Hiking - Vancouver Island North

Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Download the free North Island Trail Guide App for iOS and Android.

This app is GPS enabled. Download to your smartphone in advance and the app will be available even when you are out of cell service range.

On Vancouver Island North, trails penetrate deep into the landscape, offering easy access to remote forests, beaches, streams and lakes. Walk among giants on pathways made spongy from decades of coniferous needles falling. Inhale the freshest ocean air, rich with sea-spray, along pristine shoreline.

The west coast has spectacular options for all levels of hiking ability. Follow forested trails to the open Pacific Ocean where your footprints could quite likely be the only ones in the sand. Two of these west coast day-hiking highlights are Raft Cove and San Josef Bay.

Many seaside communities are lined with wheelchair-accessible seawalls, boardwalks and pathways, perfect for family outings and sunset strolls. Excursion options abound close to towns and further afield. These hikes can vary from an hour or two up to a full day. Multi-day epic adventures like the Cape Scott Trail and the North Coast Trail are on the list for trekkers looking to get remote and experience the ruggedly beautiful outer reaches.

Check in at local Visitor Centres for details on hiking options closest to their communities and destinations beyond.

Port Hardy

Quatse Loop & Estuary Trail – 2.5 km loop
Storey’s Beach – stroll this long stretch of beach, enjoy the wide, sandy expanse that is uncovered at low tide
Tex Lyon Trail – out and back, allow minimum 8 hours for the complete round trip
Beaver Lake Interpretive Trail – 1.3 km interpretive loop
Seawall – paved pathway along the waterfront with views of Hardy Bay

Port McNeill

Schoolhouse Creek Trail – 1.6 km loop
Cluxewe Salt Marsh Trail – 3 km out and back to the beach
Lady Ellen Point Trail – 2 km
Harbour Seawall – oceanfront walkway with views of Broughton Strait

Port Alice

Seawalk – wheelchair accessible pathway along the community coastline of Neroutsos Inlet
Marble River – 8 km return trip, out and back trail
Spruce Bay Interpretive Trail – 2.7 km out and back interpretive trail
Alice Lake Loop – a series of ancient Quatsino karst and limestone formations, all features located approximately 15 km’s from Port Alice including Devil’s Bath, and the Eternal Fountain

Alert Bay

Ecological Park – 1.3 km loop
Alert Bay Trails System – 16 km network of trails
Seawall – Harbour front boardwalk and walkway


Mateoja Trail – 3.2 km one way, allow 3 hours for a return trip
Beautiful Bay Trail – 10 km return trip, allow 5 hours
Pulteney Point Lighthouse – 2.5 km return trip


Cape Scott Park website: www.capescottpark.com
San Josef Bay Trail – 5 km round trip, out and back
Cape Scott Trail – 15 km one way, plenty of camping options
North Coast Trail – 58 km one way, start at the Cape Scott Trailhead or Shushartie Bay
Raft Cove – 4 km round trip, out and back, beachfront camping available
Grant Bay – less than 1 km to the beach, beachfront camping available
Little Huson Caves – a network of trails and limestone formations

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