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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Port Alberni

Port Alberni
Port Alberni is located 47 km (29 miles) west of Parksville and approximately 110 km (68 miles) east of Ucluelet on Hwy 4. Port Alberni is situated at the end of a long natural salt water channel called the Alberni Inlet.

Alberni Inlet
The Alberni Inlet is around 48 km (30 miles) long and joins with Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands near Bamfield and Ucluelet on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Driving Directions
As you enter Port Alberni on Hwy 4 coming west from Parksville, you will come to the Visitor Info centre at the junction of Hwy 4A and Hwy 4. If you take Hwy 4A or the Port Alberni Hwy you will go to the down town area of Port Alberni and the way you would take if going to Bamfield.

Hwy 4
If you're going to Sproat Lake, Ucluelet or Tofino, stay on Hwy 4 or Johnstone Road through town. Most major stores include Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Extra Foods, the Alberni Mall and Tim Hortons are on this route.

The downtown of Port Alberni is laid out on a hill sloping west towards the Alberni Inlet. The streets are very wide, easy to get around with lots of parking available. Smaller stores, some services, post office, government offices and restaurants, including one favourite for German food, the Little Bavaria Restaurant, are located here.

Mount Arrowsmith
Looking towards the east from Port Alberni is a beautiful view of Mount Arrowsmith, the largest mountain in the area.

Alberni Harbour Quay
The only public access to the waterfront along the Port Alberni Inlet is at the Alberni Harbour Quay. Found at the foot of Argyle St. the Alberni Quay has a unique industrial marine atmosphere along the water.

Lady Rose Marine Service
Various merchants include two marinas, the Harbour Quay and Fish Harbour, the M.V. Lady Rose terminal, Batstar Adventure Tours, Port Alberni's Farmers' Market, Maritime Discovery Centre and then, next door to the quay on Kingsway St., is the historic Alberni Pacific Railway Station.

360 Degree Panoramic View
One of the best views of Port Alberni is found at Alberni Harbour Quay at the top of the clock tower. You have to climb steps up the clock tower but the experience is a full 360 degree panoramic view. The view you will have is from Mount Arrowsmith and downtown, to the Alberni Inlet over to the pulp mill industrial area then to the Beaver Creek Valley and the Somass River.

Victoria Quay
There is a small park located on the Somass River waterfront where Beaver Creek Rd., Hwy 4, Johnstone Road and Stamp Ave. all meet called Victoria Quay. Located at the Victoria Quay are two distinct First Nation carvings of a man and woman welcoming figures that greet you to Port Alberni. Within the park is a small walkway with a nice view of the Somass River and Alberni Inlet towards the pulp mill.

Spring Salmon Fishing
Next door to the Victoria Quay is the Clutesi Marina, the host local for the annual Salmon Festival and Fishing Derby held on Labour Day weekend in September. Salmon fishing is very popular in Port Alberni especially in Alberni Inlet near China Creek.

China Creek Marina and Campground
China Creek which is 14 km (8.7 miles) from Port Alberni on the Franklin River Rd. towards Bamfield has a campground and marina. If you enjoy the chance of catching a record-size Spring Salmon, try the fishing here especially during the fish spawn in September.

R.B. Mclean Sawmill National Historic Site
The logging and forestry heritage throughout the Alberni Valley can be found everywhere. To get the feel of how this past was transformed in time you have to visit R.B. Mclean Sawmill, a National Historic Site.

Steam-Operated Sawmill
Located off Beaver Creek Road on Smith Road the Mclean Mill, operating from 1926 to 1965, is the only working example of how logs were transformed into lumber by using a steam-operated sawmill.

Alberni Pacific Railway
You can visit the R.B. McLean Sawmill aboard the Alberni Pacific Railway, a restored 1929 steam locomotive and train. Trips aboard the Alberni Pacific Railway can be arranged at the restored 1912 CPR Station located near the Alberni Quay at Argyle and Kingsway. You will find the round trip unforgettable as it makes its way to the Mclean Mill for a visit then returns to the historic station later in the day.

Port Alberni Murals
As you're exploring around Port Alberni take time to notice the murals along the city landscape. In a short time you will recognize a theme depicting the natural settings and past heritage of Vancouver Island and the West Coast. A self-guided map of the Port Alberni Murals is available for you at local art galleries, Rollin Arts Centre and the Travel Info Centre.

