ELK FALLS PROVINCIAL PARK
Location: 2 km out of Campbell River along Hwy 28, turn right at Brewster Lake Road for the Elk Falls parking lot.
Lose yourself in nature and the overwhelming power of the Elk Falls from the swinging suspension bridge above. After the waterfall, wander through the six kilometres of serene old growth forest trails and feel dwarfed by the sky high trees. Nestled in nature, Elk Falls will leave you in awe of west coast woodlands. While visiting, be sure to check out the John Hart Dam Interpretive Centre.
QUINSAM RIVER SALMON HATCHERY
Location: 4217 Argonaut Road
As one of Canada’s largest salmon rearing facilities, the Quinsam Hatchery has been in operation since 1974 playing a vital role in restoring natural spawning runs to the Campbell and Quinsam Rivers during the fall months. The highlight for visitors is the fish floor inside the hatchery’s interpretive centre: it is a glass floor covering a re-creation of the nearby rivers with salmon, trout and other native aquatic species. Providing visitors with information about the salmon life cycle and conservation, the hatchery is open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm daily.
Tyee Spit/ Dick Murphy Park
Location: 3200 Spit Road
This walk along the Discovery Passage and the Campbell River Estuary boasts great views of Quadra Island, wildlife and cruise ships in the summer. From July 15th to September 15th witness a Campbell River tradition: The Tyee Club rowers and anglers trying to catch a salmon over 30lbs in a wooden rowboat. Take a detour down to the rocky beaches and dip your toes in the chilly Pacific Ocean for a true local experience. Catch a bit of the sunset from the viewing platform on the estuary side of the spit.
DISCOVERY FISHING PIER
Location: 655 Island Highway
Take a walk along the beautiful Discovery Pier, a popular spot for anglers of all ages. The Pier provides great views of Quadra Island and the Discovery Passage, and is one of Campbell River’s most unique attractions. Open 24 hours a day, the Pier is wheelchair accessible and fully lit. It has built-in rod holders, bait stands, fish cleaning tables, covered areas, picnic tables and benches. The concession stand provides rod and tackle rentals, licenses, and is famous for their delicious ice cream cones and wraps. The concession is open 7:00 am to dusk, May to October.
MARITIME HERITAGE CENTRE
Location: 621 Island Highway
Discover the area’s rich fishing history at the Maritime Heritage Centre. Behold the fully restored motor vessel BCP 45, a table seiner made famous on the Canadian five dollar bill in the 1970s. Now a national historic site, guests are allowed to hop aboard the restored table seiner and explore the cabins below deck. In addition to the BCP 45, the Centre also has an eclectic collection of maritime artifacts that range from model ships to Navy paraphernalia.
BEAVER LODGE FOREST LANDS
Location: Parking and easy access to Rail Trail at Hilchey Road and South Dogwood Street intersection
The Beaver Lodge Lands have a wide variety of trails that are loved by locals and visitors alike. To get started, we suggest the Rail Trail, which is roughly 3 kilometres long and takes approximately 40 minutes to walk one way. This trail was developed on an old logging road, which created a path that is fairly wide and level. All the trails in the Beaver Lodge Lands are multi-use and suitable for all ages and skill levels: bikers, walkers and horseback riders are all welcome.
CAMPBELL RIVER ART GALLERY
Location: 1235 Shoppers Row
The Campbell River Art Gallery is located in the Centennial Building downtown, right beside the Visitor Centre in Tyee Plaza. Exhibiting contemporary art of professional artists from across Canada, the Gallery offers workshops for adults and youth, gallery tours, Super Saturday free art-making sessions, films and other special events.
RIPPLE ROCK HIKE
Location: Off Hwy 19, about 16 km North of Campbell River
This popular hiking trail overlooks the site of the famous 1958 Ripple Rock blast, which was the largest non-nuclear explosion in the world at the time. While the detonation was dangerous, the trail is the opposite. At 4 kms long in each direction, this moderate trail provides scenic viewpoints overlooking Menzies Bay and the Seymour Narrows.
MUSEUM AT CAMPBELL RIVER
Location: 470 Island Highway, at 5th Avenue
Explore vibrant and contemporary exhibits of First Nations cultures, sit behind the wheel of an early logging truck, and learn about early days of recreational and commercial fishing at the award-winning Campbell River Museum. While visiting, be sure to take in the short film on the Ripple Rock explosion, in the Van Isle Theatre.
ROTARY SEA WALK
Location: Island Highway, spanning from Waterfront Hill to Willow Point Hill
This paved 10 kilometre lane running alongside the shoreline offers flat and convenient access to spectacular views of the Discovery Passage and Quadra Island. Walkers, bikers and strollers are common on the pathway that runs along the beachfront and winds to iconic local hubs like the fiftieth Parallel marker, Rotary Beach Park, and cafes. A highlight for photographers is Big Rock, a massive, painted rock with many legends to its origin, sitting in the chilly waters reaching towards the path.
Other Ideas Seasonal Experiences
WHALE WATCHING (April – OCTOBER)
Campbell River is a hub of opportunities for whale watching enthusiasts. Experience everything from whales, dolphins and sea lions, to bears and eagles through the safe guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable tour operator. If you would like more information about booking an excursion, our team at the Visitor Information Centre would be happy to assist you.
SNORKELLING WITH THE SALMON (July to September)
Each year thousands of salmon return to the river from which they began. The crystal clear water allows for easy viewing of the salmon in the river environment from the raft – or you can don a wetsuit and participate in one of the most unique experiences by snorkelling in the river pools teeming with thousands of salmon. The prime season for snorkelling with the salmon runs from late July into September. If you would like more information about booking this unique experience, our team at the Visitor Information Centre would be happy to assist you.
DISCOVERY PASSAGE AQUARIUM (May to September)
Location: 621 Island Hwy
The Discovery Passage Aquarium features local marine species and habitats from the Discovery Passage. They offer education and fun hands on experiences that are suitable for all ages. With a focus on conservation and education, the Aquarium runs from spring to fall with the species being collected in the spring and released in the fall.
Bear Viewing (Mid August- October)
In the fall, experienced local operators will take you to remote inlets on the mainland to view grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Watch from viewing platforms as bears fish for salmon in the river and forge along the shores for food. On the ride to the inlet, your boat will weave through the Discovery Islands searching for marine wildlife such as orcas, humpbacks and dolphins. The coastal scenery and numerous wildlife viewing opportunities are truly a once in a lifetime experience! This experience books up quickly so it’s highly recommended to book in advance!
Saratoga Speedway (July-September)
Location: 2380 Macaulay Rd, Black Creek
The Speedway provides family-friendly entertainment and activities. Get a ride in a monster truck, race a go-cart or watch the action at a Crash to Pass race featuring everything from travel trailers to boats! For a current racing, schedule visit http://saratogaracing.ca or pick one up at the Visitor Centre.
Fall Salmon Run (Late August to Early November)
Every fall salmon begin their journey up the Campbell and Quinsam Rivers to spawn. This natural phenomenon is truly an amazing sight. This time of year also attracts anglers to the rivers to try their luck. The Campbell River is a great spot to go and watch fly fishing in action.
Over the years Campbell River has earned the nickname “Salmon Capital of the World” because our waters are home to all five species of Salmon. In the summer months, the waters of the Discovery Passage are dotted with small fishing boats all trying their luck. Getting out on the water with a local guide is the best way to get the most out of your fishing experience, they will provide you with all the gear needed and take you around to all the local hotspots. It is recommended to book a fishing charter in advance, for a list of operators visit campbellriver.travel/fishing