See steam-powered logging, ancient stone carvings and salmon leaping up waterfalls in the fertile forestlands around this port.
Port Alberni offers access to incredible forest environments and wildlife spotting opportunities. Since 1789, this settlement has fed off its location at the tip of the Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island, which has allowed its dual industries of fishing and lumber to flourish.
Make your base in downtown Port Alberni, a settlement of over 17,500 inhabitants nestled in the mountainous Alberni Valley. The visitor center here provides useful maps to develop your Port Alberni itinerary.
Learn about the area's history at the Alberni Valley Museum, which features indigenous artifacts in its First Nation exhibit. See exciting earthquake exhibits at the Maritime Discovery Centre and get insight into the Alberni logging industry at the McLean Mill National Historic Site. This site has been restored to operate as it did in 1965. It’s the only commercial steam-operated sawmill in Canada.
Reserve a day for a relaxing tour on the MV Frances Barclay, a cruise ship that has operated since the 1960s. Stop by small coastal towns like Kildonan and Bamfield and spot black bears on the riverbanks. Take a ride on the Alberni Pacific Railway and journey through the valley forestlands.
Drive to Sproat Lake and see the waterfalls at Fossoli Provincial Park. Nearby, swim at the Two Rivers Arm, see ancient stone carvings at the Sproat Lake Petroglyphs and enjoy a seafood meal at the Fish and Duck Pub. Alternatively, tour Nahmint Lake and admire its tranquil vistas. In early summer or fall, take a morning excursion to Stamp Falls and watch hundreds of salmon jumping upstream.
Follow mountain biking circuits through the rugged Alberni Valley terrain. Work on your long game at one of two world-class golf courses near town. Put on some hardy boots and explore the pine tree forests and dripping caves of the Log Train Trail. Experienced hikers can take on the 5-hour round trip of Judges Route to the peak of Mt. Arrowsmith.
The Port Alberni Airport is a 90-minute drive from downtown. Though the port can be navigated on foot, visitors are advised to rent a car to get to surrounding attractions.