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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Campbell River

Campbell River
Campbell River is located 46 km (29 miles) north of Courtenay and 198 km (123 miles) south of Port McNeill on Hwy 19, just about the halfway point on Vancouver Island. Known for its fantastic salmon fishing, Campbell River is a boater's paradise with islands, passages and inlets found near its coastline in Discovery Channel.

Discovery Channel
Access to Discovery Channel and the many islands and inlets that are in the Campbell River are right at the waters' edge at a number of locations featuring eco-tourism and guiding opportunities. You'll be able to view such places as Cortes Island, Quadra Island and Sonora Island and your mind will be filled with your imagination of the past Spanish explorers who charted these waters.

Campbell River has various marinas, supply facilities and refueling areas to make your trip hassle-free. A very convenient marina has to be the Discovery Harbour Marina. Everything is within a short walk from the marina and your boat moorage. The Discovery Mall is right next door.

Discovery Mall
The Discovery Mall has a Canadian Tire (hardware), a liquor store, Ocean Pacific Marine Supply Ltd., Starbucks, a Real Canadian Super Store for groceries and clothing, plus an endless list of other vendors. There are also lots of First Nations' artwork displayed both outside and in the Wei Wai Kum House of Treasures.

Ripetide Marine Pub
If you feel like a cold beverage or meal, the Ripetide Marine Pub is located along the picturesque boardwalk next to the marina. From the pub there are beautiful views of Discovery Passage and Quadra Island.

Government Docks
Once you're in downtown Campbell River there is another boardwalk, marina services, restaurants and the government docks. If you want to go to Quadra Island or Cortes Island this is where you'll find the ferry over by the Discovery Inn. When you arrive at the government docks look for the Pier Street shopping district for some local browsing.

Pier Street Shopping District
There are some excellent fresh fish restaurants along the Pier Street District boardwalk. The halibut fish and chips served at the Lookout Seafood Bar & Grill is of very nice quality and favourite and for a real experience go to Dick's Fish and Chips. For another outdoor dock experience, try Patti Finn's that is located right across from the to the entrance of the marina area near the fish boats.

Fisherman's Wharf
If you get a chance, look around the dock area for the fresh fishmongers selling their catch. Fresh prawns, halibut, crab and salmon, are all top-quality with some bargain prices to be found along Fisherman's Wharf.

Campbell River Recreation
Recreational activities around Campbell River include boating, hiking, mountain biking, sport fishing and sailing. You can also find skiing at either Mt. Cain going north near Woss or south at Mt. Washington located just north of Courtenay. For golfers you can play at either Campbell River Golf & Country Club or Storey Creek.

Storey Creek
Storey Creek has to be the untold jewel of British Columbia golf courses. You will fully enjoy this course, which is rated as the best layout on Vancouver Island. If you are a high handicapper you might want to try the forward tees, including the reds. This is just a great way to play this course.

Elk Falls Provincial Park
If you enjoy the outdoors one place that you might want to visit is Elk Falls Provincial Park. This is located on Hwy 28 west of Campbell River towards Gold River.

Old Growth Forest
Elk Falls Provincial Park is set in a grove of old-growth forest with trails meandering throughout. The highlight of the park is the 25 metre (83 feet) high Elk Falls which plummets into a spectacular rocky chasm.

BC Ferries
If you don't have a boat or don't like an organized trip, a good day or overnight trip from Campbell River is across Discovery Channel aboard BC Ferries. The trip takes you over to Quadra Island, about a 10-minute trip, where you can do some exploring on one of the largest gulf islands.

Cortes Island
From Quadra Island at Heriot Bay you can take another BC Ferry route over to Cortes Island at Whaletown, about a 40-minute ride. Cortes Island is perhaps the most beautiful gulf island along the British Columbia coast and is well worth the visit.

Leaving Campbell River going north on Hwy 19 you'll come to a small community of Campbell River called Campbellton.

Hwy 19 North
Heading north out of Campbellton on Hwy 19 make sure you visit the lookout of the old Catalyst pulp mill site. The viewpoint is really interesting and very panoramic with Quadra Island in the background.

Gold River
For perhaps the best fishing on Vancouver Island go to Gold River. Only 89 km (56 miles) away from Campbell River, Gold River has excellent salmon fishing. Take Hwy 28 west through Strathcona Provincial Park past Upper Campbell Lake to get to Gold River. If you are a caver the Upana Caves are located only 17 km (10.6 miles) northwest of Gold River.

'Gold River Run'
Nicknamed the 'Gold River Run,' Hwy 28 is pure heaven with Vancouver Island's best section of curves, straight sections and beautiful mountain scenery making an excellent trip, especially if you love riding on a motorcycle.

Strathcona Provincial Park
There is also Strathcona Provincial Park and Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park located just west of Campbell River on Hwy 28. Strathcona contains Buttle Lake a major recreational lake on Vancouver Island. Buttle Lake contains Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Dolly Varden trout for fishers. Throughout Strathcona there are some hiking trails that go right up into some of Vancouver Island's highest peaks.

Hwy 19A
If you are going to or coming from Courtenay the most scenic drive has to be Hwy 19A rather than Hwy 19. It is not as fast as Hwy 19 but if you talk to the locals it is a lot faster than those 'good old days' before the new highway was built. The beach scene along Hwy 19A seems endless and the beauty of Discovery Passage incredible.

Brown's Bay Marina
Brown's Bay Marina is located only 20 km (12 miles) north of Campbell River. This is a very nice place to park your RV and, if you love cruise ships, you can watch the Alaska cruise ships go by during the season. The fishing is great and your boat will be well protected by a really cool breakwater. Made out of railway tanks, the breakwater spans the bay.

Mt. Cain
Heading north from the turnoff to Brown's Marina on Hwy 19 you'll come to Sayward and Kelsey Bay. Just north of here and just south of Woss is where you can find access to Mt. Cain. Mt. Cain is one of Vancouver Island's highest peaks at 1,612 metres (5,920 feet) elevation and receives some of British Columbia's highest snow packs.

Ultimate Getaway
At Mt. Cain you can find the ultimate winter getaway for excellent skiing and snowboarding. Then, in the summer, there is great hiking and some mountain biking along some backcountry scenery. Just a note - the forestry road up Mt. Cain during the week is restricted so please check operating hours.

RV Parking
If you have an RV or are pulling a boat, the Discovery Mall makes a good choice for parking your vehicle if you want to access town. Transit and taxi services are located quite close for a quick ride into downtown Campbell River.

Information on Campbell River



RV Parks




Map of Campbell River
click map for larger image


Discovery Harbour Marina
Discovery Harbour Marina


Wei Wai Kum House of Treasures
Wei Wai Kum House of Treasures


Discovery Inn
Discovery Inn


Patti Finn's for Fish & Chips
Patti Finn's for Fish & Chips


Fishing at Discovery Pier
Fishing at Discovery Pier


Harbour Walkway
Harbour Walkway


First Nation Artwork
First Nation Artwork


Photo of the BC Ferries M.V. Powell River Queen
BC Ferries M.V. Powell River Queen


Elk Falls Provincial Park
Elk Falls Provincial Park


First Nations Artwork
First Nations Artwork


Quadra Island
Quadra Island


Catalyst Pulp Mill
Catalyst Pulp Mill


Upper Campbell Lake - 'Gold River Run'
Upper Campbell Lake - 'Gold River Run'


Photo of the Campbell River Museum
Campbell River Museum


Photo of the Maritime Heritage Centre
Maritime Heritage Centre


Photograph of Painters Lodge in Campbell River
Painters Lodge


Thunderbird RV Park & Campground
Thunderbird RV Park & Campground

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