We started at the South end of the CNPR Trail. To access this trailhead drive South on the Banfield road, turn West at the “Camp B” sign, drive until you can see the water, stop, look right and the trail should be obvious.
This was a very hot day and we started at 11:00. The dogs found lots of water along the trail. This part of the trail is up in the forest to keep above the McKay millsite.
Valerie is at the beginning of the railbed section, my favorite part of the whole trail.
This section is very easy, and has plenty of shade.
The culvert above marks the end of the work done on the CNPR railway, when WW1 started and they stopped work on the railline connecting Esquimalt and Port Alberni.
The trail winds around Underwood Cove, and up to the top of the paved road access to China Creek Marina. This is where the CNPR Trail and the the Alberni Inlet Trail meet. If accessing either trail from this point, drive South from Port Alberni on the Banfield road and turn Right onto the paved China Creek marina road. After about 300 feet a small gravel road branches to the left, take that and park. To access the CNPR Trail walk south and watch for flagging and the trail. To Access the Alberni Inlet trail walk about 100 feet down the paved road and the trail will start to the right. Click here for the ACRD maps.
We were quite fortunate that two new bridges were installed over Chine Creek river only days before. The bridges were constructed by the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and co-funded by the Island Coastal Economic Trust. Valerie must be the first person to transverse the bridges!
Being at China Creek was perfect timing for lunch and a swim. Perfectly clear water that we packed six litres for our overnight stay further on.
The above pic is of the steepest part but very short.
After over six hours of hot hiking we arrived at our camping spot, Lone Tree Point. Valerie took advantage of the ladder up the lighthouse to amuse herself. This spot has a nice wind and sun protected area where we slept in the open- no tent needed.
Lone Tree point was a fun place to camp overnight, endless action on the water.
We packed up and continued through camp Wiseman and ascended the North Trail up Copper Mountain, then up to the lookout, where we could see Couse Creek to the south and Port Alberni to the North. A very successful and fun outing!