, 9040 Granville St, Port Hardy

Box 1074, Port Hardy, BC V0N2P0 Email: nit6300@telus.net

North Coast Trail Shuttle th

Newly renovated restaurant and lounge relocated in the of Port Hardy.

One stop land and water transport

250-949-8381 setoswokandgrill@gmail.com

North Coast Trail Backpackers Hostel ers Welco

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Your Hosts: Anne & Rob • One Block from Bus Depot • Free Ferry Pickup May-Sept • Private & Dorm Rooms • WiFi

Box 580 Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0

1-800-246-0093 250-949-6541

www.northcoasttrailshuttle.com info@capescottwatertaxi.ca

• Secure Storage: Bikes & Kayaks • Free Parking • Drying area • Lockers • Movies & Games Room

• Hostel’s own Retroz Café • Kitchen & Laundry • Guided Wildlife Tours • Downtown by Beach & Pier

For Reservations call 1-866-448-6303 or 250-949-9441

porthardyhostel@gmail.com • www.northcoasthostel.com

www.northislandgazette.com | 39


! n i p a e L

to Salmon’s World

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

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

40 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Quatse RiveR

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 (30 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 For more information and reservations: Tel: 250-949-2395 Toll Free: 1-866-949-2395 Email: quatse@island.net We are located at 8400 Byng Road, Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0, next to the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre. www.quatsecampground.com Come as guests…Leave as friends!


Camping on Northern Vancouver Island While visiting Port Hardy, BC Canada stay at the newly owned and operated PORT HARDY RV RESORT. Formerly known as Sunny Sanctuary Campground, we are a clean, safe, and welcoming campground close to all of the ammenities. We have a selection of RV and tenting sites. Many with tree coverage and estuary or river views. ~ Laundry Facilities ~ Hot Showers ~ Flush Toilets ~ Fire Pits ~ Large BBQ Area ~ Picnic Tables ~ Firewood Available ~ Freezing Facilities ~ Camping or Tenting

~ Clean, Safe, Friendly Environment ~ Sani Dump ~ Some RV Pull Through Sites ~ Treed Tenting Area ~ Full Service 30 amp (110 volt) sites to 70’ deep ~ Pet Friendly (Must be on leash) ~ Tidal Estuary Nature Walk

1-855-949-8188 Boomer Jerritt photo

250-949-8111 www.porthardyrvresort.com reservations@porthardyrvresort.com Many “Easy in & Easy Out” sites ~ Located Next to Port Hardy

Port Hardy RV Resort Just off Highway 19, 1/2 mile North of Bear Cove (BC Ferries) Junction. Five minutes from BC Ferries. A short walk to downtown Port Hardy. www.northislandgazette.com | 41


NORTH SHORE INN ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Panoramic ocean view from the rooms. Ferry shuttle available through North Island Transportation. Limited number of 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.

Toudai Sushi

Menu Choices www.northshoreinnph.com email: northshoreinn.ph@gmail.com 250-949-8500 ~ 1-877-949-8516 7370 Market Street, Port Hardy

~ Tempura ~ Rolls ~ Donburi

~ Teriyaki ~ Maki ~ Nigiri

~ Sashimi ~ Bento

at the North Shore Inn 250-949-8755

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 Banquet & meeting rooms 2 blocks from the ocean

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

For reservations call 250-949-8899 or email info@providenceplace.ca 42 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


T

otem 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, white shell beach and the last crumbling remains of a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. Internationally renowned carvers demonstrate their skills, crack jokes and share stories at the Copper Maker Gallery, a favourite stop for art collectors. In June, Aboriginal Days is a yearly cultural celebration featuring canoe races, music, First Nation dances and a traditional salmon barbeque at Carrot Park.

Glen Lyon Inn & Suites

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 with its salmon derby, boat-building contest, parade and spectacular fireworks display. This year, the Tri-Port Dragon Boat Society Regatta will be held during the FILOMI Days weekend. In the fall, grinning jack-o’-lanterns and a haunted house highlight family friendly Halloween fun during the Pumpkin Patch Walk.

