We Saw a BLACK BEAR on Mount Washington + Visiting STRATHCONA Park | Vancouver Island Road Trip

We continue day 2 of our Vancouver Island road trip with a fun hike through Strathcona Provincial, which is the largest provincial park on the island, and also the oldest in British Columbia having been established in 1911! That morning we met up with family friends who took us hiking on the Helen Mackenzie Trail, which goes through meadows, across creeks and streams, and into the forest. It was an easy walk, and we had beautiful weather for it – we even had a picnic by the lake! Then in the afternoon, we rode the ski lift to the top of Mount Washington, which offers beautiful 360-degree views of the area. It was mountains as far as the eye could see, but the real highlight was spotting our first black bear of the trip!

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We Saw a BLACK BEAR on Mount Washington + Visiting STRATHCONA Park | Vancouver Island Road Trip

Come join us for an epic road trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada where partner with Trover to cover the island from the south all the way up to the north. Unlike most Vancouver Island road trips and travel series which focus on the triangle of Vancouver, Nanaimo and Tofino, we branch off and visit lesser-known places such as Gold River, Port Alice and Malcolm Island just to name a few.

Our trip to Vancouver Island starts off with a flight from Toronto to Vancouver, followed by the shortest flight of our lives from Vancouver to Victoria. From Victoria, we head to our base of Mount Washington in the central part of the island, where highlights include spotting black bears, hiking in Mount Washington and visiting vineyards in Comox.

Our journey then continues to Gold River, Sam’s hometown, where we board the Uchuck III en route to Friendly Cove. We also go to nearby Campbell River where we walk along a beautiful fishing dock, tour a hatchery and come across a black bear, and hike in Elk Falls which was our favourite hike on this entire journey.

Heading to northern Vancouver Island, we base ourselves in Port Alice and visit the nearby towns of Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Telegraph Cove. For separate day trips, we take the ferry to Malcolm Island where we visit the former Finnish Community of Sointula and take another ferry to Alert Bay where we have the opportunity to appreciate First Nations totem poles, artwork and museums.

Our Vancouver Island road trip concludes with visits to Parksville, Nanaimo and Victoria. Overall, it was one of the best road trips we’ve ever done focusing mostly on nature, outdoor adventure, wildlife spotting and visiting off-the-beaten-path villages and communities that have a lot to offer but aren’t that well known.

If you are thinking of doing a Canada road trip, Vancouver Island should be at the top of your list. For more information and tips on all the places we visited on Vancouver Island, you can check out this Trover list: https://www.trover.com/l/6aKkU

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