Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas-fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here, visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the towering ancient Douglas-fir trees. Some of these trees are over 800 years old and walking through this virgin coast forest can be an inspirational experience. Trails on either side of the highway lead visitors through the mighty stands of this coastal forest. On the south side you will find the largest Douglas- firs, one measuring more than nine meters in circumference. On the northern side of the road you will find groves of ancient Western Red Cedar. Families can learn about how the fallen trees are a part of how the forest survived for centuries, count rings of tree trunks and determine a trees age, learn about the park's delicate balance, forestry, and take in it's wondrous beauty.
History: In 1944, a large local forester company, H.R. MacMillan, donated 136 hectares of land on either side of the Port Alberni (Hwy #4). This land is home to some the largest and rarest giant Douglas fir trees in British Columbia. Their hope to see it stand as living legacy for the public came full circle when, in 1947, the area was officially established as provincial park.
Park Size: 136 hectares
Cathedral Grove in Macmillan Park is an old forest. Its large trees will continue to live for many more years but root system disease will cause some trees and branches to die. They will fall without warning. PLEASE STAY OFF THE TRAILS ON WINDY DAYS.
Parking notes: pull over directly on the side you are driving, to prevent collisions or crossing traffic in this narrow passage.
Facilities: Pit toilets on either side of the highway.
Signage and trail maps are well placed and provide plenty of details about MacMillan Provincial Park.