Marine Electronics & Supplies Sales & Service

Certified inboard/outboard mechanic

44 deluxe rooms with spectacular ocean views Business suites & family rooms Wireless Internet free Photocopying & faxing available Small fitness & meeting room Pub & restaurant on premises Close to town & ferry terminal

Stryker Electronics Ltd. 250-949-7115

6710 Hardy Bay Rd, Port Hardy ph: 250-949-8022 • fax: 250-949-8077 1-888-839-8022 stryker@cablerocket.com

1-877-949-7115 (US & Canada) Fax: 250-949-7415 6435 Hardy Bay Road, Box 103 Port Hardy V0N 2P0 www.glenlyoninn.com info@glenlyoninn.com www.northislandgazette.com | 43


Oceanside RV Parking Fully serviced sites Suite rentals

250.949.6484

Fax: 250.949.8486 masales@telus.net • www.scotiabayresort.com 7070 Market Street Port Hardy

250-949-7155 Open 7 days a week to serve you

Your one stop fishing store! • Camping • Fishing • Housewares

• Hardware • & much much more!

L

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

Karin Moeller

Managing Broker/Owner Bus: ( 250) 949-0145 Fax: (250) 949-9872 karin8@telus.net

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 • www.quarterdeckresort.net

Joan Bliss

Sales Representative Bus: (250) 949-7231 Fax: (250) 949-9872 Cell: (250) 949-0527 hardyjb@telus.net

At the northern tip of Vancouver Island, our heritage building has a commanding view of Hardy Bay and the mainland mountains beyond. The road stops here! Lots of trees, water, incredible mountain and ocean views, fantastic fishing, nature tours galore, and all the necessities of life.

7190A Market Street, Port Hardy www.hardyrealty.ca hardyltd@telus.net

250-949-7231 44 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Hardy Realty

Most rms independently owned and operated.


communities | port hardy

H

iking 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 Port Hardy Commuter Trail, which follows an ancient First Nations path from Wildwoods Campground on 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. 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 old-growth giants to Nahwitti Lake. And 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 out to breathtaking San Josef Bay.

Sunrise over Hardy Bay, Port Hardy Leslie Driemel photo

T

he staff at the Visitor Centre are happy to assist with information on local attractions and activities. It’s open yearround 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.

Wildwoods campsite

Serving the

North Island

IIn th the rainforest i f t off th the N North th IIsland l d

For all your real estate needs… call Merrilee

Merrilee Tognela

“I’ll travel the island for you” www.merrileetognela.com www.coastrealty.com mtognela@coastrealty.com

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

full facilities

small boat wharf

pets allowed

showers & more!

ated

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fam

250.949.6753 250.949.7454

www.wildwoodscampsite.com pjranger@telus.net

Located on Bear Cove Road • Box 801, Port Hardy, BC www.northislandgazette.com | 45


communities

Port McNeill Gateway to the Broughton Archipelago www.PortMcNeill.net Visitor Centre 250-956-3131

46 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


communities | port McNeill

T

he North Island’s second largest centre is a friendly, unpretentious and welcoming ecotourism capital 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 exploring the region as a whole, especially with Alert Bay and Sointula short rides 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. Play a round or two with an ocean view at the par-three golf course. Dine on fresh-caught salmon, homebaked pie 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 odd outgrowth of wood that grows from the trunks of big trees).

Port McNeill Harbour Doug Bradshaw photo

www.northislandgazette.com | 47


Your Neighbourhood Grocer President’s Choice

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

Haida-Way Motor Inn Central Location, Close to Marina & Downtown Café, Dining Room, Pub Cold Beer & Wine Store on Site Free Wireless Internet Access Microwave, Fridge, Coffeemaker in Each Room

Weekly Flyer Instore

Windsor Plywood • doors • hardwood flooring • mouldings • stains and finishes • hardware • cabinetwoods • lumber • plywood • laminate floors • adhesives • craft and hobby supplies • spindles • expert advice • and so much more!

