Campbell River

Toast nature in Black Creek, B.C.

Productive soil, natural beauty, hard work and ingenuity built Black Creek, B.C.

Shelter Point Distillery, at Black Creek, B.C., offers free tours and tastings.
Shelter Point Distillery, at Black Creek, B.C., offers free tours and tastings. — Nik West photo

Like many Canadian communities, Black Creek, B.C., was created out of hard work and natural resources. The community on the east coast of Vancouver Island came into being as home to several logging camps in the early 1900s, and once the Douglas fir forests had been harvested, the area became available for farming. In the 1930s, an influx of Mennonite settlers established dairy farms and orchards in the area.

In today’s Black Creek, several high-profile tourism businesses combine the historic reliance on nature with more sophisticated offerings to attract visitors. Agricultural bounty is transformed at Coastal Black Estate Winery, which produces berry-based wines and meads, and Shelter Point Farm & Distillery, which grows barley on site and turns it into vodka and whiskies. Both of these companies offer free tours and tastings for visitors.

For those with even a fledgling spirit of adventure, Grey Wolf Expeditions offers eco-friendly whale watching, kayaking, hiking and wilderness camping. Equipment and food are provided, and meals feature home-grown, organic produce and eggs. The owners of Grey Wolf are dedicated to preserving the beautiful coastal environment and love to share it with guests new to the area.

A group from Grey Wolf Expeditions enjoys an oceanside campfire. — Photo courtesy Grey Wolf Expeditions

Bring along your gumboots for a tour of Seaview Game Farm, a 68-hectare farm with 1.36 kilometres of pristine waterfront. The farm has extensive greenhouses and lots of animals, including Scottish Highland cattle, an emu and some ridiculously cute alpacas, among more common farm animals. The farm hosts birthday parties and other special events, and should you wish to stay for a while, it has fully serviced waterfront camping sites and one deluxe yurt that sleeps six. Reservations are necessary.

Visitors to Black Creek and its surrounding area can enjoy many beaches and parks where they will find fascinating tidal pools, beautiful hiking and biking trails, extensive connected waterways for paddlers, and an incredible variety of birds and marine life. 

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