Discovering the Wild Beauty of Vancouver Island North

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Photo © Courtesy of Vancouver Island North/Josh McGarel

Northern Vancouver Island is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities to suit every taste. From towering forests to pristine shorelines, there’s no better place to reconnect with nature than this lush region of British Columbia.

But beyond its exciting adventures and wild beauty, Vancouver Island North offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the local communities, embrace Indigenous culture, and become stewards of the environment. Pick your own adventure, form your own path, and experience this part of the island to the fullest.

Experience the Wild

Whether you’re an avid angler, a wildlife enthusiast, or a hiking aficionado, there’s something here to captivate your soul. Cast your fishing line into crystal-clear waters, or take a wildlife tour and catch a glimpse of wildlife in their natural habitat, from orcas to bald eagles.

Prefer to explore on foot? You’re in luck—the region’s extensive trail network winds through ancient forests and along secluded beaches, offering a glimpse into unspoiled wilderness. From leisurely strolls along wheelchair-accessible pathways to multi-day treks through rugged terrain, there’s a hike for every level of adventurer, and each one brings its own unique beauty.

There are just as many opportunities for relaxation as there are for adventure. From serene, remote beaches to blooming perennial gardens, simply wandering through Vancouver Island North’s parks, gardens, and beaches is a must for any itinerary.

Check in at a visitor centre for local recommendations, or take inspiration from recent documentaries and films that have premiered, offering a glimpse into the untamed wilderness of Northern Vancouver Island.

vancouver island north
© Vancouver Island North - Tyler Cave

Learn From The Locals

Vancouver Island North is a land steeped in Indigenous history and culture. The traditional territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw people, this region bears witness to millennia of stewardship by Canada’s First Nations.

In Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, visitors can delve into Kwakwaka’wakw traditions at the U’mista Cultural Centre, home to a collection of potlatch artifacts and the world’s tallest totem pole. Internationally renowned for storytelling and enticing performances, spending time here is like taking a trip back in time.

Explore the art galleries and workshops of Fort Rupert, where master carvers transform timber into works of art, preserving ancient traditions for future generations. There’s so much to learn from these stewards of the land, and you’re sure to gain a profound appreciation for their enduring connection to the land and sea.

While you’re here, don’t miss out on local arts—and eats! Locally smoked salmon, fresh-caught seafood and 100-mile-diet chocolate are just a few of the mouthwatering delights waiting for you. Plus, this community is passionate about creating art—it’s hard not to be inspired by the seemingly endless scenery.

Home studios, often located on country backroads, seaside settings and the First Nations lands of Alert Bay and Fort Rupert, are great places to discover your new favourite artwork and take home a piece of the Island.

Leave Nothing But Footsteps

Visitors to Vancouver Island North are encouraged to take the Wild Pledge—a commitment to explore with care, respect the environment, and enrich local lives. This initiative, the first of its kind on Vancouver Island, emphasizes the importance of responsible tourism in safeguarding the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

© Vancouver Island North Tourism - Josh McGarel

By supporting local businesses, respecting Indigenous traditions, and practicing Leave No Trace principles, travellers can ensure that future generations will continue to experience the wild beauty of the Island.

Regardless of what brought you to Vancouver Island North, there is something for everyone to discover here.

Plan your adventure today at vancouverislandnorth.ca, and check out the Trail Guide or Recreational Map for more information and insider tips.

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