Complementary Breakfast included in Regular Room Rate

Only 30 minutes from Port Hardy and the Prince Rupert Ferry & 20 minutes from Telegraph Cove

PORT MCNEILL 1528 BROUGHTON BLVD Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 5:00pm Sat: 8:30am - 5:00pm • Closed Sunday

www.windsorplywood.com

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

250-956-4404 48 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

W

www.pmhotels.com

Ph: 250-956-3367

in

d

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

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communities | port m cneill

Cedar Park

Resort & Golfing RV Sites • Cottages • Golfing

Cedar Park is a privately owned resort, overlooking historical Haddington Island. We have clean, modern, well equipped cottages, with full kitchens. The RV sites are spacious grassy areas with full hook up. All our accommodations have wireless Internet service. 9 Hole Par 3 Golfing, and also Frisbee Disc Golfing. The golf course features a park like setting, with a panoramic view of the coastal range.

For further information or reservations please contact:

Ph: 250-902-9346 Fx: 250-956-2222 Box 608 Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0 Catherine Hufnagel photos

Cedar Park

Email: info@cedarparkresort-rv.com www.cedarparkresort-rv.com www.northislandgazette.com | 49


Gateway to the Broughton Archipelago

Abundant Wildlife Ocean Vistas Majestic Mountains

Whale Watching Kayaking World Class Fishing

Port McNeill Visitor Centre

Port McNeill Museum

1-888-956-3131 1594 Beach Drive, Box 129 Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0 email: pmccc@island.net www.portmcneill.net

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

50 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


communities | port m cneill

O

ne favourite destination in town is the seawall and newly expanded harbour area. Drink in the ocean views here alongside the bald eagles that frequent the harbour. Enjoy a cup of barista-prepared coffee while checking out 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, are fabled areas 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 white-sided dolphins, Steller sea lions, Minke whales, harbour seals, Dalls and harbour porpoise and a who’s who 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 5 Pacific salmon species - Chinook, sockeye, pink, chum and coho salmon. Port McNeill truly is where the wild things are! Northern Gulf Island explorers depart from Port McNeill, taking BC Ferries sailings to nearby Alert Bay and Sointula, both wonderful daytrip destinations with plenty of heritage, history and natural splendor of their own. Back on terra firma, hikers enjoy striding along the Schoolhouse Creek trail next to a salmon enhancement stream that runs all the way through town. They can also head from the Visitor Centre along the McNeill Bay Trail out to Bear Creek and local tidal flats, a prime spot for bird watching. The town’s population swells in August for the annual Orcafest, a weekend bonanza featuring all kinds of community activities along with a logger sports competition (broadcast on TSN’s Lumberjacks) 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 way up in the wild blue yonder via plane or helicopter. The whirlybirds can also do drop-off and pick-up runs to the region’s remote and wild backcountry. Christine vanReeuwyk photo

Restaurant ~ Cold Beer & Wine ~ Pub Greyhound Service ~ Fitness Centre Taxi

Reservations & Information

Toll Free: 1-877-956-3304 Ph. 250-956-3304 • Fax 250-956-4531 www.dalewoodinn.com • stay@dalewoodinn.com

www.northislandgazette.com | 51


communities

Sayward www.Sayward.ca Visitor Centre 250-282-0018

A

n hour’s scenic highway drive north of Campbell River and 90 minutes south of Port McNeill, Sayward is the first point of entry to Vancouver Island North. This quaint and rustic village is nestled into the forested edge of peaceful Johnstone Strait. Buy provisions here in the aptly named Valley of Trails. Enjoy a home-cooked meal and get oriented by checking in at two spots – Highway 19 at the Sayward turnoff, or the dock at the end of the Sayward Road, for maps, accommodation information and friendly advice on how best to enjoy the area’s myriad natural pleasures: hiking, walking, bicycling, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, camping (by the village pond or alongside the ocean), wildlife watching and killer-whale sightings included. Backpackers and casual hikers have alternatives aplenty thanks to a trail network that follows ancient First Nations trade routes criss-crossing the mountains. 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. Lovely White River Provincial Park (aka the Cathedral Grove of the North Island) was saved for posterity in the early 1970s when three local loggers refused to cut down this remarkable stand of giant trees.

