Located in MacMillan Provincial Park, Cathedral Grove is one of the most easily accessible stands of old growth forest on Vancouver Island. The park is home to a famous, 157-hectare stand of ancient Douglas fir, known as Cathedral Grove
Our friends from Parksville told us it was a “must” to visit and experience the tall trees at Cathedral Grove, and they were absolutely right. What a wonderful visit. Cathedral Grove is located on Highway No.4 in Vancouver Island, very near to the town of Port Alberni. It was about 25 mins drive from Parksville and would take less than an hour from Nanaimo. It straddles both sides of the highway with limited parking space outside the Park area. It is also known as MacMillan Provincial Park.
The wonders of this park are the giant Douglas Fir trees which inhabit this forest like silent sentinels from the past. The leader among them is an 800-year-old tree, 76 meters tall and 9 meters in circumference. It was over 300 years old when Christopher Columbus first came to North America. Other species of trees in this forest include the Western Hemlock, the Western Red Cedar, and the Big leaf Maples.
The walk around the park can take between half an hour to over two hours, depending on how much time and interest you have. It was raining on the day that we went, we were not in a hurry so we spent time really enjoying and breathing in this natural magical forest with its well maintained trails and lots of information signs which helped to make the experience even richer.
It was an easy walk on a wide path. The trees were so impressive. We loved the way the light came through the branches and were astounded at how tall, how straight and how large these trees are. The mosses on the branches were so picturesque.
Walking through Cathedral Grove was a Magical experience.