A VISIT TO CAMPBELL RIVER

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A VISIT TO CAMPBELL RIVER

Outdoor Enthusiasts will Love Campbell River, BC

Campbell River is the third largest city on Vancouver Island and is literally surrounded by nature. It sits on the 5oth parallel about a 3 hour drive north from Victoria. The waters of the Discovery Passage separate it from the mainland whose majestic mountains form a spectacular backdrop. For the outdoor lover, Campbell River has an abundance of things to do 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 to outdoor adventure there is fine dining, boutique shopping, resorts, museums and golfing.

Hiking & Outdoor Attractions

Elk Falls Provincial Park Day Use Area

Some of the attractions you’ll definitely want to check out include the Elk Falls Provincial Park Day Use Area. There are some 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.

Elk Falls & Elk Falls Suspension Bridge

Elk Falls & Elk Falls Suspension Bridge

Elk Falls

Elk Falls

Hiking at Elk Falls Day Use area

Hiking at Elk Falls Day Use area

Local Parks

There are numerous parks around Campbell River, including Baikie Island Nature Reserve and Dick Murphy Park on “The Spit, both are very close to downtown and have some easy level paths to walk.

Dick Murphy Park

Exploring Dick Murphy Park

The very busy float plane terminal is located at "The Spit" by Dick Murphy Park

The very busy float plane terminal is located at “The Spit” by Dick Murphy Park

Baikie Island Nature Reserve

Hiking at Baikie Island Nature Reserve

Fishing

The section of Campbell River along the road leading to Elk Falls Provincial Park is very popular with fisherman seeking salmon and steelhead. Another very popular fishing destination is Discovery Fishing Pier located in the heart of downtown Campbell River at Fisherman’s Wharf.  As well, many of the local lakes are stocked with rainbow, cutthroat and Dolly Varden trout.

Fishing on the Campbell River

Fishing on the Campbell River

Fishing at the Discovery Pier

Fishing at the Discovery Pier in the heart of downtown Campbell River

Camping

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 more 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.

Salmon Pt Lodge, Campbell River, BC

Salmon Point Resort , RV Park & Marina

History

Campbell River Museum

The Campbell River Museum is a real treasure which includes a spectacular interactive exhibit showcasing a First Nations mask display. You will also see a working logging steam donkey, logger’s cabin, replica of the Willow’s Hotel and history of commercial fishing in the area. They also have a theatre room showing the film footage of the legendary explosion of “Ripple Rock” in 1958. Well worth the $8.00 admission fee.

Campbell River Museum Sport Fishing Exhibit

Campbell River Museum Sport Fishing Exhibit


 

Maritime Heritage Centre

Maritime Heritage Centre at Fisherman’s Wharf is home to BCP45, the only known example of a wooden seiner in its original configuration still in existence.  This is a class of vessel intimately associated with the commercial west coast fishery during the 20th century and has all but disappeared from use.  Canadians may remember seeing an image of the BCP45 on the Canada five dollar bill from 1972 to 1986. The fully restored BCP45 is now a designated National Historic Site.

Maritime Heritage Centre

The Maritime Heritage Centre, home of BCP45

Canadian 5 dollar bill

Image of the BCP45 on the Canadian 5 dollar bill

Theatre

 There are lots of live shows and entertainment at the very pink art deco, Tidemark Theatre located downtown.
The Tidemark Theatre, Campbell River, BC

The Tidemark Theatre

Art

You’ll find fine examples of First Nation’s art all over Campbell River, but make sure you check out the mask exhibit and other artifact exhibits at the Campbell River Museum.

A bald eagle watches over totem poles at a First Nations Cemetery near “The Spit”

Native art adorns picnic shelter on the waterfront

Native art adorns picnic shelter on the waterfront

Sculpture Celebrating Campbell River's Logging History

Sculpture Celebrating Campbell River’s Logging History

The Campbell River Art Gallery in downtown Campbell River has two exhibition spaces that features work by mid-career and senior contemporary artists, with exhibitions changing every five to six weeks throughout the year. Exhibited work includes painting, sculpture, drawing, glass, metal, video, fibre art, multi-media, ceramics, photography and more.

Shopping & Dining

Colourful crosswalks, sculptures, restaurants, including a craft brewery, and boutique shopping await you downtown. In fact, the whole downtown waterfront is an wonderful area to explore with  Fisherman’s Wharf, which includes the Maritime Heritage Centre, the Campbell River Museum and Discovery Pier.  You will find parks, walkways and informational plaques about the history of Campbell River.

Shopping Dowtown Campbell River

Shopping Dowtown Campbell River

Colourful crosswalks, sculpture, restaurants & boutique shopping await you downtown

Colourful crosswalks, sculpture, restaurants & boutique shopping await you downtown

Beachfire Brewing Craft Brewery

Beachfire Brewing Craft Brewery

You will find these colourful & creative informational signs all around town

You will find these colourful & creative informational signs all around town

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About the Author:

Bruce is an avid sea kayaker and whitewater paddler, a writer and photograher. He and his wife Linda RV full time, love to explore, hike, paddle, bike and write about their adventures.

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