Campbell River to Port Hardy, Vancouver Island

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Campbell River to Port Hardy (Hwy 19)

Campbell RiverAfter leaving Campbell River and heading North to Port Hardy and Bear Cove the highway narrows through the lush inland forests. Seymour Narrows and Ripple Rock Rest Area are located 11 km (7 miles) north of Campbell River. Ripple Rock was once below the water's surface and caused over 20 shipwrecks. In 1958, it was finally blown up in one of histories largest non-atomic blasts in history.

Continuing north there are many good fishing lakes such as Roberts Lake. The road to Sayward-Kelsey Bay is located 64 km (40 miles) north of Campbell River which winds into the Salmon Valley where the Salmon River emptied into Johnstone Strait at Kelsey Bay.

Sayward & Kelsey Bay:
First settled in 1890, this area is the centre of a rich logging and farming industry. Kelsey Bay once served as the southern terminal for the BC Ferries Inside Passage to Prince Rupert.

Travelling further north along Highway 19, you will pass through grand forests, stunning mountains and streams. Access to Schoen Lake, Schoen Lake Provincial Park and Vancouver Island's largest watershed is via a logging road 93 km (58 miles) north of Campbell River.

Schoen Lake and Provincial Park:
Possibly one of the most scenic lakes on the island, Schoen Lake provides excellent hiking, canoeing and wildlife viewing oppurtunities. Downhill and nordic skiing is possible at the Mt.Cain Alpine Park.

NimpkishFurther along Hwy 19 is Woss Junction, a small logging town with an antique steam locomotive and, during the summer, a five-hour logging railway run through the Nimpkish Valley. Other interesting spots include the Little Hustan Cave Regional Park, Zabellos, a base for trips around the Nootka Sound, and Fair Harbour.

Back to Hwy 19 by Nimpkish Lake and on to Beaver Cove Turnoff where you may visit Telegraph Cove.

Telegraph Cove:
First established because of the telegraph line then later as a sawmill community, Telegraph Cove is located 187 km (116 miles) north of Campbell River and 15 km (9 miles) southeast of Highway 19. This picturesque village stands on stilts in the water and now serves as a base for whale-watching tours in the Johnstone Straits and Robson Bight. It has been a B.C. Ecological reserve for the protection of orca habitat since 1982.

Other stops further north include Port McNeill, Alert Bay on Cormorant Island and Sointula on Malcolm Island.

Port McNeill:
Primarily a logging town, Port McNeill is 194 km (120 miles) north of Campbell River, east of Highway 19. The area provides excellent sports fishing and whale watching tours.

Seymour Narrows Alert Bay-Sointula:
From Port McNeill car and passenger ferries run to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island and to Sointula on Malcolm Island. Alert Bay, with a large native population is a good place to shop for native arts and crafts, visit the long house, cultural centre, tallest totem pole and view potlatch masks on display. Sointula, once a Finnish cooperative community, is now a fishing village.

Port Alice:
58 km (36 miles) off of Hwy 19 is Port Alice on Neroutsos Inlet. This is an excellent base from which to explore the inlets of Quatsino Sound. The Sound and nearby lakes provide excellent angling opportunities.

Further still along the last leg of the Island Highway to Port Hardy another side trip is to Holberg Inlet and Coal Harbour which was an Air Base during WW II.

Port Hardy:
The waters around Port Hardy provide excellent angling opportunities for Chinook salmon, halibut and ling cod. Port Hardy is a scenic spot at the northern end of the island.

Ferry to Bella CoolaPrince Rupert Ferry:
The terminus for BC Ferries traveling the 490 km (304 miles) through the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert is located in Bear Cove. Reservations are necessary for this 15 hour journey.

To Cape Scott:
Cape Scott, at the extreme northwest end of Vancouver Island is accessed via the Cape Scott Trail or by kayak from the Queen Charlotte Strait (from the east) or the Pacific (from the west).

The many remote areas of Vancouver Island are best accessed by roads such as Hwy 28 to Gold River and Tahsis, Hwy 4 from Parksville through Port Alberni onto Ucluelet and Tofino and Hwy 18 which is north of Duncan to Lake Cowichan, Bamfield and the West Coast Trail.

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Coastal Springs Float Lodge: A full service salmon fishing lodge in the protected waters of Knight Inlet and Blackfish Sound. We focus on large Chinook Salmon (King or Tyee) and cater to smaller groups offering a premier guided BC salmon fishing and wilderness experience. more
Spirit of the West Adventures: We offer sea kayaking tours to the Johnstone Strait & the largest pods of killer whales on the BC coast – Desolation Sound, Quadra Island, & Campbell River - & guided excursions to explore ancient native villages. Set a course for a one of a kind wilderness... more
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Campbell River to Port Hardy, Vancouver Island