Chances RimRock Gaming Centre
Now open in Port Alberni is Chances RimRock Gaming Centre. Housed in the old Revelstoke building on Cherry Creek Road the centre features gaming opportunities including slot machines,Texas Holdem, electronic and paper bingo games and a brand new sports bar.

Log Train Trail
If you enjoy cycling try doing the Log Train Trail. The trail has two sections with a one-way length being 20 km (12.5 miles) for the north section and 3 km (1.9 miles) the south section. A good place to start for either section of the Log Train Trail is at the Visitor Info Centre. The non-motorized trail features rail grade taking you through second-growth forest past farming areas with occasional panoramic views across the Beaver Creek Valley

Port Alberni Recreation
For other recreation Port Alberni can offer you a lot of choices. Golf is at either the Alberni Golf Club or the Hollies Executive Golf Course. The hiking is excellent throughout the Alberni Valley especially the trails up Mt. Arrowsmith, Mt. Hal and to Horne Lake.

Stamp River Provincial Park
For people who like swimming on a river, try the swimming hole at Stamp River Provincial Park. Please remember to use caution along the Stamp River and near the Stamp Falls.

Tube the Stamp River
During the summer time lots of local Port Alberni people tube down the Stamp River. If you enjoy the sport, you'll enjoy this ride. The wilder part is just below Stamp Falls and drifts to the gun range near Sportsman Road. If you prefer a little calmer ride, start at Sportsman Road and drift to Paper Mill Dam Park, the site of another great swimming hole.

Sproat Lake
One of British Columbia's cleanest lakes, Sproat Lake is only 14 km (8.7 miles) west of Port Alberni on Hwy 4. Clean, warm, large and less wind than most lakes, Sproat is unreal. There is a provincial campground at Sproat Lake that has a boat launch, swimming and a picnic area plus hot showers available. For people with boats Sproat has some remote campgrounds located all around the lake.

Sproat River Swimming Hole
Located just 2.7 km (1.7 miles) from the park gate east towards Port Alberni is the Sproat River. There is a small section of Sproat River towards the lake that has a very nice swimming hole containing crystal clear water.

Great Swimming
Access to the river is gained from Hwy 4 on Faber Rd. near the Sproat River Bridge. You can find lots of parking here, and then take a short trail that takes you to a number of different swimming holes. The swimming is great, with the water being warm and some pools around 8 feet.

Martin Mars Water Bombers
One sight you'll want to see when visiting Sproat Lake are the only two Martin Mars Water Bombers in existence. The Martin Mars Water Bombers have served an invaluable service in fighting wildfires for over forty years in British Columbia and other parts of Canada and USA. Thanks to a purchase of the Martin Mars Bombers by a local firm this heritage will stay in British Columbia.

Great Central Lake
Located near Sproat Lake Provincial Park is also the road to 45 km (28 miles) long Great Central Lake. This is a beautiful crystal clear lake but without the crowds of Sproat Lake. A small resort and campground called the Great Central Lake RV Resort & Marina will greet you as you enter Great Central Lake from the road. The Great Central Lake RV Resort & Marina has canoe and boat rentals plus transportation services to a trail into Della Falls. Every year the resort also features a May Day Trout Derby on Great Central Lake.

Della Falls Trail
Canada's highest waterfall Della Falls at 440 metres (1,444 feet) high is situated near the west end of the Great Central Lake. The Della Falls Trail goes through absolutely spectacular scenery with mountains: Nine Peaks 1,821 metres (5,974 feet), Big Interior Mountain 1,862 metres (6,109 feet), Mt. Septimus 1,962 metres, (6,437 feet) and Mt.Rosseau 1,830 metres (6,004 feet) all surrounding Della Falls.

Last Cast Guiding
Last Cast Guiding offers Salmon and Halibut fishing charters from Port Alberni and Bamfield. Last Cast Guiding has top quality fishing tackle, Transport Canada safety inspected and operating with a 24 foot Wellcraft Coastal off shore fishing vessel including an onboard washroom.

Port Alberni Information



Map of Port Alberni
click map for larger image


Photo of Mount Arrowsmith
Mount Arrowsmith


Photo of the Alberni Pacific Railway Station
Alberni Pacific Railway Station


Photo of the Clock tower - Alberni Harbour Quay
Clock tower - Alberni Harbour Quay


Photo of the Port Alberni Waterfront
Port Alberni Waterfront


Photo of First Nation Welcoming Figures
First Nation Welcoming Figures

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