This unique attraction near Port Alberni is a popular spot to visit for a good reason. Not only do you get to witness a historic landmark, but getting to the Hole in the Wall is also easy to do.
- Trail Features: Man made formation offering a unique water attraction
- Length: This out and back trail is 1.3 km (total)
- Difficulty: Easy to moderate (somewhat steep trail on the way back)
- Hazards: Trail can get really muddy; parking may be an issue; crossing a busy highway
- Suitability: hiking/walking only due to narrow and some what steep trail
- Bike Trails: There are a few offshoot trails in the area that may be suitable for biking.
- Best time of year to go: Spring thru to Fall (Winter can see extremely muddy trails, but still doable)
A Bit of History
Prior to the 1967 amalgamation of Port Alberni, this area served as a shortcut for the water supply to town. A hole was blasted through a massive wall of volcanic shale, and a large pipeline brought water from Rogers Creek to the town of Port Alberni.
Today the pipe is gone, and there isn’t much to indicate that this landmark served any purpose. However, as the creek water passes through the empty hole, it leaves us with a truly unique structure and a beautiful water feature to marvel at.
If the water levels are low, as they are during the summer months, walk across the creek to hole in the wall. You can not only view it from the other side but also sit in the hole for a neat perspective. The crystal clear pool offers a great cooling-off spot too.
Finding the Hole in the Wall
The walk to the Hole in the Wall takes only 10 – 15 minutes and is reasonably straightforward. Finding a good place to park, however, can be tricky. Often the only way to know you found the right spot is the congregation of cars along Hwy 4. It’s also almost directly across the highway from Coombs Country Candy.
If there isn’t enough room to park your car along Hwy 4 (heading towards Qualicum Beach), park in the parking area adjacent to the candy store and walk across. Please don’t park in the parking lot of Coombs Country Candy, as this is for patrons of the store only. This section of the road can be extremely busy, so please be extra careful when crossing the highway. There is no crosswalk available.
Once parked, follow the dirt path on the other side of the abutments leading into the trees. A few steps in, you should be able to spot a wooden sign hanging on a tree indicating you are on the correct path.
It’s a popular spot, so the path is very well defined. However, there are many offshoot trails along the way. As long as you watch for the wooden signs, you should be able to find your way quite easily. At the first clearing, the path splits in two. Even though the main track is straight ahead of you, head right going downhill. There should be a wooden sign hidden in the tree indicating the way. Going straight takes you to the back of the hole, and although neat to see, at the moment, it is blocked by log debris.
After a few more minutes, head left down a steeper hill at the next split. You should see yet another wooden sign indicating you are on the correct path. The short but steep descent down takes you to your final destination. This path most likely has water trickling down during the wet seasons (winter and spring).
The trail you walk on to get to the Hole in the Wall slightly declines the entire way, and then near the end is an abrupt decline. This means that you are walking uphill most of the way on your return trip. Please remember, though, at only 0.6 km, it’s a short trek.
More to See
Once you’ve taken in the Hole in the Wall, head down Rogers Creek a short way to the many inukshuks or cairns (man-made stacks of rocks). It’s become a bit of a trend to build one while there, so take the time to do so. Or just admire the pre-made ones. While there used to be hundreds of cairns, during the fall floods, the creek expanded and washed many of them away.
If geology excites you, make sure to scope out the shale walls surrounding you. The exposed rock shows off the earth’s many layers beautifully.
I’ll leave you with a short video of the area created by talented vlogger Dan King. Make sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel for more videos showcasing Vancouver Island.
Hole in the Wall Hidden Gem
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More Attractions in the Area
Port Alberni is a fantastic outdoor recreational area with many waterfalls to view. Here are a few of my favourite easy to access ones:
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