Cathedral Grove Park
Located in MacMillan Provincial Park, between Nanaimo and Port Alberni in beautiful British Columbia, Cathedral Grove Park is home to some of the oldest and largest Douglas Firs and Redwood trees in North America.
Getting To Cathedral Grove Park
Before you pack your bag and head out, I’ll have to let you know that Cathedral Grove Park is located on Vancouver Island. From Vancouver or Seattle you will need to fly to Nanaimo or take a ferry from Vancouver. From Nanaimo it is less than an hour drive towards Port Alberni by using the Number 4 Highway. Getting here via map directions can be a bit challenging, as the road signage isn’t plentiful; the entrances are off to the side of the road with parking for about ten vehicles in each direction. You can’t miss it, but if you do…just turn around once you reach the town and catch it on your way back.
Take Your Time & Explore
Each rainforest, on either side of the road, takes about 30 minutes to explore, depending on your pace. Under the dense treetops is a peaceful atmosphere which allows for a pleasant stroll through the forest. I loved exploring the rainforest with my parents. It’s easy to lose track of time while exploring the trail, climbing over some of the trees and of course snapping some photography momentos.
Exploring A Rainforest
Under the dense tree canopy you will be sheltered from most of the elements like the rain and sun. You won’t need to be bundled up for this hike, as rainforest temperatures keep all of the moisture in, similar to how it feels inside a greenhouse. You will feel quite small in comparison when walking among the thousands of gorgeous trees that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Did You Know That…
- The prevalent tree species are Douglas Firs and Western Redwood Cedar trees
- Some of the trees are more than 800 years old!
- One of the trees measures more than 9m in circumference
- Park size is 301 hectares
- Admission to the park is by donation and all fees go into preserving the park
Plan Your Visit
Cathedral Grove Park is open year round! The summer months of July and August are busiest, as many RV campers and families explore Vancouver Island during their summer vacations. If you are looking for a more private experience, be sure to visit during the off-season months.
Changing Weather Conditions
When planning your visit, keep an eye on the weather conditions. British Columbia is home to many mild to moderate wind and rainstorms during the fall and winter months. On days with high winds, posted warning signs say not to enter Cathedral Grove Park, as risk of falling trees will increase. Always remember to put your safety first!
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