Campbell River is made for adventure. With lush coastal temperate rainforest, rushing glacial rivers, tall mountains and a dynamic coastline along the Salish Sea—your options for hiking are boundless.

This year, head to the north end of Vancouver Island and explore Campbell River. To help you on your adventure, we’ve chosen 10 of the best hikes in and around town: 

Campbell River Canyon View Trail

Length: 4.8 km

Elevation gain: 109 m

This loop trail, in Elk Falls Provincial Park, offers great views and a stunning waterfall. The trail is accessible year-round. Be sure to bring your camera—bears have been spotted in the fall, feeding on salmon, and there’s even a suspension bridge to cross. Dogs are allowed on this trail, but be sure to keep them leashed.

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Campbell River Lookout Trail

Length: 6.1 km

Elevation gain: 572 m

For serious hikers only, this trail will take you up Broken Eyes Mountain, and make no mistake—it’s steep. Thankfully, the trail starts on an old logging road and then leads into an old-growth forest. The trail continues on through the forest, and some parts require some scrambling. But the sweeping view at the end will be well worth your efforts, and a stout climb up should mean an easier ramble back down, right?

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Ripple Rock Trail

Length: 8 km

Elevation gain: 361 m

This is a trail with a story, and a great view—set within Nymphe Cove Recreation Site. Ripple Rock Trail will take you to Seymour Narrows, where there was once two stone masses that were notorious marine hazards for any ship that enter the area. In 1958, these stone masses were removed with one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. There’s a small beach along the way and there’s a great view from the top.

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Quinsam River Hatchery Trail

Length: 2.9 km

Elevation gain: 61 m

Don’t forget your camera at home for this trail, located in Elk Falls Provincial Park. This trail takes you to the Quinsam Hatchery, and along the way you’re likely to see plenty of wildlife—if you go when the salmon are spawning, it’ll be a trip you won’t soon forget. And you may even spot a bear or two, taking advantage of the fine fish to eat. Or eagles. Or turkey vultures. You could even pack your fly rod and take advantage of some of the area’s fishing options.

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Butterfly & McIver’s Trail Loop

Length: 4.8 km

Elevation gain: 100 m

This is an easy, loop-type trail and it’s an excellent option for many skill levels. With an easily identifiable trail, set in Beaver Lodge Forest Lands, you won’t have to worry much about wandering off the path. You’ll travel through beautiful forest, and this is a great trail option to bring along your canine hiking buddy. There are many trail options within the Beaver Lodge Forest Lands, so start checking them off your to-do list!

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Tyee Spit

Length: 4.7 km

Elevation gain: 25 m

Situated not far from downtown, this is an easy and enjoyable walk for many ages and skill levels. This is an out-and-back trail that follows the water, so you’re sure to take in some good views along the way. Leash up your dog, or bring the kids and their bikes for an excellent afternoon stroll by the water.

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Beaver Pond Elk Falls Circular Route

Length: 3.1 km

Elevation gain: 88 m

Located near the Quinsam Campground, in Elk Falls Provincial Park, this is a perfect trail if you’re camping in the area. The trail is relatively easy and follows the Campbell River for a ways, and then it follows the Quinsam River for part of the trail as well. You’ll be walking through a beautiful forest, so be sure you bring your camera along. If you’re looking for a family hike, add this one to the list.

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Willow Creek Loop

Length: 3.9 km

Elevation gain: 66 m

If you’re looking for a beautiful walk, but you don’t want to go too far from home, this is the ticket. Willow Creek Loop is situated on the edge of Campbell River and it’s an easy walk for all skill levels to enjoy. You’ll walk around a small lake for part of the trail, and Willow Creek runs right through the area. If you’re bringing your dog, be sure to keep it on a leash.

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Alligator, Stickman, Upper & Lower Deliverance

Length: 5 km

Elevation gain: 176 m

There are several trails throughout Elk Falls Provincial Park, and this option combines a few trails into one longer loop. This trail is rated as easy, and it’s best used from April to September. Be sure to watch out for mountain bikers along the way. For hikers, this trail is great for many skill levels. While trekking through the forested area, you’ll get an excellent view of John Hart Lake. For an even longer trip, you could finish this loop and then continue on to the Foreplay, Ridge and Dean Martin Trail.

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Foreplay, Ridge & Dean Martin Trail

Length: 5.1 km

Elevation gain: 174 m

This is a point-to-point trail that’s excellent for hiking or mountain biking, running alongside the Campbell River. Hikers and bikers have reported that the trail signage can be hard to follow, so be sure to pack a map before heading out. You could connect to this trail from Lower Deliverance, or you could start at the other end and finish near the Lower Deliverance trail head. 

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