Campbell River Hiking Trails: Best Hikes, Views, Difficulty Levels

Campbell River, a gem on Vancouver Island, is a hiker's paradise. Surrounded by rugged coastline, majestic mountains, and old-growth forests, it offers trails for every fitness level and preference. Whether you're a seasoned backpacker or a family seeking a nature walk, Campbell River's trail network has something incredible waiting for you.  Get ready to lace up your boots and explore!

Best Hikes with a Focus on Difficulty & Rewards

Easy Trails for Families and Casual Hikers

  • Elk Falls Provincial Park: A must-visit, even for non-hikers, its short trails weave through the forest to cascading Elk Falls and the famed suspension bridge. Picnic areas and amenities make it ideal for families.
  • Ripple Rock Trail: This paved, waterfront trail is stroller-friendly, boasts ocean views, and is bike-friendly for family cycling along the coast. Keep an eye out for marine life.
  • Beaver Lodge Lands: Discover remnants of logging railways among moss-laden forests. Its network of easy trails is excellent for beginner mountain bikers and kids keen to explore.
  • Tyee Spit: Follow this flat, packed-sand spit at low tide along the Discovery Passage. Ideal for beachcombing, birdwatching, and easy walking to scenic views.

Moderate Adventures:  Perfect for Enthusiasts

  • Canyon View Trail: Experience views of Elk Falls before descending into the canyon on more challenging pathways with boardwalks and stairs. Expect some cardio but incredible visuals.
  • Seaside Nature Park: Discover hidden coves, rocky beaches, and fantastic birdwatching within the park’s various trails.
  • Big Tree Trail: This short, steep trek within Miracle Beach Provincial Park winds past ancient giants in a primeval forest—offering a huge payoff for minimal effort.
  • Mount Seymour Trails: Choose several routes in this popular area featuring waterfalls, stunning vistas, and some uphill climbs to challenge novice hikers.

Difficult Hikes for Experienced Trekkers

  • Mount Becher: A full-day trek with rugged terrain, but those who reach the summit are awarded panoramic views of Strathcona Provincial Park. Best for fit hikers with backcountry experience.
  • Strathcona Provincial Park: A hiker's dream with endless trails. Many multi-day backpacking options but even day hikes provide challenges and jaw-dropping scenery – check park information before heading out.

Scenic Gems: Hikes That Pack a Visual Punch

  • Stella Lake: Enjoy picturesque mountain views while meandering past alpine meadows and the pristine lake nestled high above Campbell River. Ensure trail conditions are appropriate as snow lingers.
  • Myra Falls: Within Strathcona Provincial Park, a moderate hike rewards with views of cascading Myra Falls in its rugged and beautiful amphitheater of mountains.
  • Lady Falls: Witness this hidden gem of cascading waterfalls after a relatively easy (sometimes muddy) hike within Sayward Valley. Ideal for waterfall enthusiasts.
  • Eby's Landing Bluff: Perfect for a quick dose of beauty, a short but steep hike from the parking lot delivers panoramic ocean and island views – an ideal sunset walk.

Essential Hiking Tips for Enjoyment and Safety

  • Research & Trail Conditions: Visit respected sites like AllTrails, local tourist info, or outdoor recreation shops for updated trail reports. Weather and time of year change conditions quickly.
  • Leave No Trace: Pack out all waste, stay on designated trails, and respect wildlife. Help preserve the area's pristine beauty for future hikers!
  • Bear & Wildlife Awareness: Educate yourself on local animal safety. Hike in groups, make noise, and carry bear spray for remote backcountry adventures.
  • Gear Up: Proper footwear, layers, water, snacks, maps/GPS, and a well-stocked first aid kit are crucial. Local outdoor stores offer region-specific advice if needed.

Finding Your Trailhead: Additional Resources

  • Guided Hikes: To truly unlock the secrets of the area, or gain confidence in more challenging areas, consider booking a guided hike. Local experts offer safety knowledge, local wisdom, and an enriching experience.

Extend Your Adventures: Combining Hikes with Camping

For the full immersive experience, consider nearby campgrounds with excellent trail access:

  • Elk Falls Provincial Park: A family-favorite with various loops and trails right from the campground.
  • Miracle Beach Provincial Park: Oceanfront camping with trails through old-growth leading to waterfalls and beautiful natural wonders.
  • Strathcona Provincial Park: Numerous campgrounds scattered around the vast park, each with breathtaking access to different trail networks. Check park availability and permits.

Respecting the Land & Its Rich History

As you journey on these breathtaking trails, remember the rich history embedded in the land.  Take a moment to acknowledge the traditional territories of the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum, and K’ómoks  First Nations, whose deep connection to these forests and trails dates back millennia. Always practice respectful hiking  and consider seeking resources to learn more about their significant cultural heritage.

Your Campbell River Hiking Adventure Awaits

Whether you seek easy trails, epic treks, or anything in between, remember that Campbell River is packed with incredible hikes to suit every experience and fitness level.  Embrace the stunning scenery, the diverse environments, and the call of the trails. With just a bit of preparation and the right footwear, you'll be lacing up your boots for an unforgettable hiking adventure in Campbell River!

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