Build your Bucket List — Alberni Valley Hikes
Following provincial health guidelines has many of us feeling a bit cooped up. One of the best cures is getting outdoors, and we love the Alberni Valley for its abundance of natural beauty. Here are a few of our favorite short hikes, ranging from easy to moderate, that are accessible this time of year. A quick dose of nature and physical activity to boost your mood!
Accessibility: wheelchair access, stroller friendly
Length: 30 minutes round trip (1.3 km)
This short hike features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The river and waterfall are a great place to watch for wildlife, as well as spawning salmon in the fall.
Directions from BC Parks site: Stamp River Provincial Park is located northwest of Port Alberni on central Vancouver Island. Follow Hwy #4 past Port Alberni and turn onto Beaver Creek Road. Follow signs to the park.
Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible
Length: 1 hour (3.4 km), 96m elevation gain
Access the trailhead from logging roads. This enjoyable forest trail runs along the river most of the way, includes crossing over a suspension bridge, a waterfall and a beach on Sproat Lake.
Directions from BC Parks site: Fossli Park is situated on the south side of Stirling Arm on Sproat Lake, west of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. Access is by boat or an approximately 30-minute walk from the Stirling Arm Mainline, a private logging road. Travel through Port Alberni on the way to Tofino and turn left on the first McCoy Lake Road access. Travel approximately 6.5 km and then turn left on Stirling Arm Drive for about 3 km. Turn left onto Ash Main gravel road for 0.9 km. At the Stirling Arm Mainline intersection turn right and travel 4 km. Just before the bridge you’ll find a pullout where you can park. An old logging road from the parking lot leads to the trail that will take you to Sproat Lake.
Accessibility: No wheelchair accessibility
Length: 40 minutes round trip (1.65 km)
A bit more challenging than the others listed here, this is still a short hike, less than half an hour one way. The trail starts with about 15 minutes of uphill trek and the use of available ropes to get down the hillside. You will arrive at one of the most spectacular falls in the Alberni Valley.
Directions: From the Visitor Information Centre, drive west into Port Alberni. Continue toward Tofino on Highway 4 until you arrive at the Somas River. Stay on Highway 4 for another 11.1 Km to the turn off at Sproat Lake Landing. Turn right off the highway and then right immediately afterward onto a gravel road. Drive about 100 meters and turn left, then proceed about 600 meters to a right turn shortly before a bridge. The Weiner Falls trailhead is about 300 metres further along, under a power line.