Kelsey Bay

Sayward is wilderness country, no question, and three unserviced campsites serve those who trek off the grid. Yet it 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. Sayward’s wharfs and community life as a whole gets busy in the summer. 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. And 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.

52 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Mt. H’kusam, Sayward Boomer Jerritt photo


communities | sayward

Sayward Junction

Gas & Convenience

• Propane • Gas • Diesel • Souvenirs

& much more at the Junction

250.282.3232

Sandy Grenier photo

Open 7 days a week • 6 am - 10 pm Cypress Coffee hut & gallery Re-opening May 1st, 2012 - September 30th • 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Come Golf one of Vancouver Island’s toughest 9 hole executive courses. The course is open daily from 9am to 7pm weather permitting April to Oct. 31 Club House is open from 10am to 7pm where you can rent clubs and pull carts.

250-282-3649 www.golfsayward.ca

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

Sayward Valley

Fisherboy Park Resort motel • campground • grocery • liquor

Clean Modern Accommodation

Cabins, kitchenettes Motel Rooms Full Service Grocery & General Store Liquor Agency & Movie Rentals Fishing & Hunting Licenses Commercial, Business Travellers Welcome Ample Parking for any size rigs with trailers or boats

Large Fully Serviced Campground

Spacious treed private sites Some pull throughs available Tent sites, showers & fire pits Social centre w/cable tv & wifi Close to fishing, golf & hiking Within walking distance of 2 restaurants & pub Bicycle friendly

Glenn Greensides, world renown for his large wooden carvings, will be doing chainsaw carving here this year.

Cypress Tree Cold Beer & Wine Open 7 days a week

corner of Sayward turnoff & Island Highway COlD Beer aT liquOr STOre PriCeS

Cypress Tree Inn located next door to Sayward Junction Gas & Convenience Store Home Cooking Free Internet access & Free long distance anywhere in North America available to customers

250.282.3648

fax: 250.282-3648 www.cypresstreeinn.net

Phone: 250-282-3204 Toll Free: 1-866-357-0598

www.fisherboypark.com fisherboypark@telus.net

cypresstreeinn@saywardvalley.net

Find us on Google Earth 1546 Sayward Road, Sayward, BC V0P 1R0 Just 1/4 mile off the Hwy 19 junction at Sayward Rd towards Kelsey Bay/Sayward

Get your Expressos, lattes, cappuccinos, fruit smoothies. We also have 16 different flavours of ice cream

Convenient stopover for North or South bound Port Hardy Ferry traffic 45 minutes North of Campbell River

Open 7 days a week Summer (May 1) 7 am - 9 pm Winter (Sept 15) 7 am - 8 pm

www.northislandgazette.com | 53


communities

Sointula A Place of Harmony www.Sointulainfo.ca Visitor Centre 250-973-2001

Sointula Harbour Dan Hillert photo

54 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


S

ointula means “place of harmony’’ in Finnish. This charming seaside town on sprawling Malcolm Island 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, there’s no question these visionaries chose the right place for a fresh air and salt water paradise on earth. Most visitors today arrive via a 25-minute BC Ferries sailing from Port McNeill. Many park their cars and either travel as pedestrians or bring their bicycles to linger in the village of Sointula itself. But the island invites exploration, and a car is helpful when exploring popular destinations like Bere Point, Mitchell Bay or the Pulteney Point Lighthouse. Boaters utilize the good moorage in the Malcolm Island Lions Harbour.

www.northislandgazette.com | 55


communities | sointula

H

ikers rack up the mileage on the Mateoja Heritage trail, meandering back in time to an early 1900’s homestead. 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. 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. Many artists and musicians call Malcolm Island home, and their work can be enjoyed while browsing through shops, galleries and 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.

