Endless year-round hiking possibilities in Campbell River
Everything from a stroll through town to admire the hundreds of chainsaw carvings to a strenuous mountain summit is at your doorstep in Campbell River.
Campbell River is located on Vancouver Island’s eastern shore on the beautiful waters of Discovery Passage. Campbell River is home to a seemingly endless list of outdoor recreation opportunities, which includes a plethora of walking and hiking trails within city limits and the surrounding area. With Campbell River's mild climate, it is even possible to hike and walk year round in comfort, but spring and fall are best. Everything from a stroll through town to admire the hundreds of chainsaw carvings to a strenuous mountain summit is at your doorstep in Campbell River.
Bear Creek Trail
The Bear Creek Trail, located in the Bear Creek Nature Park, is less than a half-hour drive from Campbell River near Black Creek and is a must-do in the fall according to Catherine Temple with the GoCampbellRiver website. “It is an amazing trail in the fall because of all of the maple trees. It’s spectacular with all of these little channels off of the Oyster River, which always have salmon in them,” said Temple.
The Bear Creek Trail is suitable for hikers of all ages and is always kept in good condition by the Strathcona Regional District. There is even a picnic table at the beginning of the trail where you can have a little snack before or after the hike. “The trail is about an hour and a half to two hours and you can do it anytime of the year. It doesn’t have to be during the salmon season, but it’s most spectacular during that season because of the colours,” said Temple. The only thing to watch out for on the trail is the occasional black bear during the spawning season—salmon is a prime food source for the bears.
Pump House Trails
The Pump House Trails are located in Elk Falls Provincial Park only two kilometres from downtown Campbell River. The park is over a thousand hectares in size (more than 2470 acres) and the trails are scattered throughout the park. The Pump House Trails are also a starting point for numerous longer trails by connecting with the Snowden network. “The Pump House Trails are some of my favourites because there are no people there,” said Temple. “It’s a really nice little network of trails. You can actually hook up to Snowden if you want to go on a long hike, but if you want to do an hour loop, it’s no problem.”
Like the Bear Creek Trail, the Pump House Trails have a lot of maple trees, but you also have some spectacular views of the Campbell River canyon. “There are some really steep slopes, but you’re not climbing them, you’re sort of looking down on them. The trail does skirt the canyon though, so it has some really cool vistas,” said Temple. Visitors should be on the lookout for bears on these trails as well, as they are close to another productive river for salmon.