Cathedral Grove is a magical and ancient forest that offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the grandeur of nature. It is famous for its towering old-growth trees, some of which are more than 800 years old. The grove provides a captivating and educational journey into the heart of Vancouver Island’s lush rainforest.
Key Attractions and Activities:
- Ancient Trees: The star attractions of Cathedral Grove are the colossal Douglas fir and Red cedar trees that create a cathedral-like canopy over the walking trails. Some of these trees have been standing for centuries, and their sheer size is awe-inspiring.
- Hiking: The park features well-marked trails suitable for all levels of hikers. Strolling through the forest, visitors can immerse themselves in the serene ambiance, observe the intricate ecosystem, and admire the monumental trees.
- Education: Informative signs along the trails provide insight into the ecology of the temperate rainforest, the life cycle of these towering trees, and the importance of old-growth forests in maintaining biodiversity.
- Photography: Cathedral Grove offers fantastic photo opportunities. Capture the towering trees, lush greenery, and the ethereal light filtering through the canopy. It’s a paradise for nature photographers.
- Picnicking: There are picnic tables in the park, making it an excellent spot for a relaxed outdoor meal surrounded by nature.
- Restrooms and picnic areas.
- Interpretive signs and displays.
- Wheelchair-accessible trails.
Getting There: Cathedral Grove is conveniently located along Highway 4, making it easily accessible by car. The park is about a 30-minute drive from Parksville and a 20-minute drive from Port Alberni. Look for signs indicating the entrance to MacMillan Provincial Park.
Hours and Fees: Cathedral Grove is open year-round, and there are no entrance fees to access the park. The park may have seasonal variations in services, so it’s advisable to check for updates, especially during the winter months.
Note: Visitors are encouraged to respect the fragile ecosystem and stay on designated trails. Keep in mind that these ancient trees are delicate, so please do not climb on or touch them. Enjoy the wonder of Cathedral Grove and the sense of tranquility it imparts as you explore this breathtaking natural wonder.
452 Alberni Hwy, Nanaimo, BC