Islay Mist Sailing Charters See the pristine waterways of the Broughton Archipelago aboard

Islay Mist Our 39’ Pearson sailing vessel. Contact us for a booking at (250) 973-6975 info @ islaymistsailing.com Visit our website for complete pricing. Day sails to 3 night/4 day cruises. www. islaymistsailing.com Owned and operated by Skipper Jim MacDougall

56 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

SEA 4 MILES COTTAGES web: www.Sointulacottages.com | ph/fax: 250 - 973 - 6486 email: sea4miles@recn.ca | mail: Box 421 - Sointula, BC - V0N3E0


communities

Telegraph Cove On the Boardwalk

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, 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. A select group of whale watching vessels sets out on daytrips and multi-day ecotours during May to October. Visitors here enter into a rare, precious and respectful experience in viewing wildlife. The density and abundance of marine mammals is truly astonishing. Just outside Telegraph Cove, it is common to see humpback whales, killer whales, Steller sea lions, Dalls’ porpoise, harbour seals. Minke whales, harbour porpoise, Pacific white-sided dolphins, river otters and black bears are also often sighted. These waters are in fact famed for being the most predictable place to see killer whales in the world. Both the marine mammal-eating killer whales known as “transients” and the fish-eating killer whales known as “northern residents” frequent the area. The fish-eating killer whales feed on salmon here and rub their bellies on rubbing beaches. They are the only population of killer whales in the world known to have this rubbing behaviour and 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. The Reserve is not open to the public, but the marine mammal research and conservation efforts of the area are celebrated in Telegraph Cove itself at the Whale Interpretive Centre. The Centre is home to a fascinating collection of skeletal remains and interactive displays including the skeleton of a ship-struck fin whale, the second largest animal species to ever have lived.

at Telegraph Cove

Vacation Home Rental For immediate rental and full details www.driftinn.ca • 1-867-334-2144 3000 sq ft home with fabulous ocean views, close to fishing, kayaking, whale watching. Includes hot tub, pool table. Daily and weekly rates

Christine vanReeuwyk photos

www.northislandgazette.com | 57


TelegrapH

cOve Resort

a truly unique experience

Telegraph Cove Celebrating 100 years in 2012

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. Marine gas, general stores, shops, wireless Internet available. Killer Whale Cafe, Old Saltery Pub Salmon Barbeques on Wednesday & Saturday evenings at restaurant. Great Sportfishing Area Fishing Charters for Salmon & Halibut available.

Klaus Gretzmacher photos

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

tcrltd@island.net www.telegraphcoveresorts.com 58 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

1-800-200-HOOK


communities | telegraph cove

T

he village’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. 2012 will bring 100th anniversary celebrations to the Cove with events planned for the Canada Day long weekend. A lumber mill and salmon saltery followed. During World War II, Telegraph Cove 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 condo-style lodgings, a resort with historic cabins along the boardwalk, two campgrounds, RV parks, vacation rental homes and a pair of full-service marinas. The town’s small array of businesses include its tour operators (whale watching, kayak adventures/rentals and grizzly bear daytrips) along with a restaurant and pub, a general store and a patio café. Result: It’s a pleasure to unwind here in comfort after long days on the water, trading stories about spectacular sightings over a good meal before enjoying a deep sleep in this peaceful getaway destination.

Christine vanReeuwyk photo

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communities

Woss & Nimpkish Valley W

oss is the gateway to this still largely unspoiled land of thick forests, whitewater rivers, clear lakes and craggy mountain ridges. Find it just off Highway 19 some 130 km north of Campbell River.

Logging has been a mainstay occupation here 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 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 sport 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 one of BC’s best-kept secrets: 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.

60 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca

Mount Cain Ski Area Boomer Jerritt photo


communities

Zeballos www.Zeballos.com

Z

eballos is pure gold as an outdoor adventure destination on the sheltered inland Pacific coastline of Vancouver Island North. An hour’s drive north of Woss and west of Highway 19 via gravel logging road, backpackers and kayakers also have an opportunity to reach this picturesque seaside town aboard the MV Uchuck III, a beautifully restored World War II-era mailboat that makes periodic stops here from Gold River. The region is a perfect jumping-off point for visits to spectacular 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. This was once literal 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. When the richest veins were tapped out, those who remained turned to forestry and fish processing, key industries to this day. Explore regional history at the familyfriendly Zeballos Heritage Museum.

