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

Port McNeill
The town of Port McNeill is located 198 km (123 miles) north of Campbell River and 44 km (27 miles) south of Port Hardy on Hwy 19.

Vast Wilderness
Situated on the east side at the northern end of Vancouver Island, Port McNeill is a small community that enjoys a lifestyle that is associated with living near vast wilderness and next to an ocean playground.

Forest Industry
Port McNeill economy has traditionally relied on the vast forests that surround the community and the waterfront that fronts the east side of town. Large scale logging and transportation of timber, plus some fishing, has been the mainstay of employment amongst the town folk.

Beautiful Waterfront
To get to Port McNeill you have to travel off Hwy 19 east on Campbell Way to get to town. The road follows down a hill into town to Broughton Way. Here you can find a grocery store, heritage museum, hotel and pub and the beautiful waterfront walk along Beach Drive on the shores of Broughton Strait.

Outdoor Sports
The fishing, wildlife watching, sailing, hiking and hunting are all very popular outdoor sports around the Port McNeill area. If you enjoy the vast wilderness, the region south of Port McNeill around the Nimpkish Lake is just excellent. One area situated 5 km (3 miles) south in the Lower Nimpkish Provincial Park offers excellent fishing for various salmon and trout.

Whale Watching Eco-Guides
Whale watching is all around Port McNeill with various eco-guides offering tours in the world-famous Robson Bight area. Robson Bight is south of Port McNeill past Telegraph Cove at the north end of Johnstone Strait. This area is considered the world's best location for observing Orcas (Killer Whales) in the wild.

Port McNeill Boat Harbour
If you do happen to be boating in the Broughton Archipelago or along the British Columbia coastline, Port McNeill boat harbour has all your marine needs. It is centrally located in Port McNeill where you can easily find groceries, pharmacy needs, medical attention, laundry, banking and liquor stores.

Sointula and Alert Bay
Located just off the coast of Port McNeill are the communities of Sointula on Malcolm Island and Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. Both Islands can be accessed from Port McNeill using scheduled service by BC Ferries. The ferry terminal is located right downtown, along the Port McNeill waterfront.

Telegraph Cove
For nature lovers there is also a whale interpretation centre located at Telegraph Cove just south of Port McNeill off Hwy 19. Telegraph Cove is very historic in the settlement of the Johnstone Strait area because of the presence of a past telegraph line. Telegraph Cove is now home to Telegraph Cove Venture, a full-service marina that offers guiding into Robson Bight.

Mt. Cain
Port McNeill is located just north of Woss where you can find access to Mt. Cain, one of Vancouver Island's highest peaks at a 1,804 metre (5,920 feet) elevation. Found at Mt. Cain is where 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.

Logging Trucks and Equipment
If you like there is a bus service from a lower parking lot to Mt. Cain Resort. Please remember that Mt. Cain is only open during the weekends not on weekdays. Also the road up Mt. Cain is restricted during the week with only forest equipment and logging trucks allowed.

Schoen Lake Provincial Park
One other lake featuring a provincial park close by to Woss that you might want to explore is Schoen Lake Provincial Park. This park is considered by some to be the most beautiful on Vancouver Island. The turnoff to Schoen Lake is via the gravel road of Davie just south of Woss on Hwy 19.

Bears and Cougars
Just a reminder, if you do enjoy exploring, Port McNeill is home to lots of bears and cougars in the forests. So much so that both species have been scene right in town. So please be careful and wary when walking or cycling around especially all long creeks and rivers during the fall when the salmon spawn.

Grizzly Bears
If you would like to see bears in the wild, there are eco-guide operators offering grizzly bear viewing opportunities over on the mainland of British Columbia situated just east of Port McNeill.

Discover the Area
Other areas around Port McNeill worth discovering include: Beaver Cove located near Telegraph Cove - historically a Post Office & Steamer Landing - now a log sort used by Timber West and Canadian Forest Products; Kokish Fish Hatchery and the forestry road into Bonanza Lake; Nimpkish Lake where you can find great windsurfing and freshwater fishing; Tsitika Main Line forestry road east of Woss going into Lower Tsitika River Park. Other communities in the area with ocean access include Port Alice, Port Hardy, Coal Harbour, Sayward and Zeballos.

Logging Roads
Remember, if you are exploring the area by forestry roads, that these are private logging roads with the probability of encountering heavy equipment and logging trucks. Please remember logging trucks have the right of way; drive with your lights on as vehicles must use pullouts and yield to logging trucks at all times.

Information on Port McNeill

Whale Watching



Map of Port McNeill
click map for larger image


Waterfront Walk
Waterfront Walk


Sailing to Broughton Archipelago
Sailing to Broughton Archipelago


Waterfront and Marina
Port McNeill Boat Harbour


BC Ferries to Alert Bay-Sointula
BC Ferries to Alert Bay-Sointula


Boat Launch
Boat Launch


Mt. Cain Powder
Mt. Cain Powder


Photo of Schoen Lake Provincial Park
Schoen Lake Provincial Park


First Nation Artwork
First Nation Artwork


Photo of the Nimpkish River
Nimpkish River

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