Located roughly 23 km from Port Alice along the shores of Victoria Lake and in the territory of the Quatsino First Nation, is Spruce Bay and the little-known Spruce Bay Old Growth Trail and Recreation Site.
This easy trail passes through glade after glade of monumental old-growth Sitka spruce trees comparable to the legendary Heaven Grove in the Carmanah Valley. Hikers are treated to awe-inspiring views along the 3.1 km loop, though the lakeside portion is the most impressive. After traversing this stunning old-growth forest, the trail winds through a second-growth stand that was logged in the 1960’s. Gargantuan spruce stumps abound, memorializing a forest whose trees likely exceeded the largest Sitka spruce trees growing today.
In recent years, the nearby town of Port Alice has begun promoting itself as an ecotourism destination. Billed as the “sea otter capital of Canada”, Port Alice has been attracting sea kayakers eager to explore its rich marine ecosystems.
This magnificent old-growth forest could be another major tourist draw – comparable to Avatar Grove in Port Renfrew or Cathedral Grove in Port Alberni – to help this community build a reputation as a big tree tourism destination. If you visit, be sure to support the local businesses and share some photos with friends and family!