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communities | zeballos

S

portfishing is a favourite 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 Thasis Narrows, surfers head for Nootka Island, birdwatchers congregate in local estuaries and hikers follow a historic coastal trail to Friendly Cove (where Chief Maquinna of the Mowachaht/Muchalat First Nation met the European explorers James Cook and Juan Perez one fateful day in 1778). 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.

Explore Our Gold Rush History THERE’s GOld in THEm Hills!

Heritage buildings • Self guided walking tours • Heritage museum

OuTdOOR REcREaTiOn paRadisE

Camping/RV sites, Boat Launch, Sportfising • Kayaking • Walking trails Stores, Marine Fuel

• Birdwatching • Diving • Rock climbing

visiTOR sERvicEs

Restaurants • Accommodations • Camping • RV sites • Boat launch • Store • Fuel

Call us: 250-761-4229 9am-5pm Mon-Fri • www.zeballos.com 62 | www.vancouverislandnorth.ca


Resort

more than a campground…an experience

The Kwakiutl First Nation invites you to a special place …where the Cluxewe River meets the sea

Cluxewe Cafe July & August 7 days a week 11:30am-8pm

• 12 cabins & 150 campsites, most with full hookups, many on the water • fully equipped beach front cottages • showers, laundry, playground, boat ramp • spectacular views & sunsets

Just off the Island Highway 9 kms north of Port McNeill

• • • •

sport fishing kayaking birds, wildlife & cruise ships marina, whale watching charters, golf course & shopping just minutes away

Box 245, Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0

Cell: (250) 949-0378

w w w. c l u x e w e . c o m • r e l a x @ c l u x e w e . c o m www.northislandgazette.com | 63


Port M Neill c

Va n c o u v e r I s l a n d N o r t h

Tall Timber & Rolling Ocean

Photos Courtesy of A. Smith, G. Wickstrom, L. Webber, A. Bowers, T. Bird, O. Jorgenson & J.R. Rardon & C. Quant

tide rip Grizzly tours

supervalu

www.tiderip.com tiderip@island.net 250-928-3090 1-888-643-9319 Grizzly Bears of Knight Inlet

250-956-2881 Fax: 250-956-2882 Grocery Seven Days a Week #2-311 Hemlock

West coast Helicopters

u’mista cultural centre

sea rose studio

• Heli-Fishing • Heli-Skiing • Heli-Hiking • Adventure Tours 250-956-2244 Port McNeill Airport

www.umista.ca info@umista.ca 250-974-5403 • 1-800-690-8222 Visit our wold famous Potlatch Collection

Yvonne Maximchuk, Artist Paintings • Pottery • Art Getaways www.searosestudio.net searosestudio@hotmail.com

stubbs island WHale WatcHinG www.stubbs-island.com reservations@stubbs-island.com 250-928-3185 • 1-800-665-3066 Fax: 250-928-3102

Echo Bay, Simoom Sound V0P 1S0

250-974-8134

Hiking • Saltwater & Freshwater Fishing • Kayaking • Biking • Diving • Caving • Golf • Birding • Whale Watching • Grizzly Tours • Museums • Arts & Culture • Aquaculture • Forestry • Dining • Recreational Boating • Amateur Sport • Real Estate • RVing • Camping • Education • Spa & Wellness • Nature Tours • Scenic Flights • Marinas & Charters • Gardens • Skiing • Hunting • Snowboarding • Cross Country Skiing • Photography

Our town holiday…you’re invited!

— Saturday, August 18, 2012 —

Open for business Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce - 1594 Beach Drive • P.O. Box 129, Port McNeill Email: pmccc@island.net • Website: www.portmcneill.net • Toll Free: 1-888-956-3131


Vancouver Island North Official Visitors' Guide