It would seem that Port Alberni has quite a few hidden gems. Gems that are most definitely off-the-beaten-path, and not very well known. We recently discovered a hidden Provincial Park in Port Alberni that is so beautiful it needs to be shared!
Quick Park Facts
- Features: Off the beaten path; suspension bridge; undeveloped; breathtaking scenery; access to Sproat Lake
- Park Size: 52 hectares / 130 acres
- Trail length: Approximately 3.4 km
- Suitability: Good for all skill levels; Trail is easy to follow
- Hazards: Ground can be muddy and slippery; As this is considered ‘backcountry,’ you are in prime bear and cougar territory.
- Bike Trails: No
- Camping: None
- Washrooms: One pit toilet is available near the end of the trail
- Pets: As this is a Provincial Park, dogs are not allowed on the beach and must remain on a leash at all times when on the trails
Fossli Provincial Park
This beautiful hidden Provincial Park is located on Sproat Lake’s Stirling Arm. You can get to it by boat when cruising Sproat Lake or via logging roads just west of Port Alberni.
No matter how you get there, this undeveloped park is worth the trek!
The trail leads you to Sproat Lake, which is a wonderful lake to swim in, as well as kayak or canoe. However, Sproat Lake provincial park would be a better location to launch a kayak or canoe.
A Bit of History
The 130-acres of land was donated to the province for parkland in 1974 by Helen and Armour Ford. Helen Ford had inherited the property from her father, who in turn had purchased it from an early settler, Mr. Faber.
Mr. Faber had named the area Fossli after a village in Eidfjord, Norway. Fossli also means “waterfall in the valley”. And there are several within the park boundaries.
Tips & Highlights of Fossli Park
- The first highlight you come to is a suspension bridge that crosses St. Andrew’s Creek.
- From there, you follow the creek and enter a thick second-growth forest made up of mostly deciduous trees (the park must be breathtaking in the fall!).
- Make sure to take any offshoot trails you see leading down to the creek for incredible natural beauty
- The main trail ends at a small (unkept) grassy area where the homestead once sat. The area has two picnic tables for use as well as an outhouse.
- Follow the trail down to the lake to find a small pebbled beach and enjoy the views of Sproat Lake
- For an even longer walk, follow the trail that leads away from the homestead to a point of land near a beaver pond. (This area would be a great place for birdwatchers).
- Campfires are not allowed anywhere in this park, and that includes on the beach as well.
And for the love of all things holy…if you do go, bring back anything and everything you brought in with you!! Let’s keep this park in the same pristine condition you found it in!
Access to this hidden Provincial Park includes travel along active logging roads. Please remember logging trucks always have the right of way.
- Travel through Port Alberni as if heading to Tofino.
- Turn left on the first McCoy Lake Road access.
- Travel approximately 6.5 km and then turn left on Stirling Arm Drive.
- After approximately 3 km, turn left onto Ash Main
- Turn right at Stirling Arm Mainline
- Travel for approximately 4 km and watch for a small brown sign that says Fossli Provincial Park (it’s easy to miss).
- There are a few areas just past the sign where a vehicle can park. However, your best bet is the large pullout just before the bridge on Stirling Arm Mainline (only a short walk to the park sign and entrance).
- Once parked, follow the main trail. As mentioned above, you should shortly come to a suspension bridge.
- If you follow the trail from the start right to the lake (without stopping or taking any of the off-shoot trails) the walk would be approximately 30 minutes or so (one way). However, I highly recommend taking those off-shoots!
For another Port Alberni gem, check out this nearby stunning hidden waterfall.
Stamp River Park is another beautiful area of Port Alberni one should not miss out on.
Have you been to Fossli Provincial Park? Let us know in the comments below.
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Thank you this park was amazing you are exactly right on this one. I even came across an albino slug which I have never seen in my life.
It was a fantastic experience thanks for sharing I’m looking forward to your next pic.
I wish I could send you a picture of the slug I put it on Vancouver Island picture perfect
That is so great, Nicole!! Thank you so much for letting me know about your experience. I am on that group as well, so will look for your picture.