Campbell River, an Outdoor Lover’s Paradise
Campbell River is the third largest city on Vancouver Island and is literally surrounded by nature. It sits on the 50th parallel with the waters of Discovery Passage forming its shoreline and majestic mountains setting a spectacular backdrop. Campbell River is located midway along Vancouver Island’s east coast and there is an abundance of things to do here during the warmer months, including hiking, biking, boating, camping, eco-adventures and internationally renowned salmon fishing. During the winter, there is skiing at nearby Mount Washington. For those less inclined for outdoor adventure there is fine dining, boutique shopping, museums and golfing.
What to See and Do
Some of the attractions you’ll want to check out include the Elk Falls day use area. This is part of Elk Falls Provincial Park with easy walking trails and a spectacular 25-metre waterfall that gives this park its name. Hiking trails also lead to other areas in the park, which is home to the only significant stand of old-growth Douglas fir north of MacMillan Provincial Park.
The section of Campbell River along the road leading to Elk Falls Provincial Park is very popular with fisherman seeking salmon and another popular fishing destination is the Discovery Fishing Pier, part of Fisherman’s Wharf, located in the heart of downtown.
Campbell River Museum
The Campbell River Museum is a real treasure featuring a theatre showing the film footage of the legendary explosion of “Ripple Rock” in 1958. An interactive exhibit showcases First Nation culture with an absolutely spectacular mask display. You will also see a working logging steam donkey, a logger’s cabin, replica of the Willow’s Hotel, one of the first fishing resorts, and the history of fishing in the area. Well worth the $8.00 admission fee.
There are numerous commercial RV parks in the area including Salmon Point Resort just south of town and the Thunderbird RV Park Resort right on the water near downtown Campbell River.If you are into wilderness camping, there is nearby Elk Falls Provincial Park and the lakes region is also not far away and includes Lower Campbell Lake, and Upper Campbell Lake. Good logging roads provide access to a large number of Forest Service Recreation Sites. Just be warned that during the summer months they can fill up quickly. Many of the lakes are stocked with rainbow, cutthroat and Dolly Varden trout.
Shopping & Dining
The whole downtown waterfront is an interesting area to explore with lots of restaurants, boutique shopping, Fisherman’s Wharf and the waterfront walkway and parks.
You’ll find fine examples of First Nation’s art all over Campbell River, but make sure you check out the mask exhibit at the Campbell River Museum.
There are numerous parks around Campbell River, including Baikie Island Nature Reserve and “The Spit”, both very close to downtown.