10 Best Things To Do in Campbell River This Summer

10 Best Things To Do in Campbell River This Summer

Apres Diving! Adventures for after your dive day is done

10 Exciting Activities to Do This Summer

1. More Diving

Campbell River is a diver’s destination, we have some of the best cold-water diving you can find. Due to the nutrient-rich currents that flow through the Discovery Passage, there’s tons of aquatic life to see! Some of the most popular diving spots include Argonaut Wharf, Copper Bluffs, HMCS Columbia, Steep Island, and Whiskey Point. Campbell River is also home to river diving, where divers can snorkel with the salmon during the salmon run.  For more information you can visit the Campbell River Tourism website, here.

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2. Biking

Mountain bikers will be happy to know that there are plenty of trails for every skillset in and around Campbell River. Snowden Demonstration Forest, located northwest of Campbell River, contains approximately 100 km of trails ranging from beginner to intermediate. Whether you’re looking for a quick ride or a day-long adventure, this is a must-go for mountain bikers. Snowden can also be accessed through a system of trails called the Pumphouse. These trails are contained within Elk Falls Provincial Park and are suitable for beginner bikers but have some more challenging sections for intermediate riders. Closer to town is Beaver Lodge Forest Lands, which hosts a 20 km long network of single-track trails. Be mindful of joggers or dog-walkers, as these are popular public trails. For more information, visit the Destination Campbell River website.

Cumberland, B.C. also offers world-class mountain bike trails. Cumberland’s mountain biking club, United Riders of Cumberland, maintains an impressive network of trails in town. If you’re looking for a cheeky excuse to skip town for the weekend, consider mountain biking in beautiful Cumberland!

3. Beachcombing

Campbell River has many excellent choices for beachcombing. Some of the most popular beaches are Saratoga Beach, Miracle Beach and Stories Beach. Across the street from the Diver’s Guesthouse is Frank James Park, a beautiful rocky beach with a picturesque view of Quadra Island. Enjoy the sandy shores and take in the views of the Discovery Passage and Coastal Mountains. Keep an eye out for whales, seals, sea lions and sea otters as you might catch a glimpse of these marine animals from shore! Campbell River allows year-round beach fires, so after a day of adventuring you can relax by a campfire. Be sure to keep up to date on local fire bans

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4. Hiking

Campbell River sits at the back door of the Strathcona Provincial Park, B.C.’s oldest provincial park, covering 500 000 acres of wilderness. Located 48 km west of Campbell River, Strathcona Provincial Park offers a wide array of day-hikes and multi-day hiking trails. Some popular Strathcona hikes to note are Flower Ridge, Bedwell Lake and Myra Falls. If chasing waterfalls is your thing, Highway 28 (between Campbell River and Gold River) boasts 70 waterfalls you can explore!

If you’re looking for an easy day-hike close to town, Canyon View Trail in Elk Falls Provincial Park is a local favourite. Walk along the Campbell River, cross the suspension bridge and marvel at the massive Douglas Fir and Cedar Trees. Another local favourite hike is Ripple Rock Trail, an excellent trail through 2nd growth forest where you’ll end up overlooking Seymour Narrows. 

Campbell River hiking attracts all types of hikers, whether you prefer an easy stroll through Elk Falls Provincial Park or want to do a multi-day trek through the Stratchcona Provincial Park, there’s something for everyone! 

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5. Swimming

There are tons of beautiful lakes and rivers around Campbell River. McIvor Lake is a great place to go for a swim on a hot, summer day. Another local favourite swimming spot is the Oyster River Potholes. The oyster river is a fast-flowing river that has eroded the rocks underneath and around the riverside, creating pot-holes! This is a must-see natural wonder that visitors should check out. If you prefer swimming in salt-water, Saratoga beach and Miracle beach are great swimming destinations. Both have long, sandy shores perfect for sun-bathing. 

6. Golf

If you’re a golfer, you are in luck! Campbell River has two different golf courses to choose from, Stories Creek and Campbell River Golf and Country Club. Stories Creek is an award-winning golf course situated in old growth and second growth forest. This course was voted the #1 Public Course in the Province by the 2014 PGA of BC. Another fantastic golf course is the Campbell River Golf and Country Club. CR Golf and Country Club has a beautiful 18 hole, PAR 70, resort-style course as well as a driving range. Velocity, a virtual driving range with eight bays of lounge seating and digital TopRacer technology, is a popular go-to for all levels of golfers. For more information, visit the Storey Creek Course website and the Campbell River Golf and Country Club website.

7. Surfing

Vancouver Island is home to Tofino, the best surf destination in Canada. Check out Long Beach, Chesterman Beach, or Cox Bay for the best cold-water surfing. If you’re new to surfing, there are plenty of shops that offer surf lessons. It’s worth it to have a knowledgeable instructor help you navigate the waves as well as look out for dangerous rip currents. After you’re done surfing, admire the gorgeous beaches, Pacific Rim National Park, and the many different eateries that Tofino (and neighbouring town Ucluelet) have to offer! I know, this isn’t a Campbell River activity, but it’s a popular destination for a reason!

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8. Fishing

Campbell River is known as “The Salmon Capital of the World”, so it’s no surprise that Campbell River fishing is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike. If you’re planning on salt-water fishing, you’ll be pleased to know that sport-fishing is available throughout the entire calendar-year. Our waters contain 5 different species of salmon, as well as steelhead, rock fish, lingcod, and more! If you prefer shellfish, you can go crabbing and prawning. Anglers who prefer river fishing may be inclined to head to the Campbell River or Quinsam River, two of the most popular fishing spots in town. These rivers have 4 salmon runs (Chinook, Chum, Coho and Pink) that happen from late summer to the fall. Fly fishing is allowed on all parts of the Campbell River. Please visit the DFO to get more information on freshwater and tidal waters licenses.

9. Museums

Campbell River is home to two  museums that give a historical interpretation of Campbell River and the surrounding area. If you’re travelling to Quadra Island, check out the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre- home of the Sacred Potlach Collection!

The Campbell River Museum contains First Nations exhibits that represent 30 different nations, spanning 3 different languages and cultural groups! The museum sits on the territories of the Laichwiltach First Nation. This museum also contains exhibits on logging, fishing, and the settlement of Campbell River.

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Another exciting museum in Campbell River is the Maritime Heritage Centre. See the Motor Vessel BCP 45, a wooden seiner vessel used for commercial fishing in the 20th century. The Maritime Heritage Centre also has a terrific display on SCUBA diving. This is a great chance to brush up on your SCUBA diving history.

The Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre in Cape Mudge Village is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the Kwa’Kwa’Ka’ Wa’Kw’s rich culture and history. Check out the Sacred Potlach Collection, which has been repatriated from the Canadian Federal Government and private collectors. For more information, please visit the Nuyumbalees website.

10. Caving

Vancouver Island has tons of caves to explore! If you are looking for an adventure off the beaten path, this is your sign to go caving. Horne Lake Caves in Qualicum Beach is a great place to start. The caves and paths are well marked and easy to access. Horne Lake provides guided tours for all skillsets. Closer to Campbell River area are Upana Caves and Little Hudson Caves. These are more rugged in comparison to Horne Lake Caves but still well marked and maintained. Both are harder to access as they are located off of dirt roads. If driving on resource roads, travel at your own risk and drive with caution at all times. Enjoy caving and don’t forget a headlamp and a helmet!

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