Strolling in Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island BC (Canada)

Stretching my Legs at Cathedral Grove

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During our road trip around Vancouver Island in the Beautiful British Columbia, we made a stop to stretch our legs at the amazing Cathedral Grove, located within the Macmillan Provincial Park; which is about 16 km east of Port Alberni. The trails start right from the parking lot next to the highway, making this coastal forest one of the most accessible places to admire the giant Douglas-fir trees.

Since the 1920’s visitors have come to this area to admire the ancient, enormous trees. However, it wasn’t until 1947 that the it was established as a provincial park for the perpetual enjoyment of the public given the uniqueness of the area. The oldest trees are about 800 years old! It’s no wonder why it draws visitors from all over the world.

Cathedral Grove in Vancouver Island BC (Canada)The largest tree in Cathedral Grove is a magnificent Douglas-fir with a massive trunk measuring 9 meters in circumference. It was very impressive! Even if they are not as big as sequoia trees, this place is great for a few minutes of tree hugging :) On the other hand, in 1997 a severe windstorm ended up toppling several trees, some of which are still lying in place today; offering a different view of these amazing giant trees. In the photo above, you can see the impressive roots from one of the fallen trees. Others have been cut and it’s possible to see the rings in their trunks to guess its age.

Roots from a fallen tree in Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island BC (Canada)
Practical Information

  • Entrance to the park is free, but there’s a donation tree next to the main trail; contributions are for the improvement of the park.
  • Most of the trails are wheelchair accessible.
  • There are toilet facilities on site.
  • However, there are no camping nor picnic facilities.

For more information about the Macmillan Provincial Park, you should visit the BC Parks website. All photos where I appear in this post were taken by Alain Denis Photography. If you’d like to see more photos from my time in Vancouver Island, you can visit my gallery.

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680 452 Bianca Bauza

Bianca Bauza

Bianca Bauza is a world citizen who spent almost four years traveling around South America and Europe. Her passions include photography, street art, outdoor sports, and cooking exotic dishes. She's now based in the Netherlands where she lives with her partner and young daughter. She still enjoys traveling, on her own or with her family, and is always looking for an opportunity to see new places.

All stories by : Bianca Bauza
  • I’ve been there too lately and loved it!! I even have similar pictures (like of me in the large roots) – I loved it!!! Have a great day!! Ulli

    • Thanks Ulli :) Yes, this is a very recommended stop if you’re in the area. I love being surrounded by big trees. This is a very special place.

  • I have never been there but would love to go.
    I have been to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park and I was really impressed by those trees.
    Beautiful pictures

    • Thanks Freya :) I’d love to see a forest with lots of Sequoia trees, they are amazing! Ancient trees have a very special energy, I think.

  • Beautiful pictures. I’ve only been to Vancouver Island a few times, But I’d love to do a road trip around the island. So much natural beauty!

    • Thanks, Miranda :) Road tripping in British Columbia was one of the highlights of my trip so far! And Vancouver Island is specially beautiful!

  • Canada s Boomergirl

    Macmillan Provincial Park in British Columbia is the cat’s meow. I just LOVED its Cathedral Grove. So humbling. I got thrills all over again just looking at your fab pix. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for your comment :) I agree with you, it’s very humbling to walk among these gigantic trees. I’m glad my friend captured some of its beauty in these photos, they are beautiful memories. Thanks for stopping by.

  • I’m born and raised on Vancouver Island (Port Alberni) you captured the beauty of my Island perfectly,
    awesome work, If you get a chance to go to Port Alberni, there are some beautiful shots there too.

    • Thanks you so much for your comment, Marisa! I’d love to visit Vancouver Island again and check out Port Alberni. In fact, I’d love to go back to BC, it’s one of my favourite places in the world :)

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