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TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010

Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island

Famous for its natural beauty, British Columbia encompasses snow-capped mountains, abundant wildlife, oceanside locales, glacier fed waterways and of course, endless forests. Athough heavily logged in the southern portion of the Province, there are a few places where people can experience magnificent old growth forests such as the Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. Encompassing dozens of trees some of which are over 800 years old, Cathedral Grove offers easy accessibility, trails and unparallelled proximity to some of the most amazing trees in the Province.

Cathedral Grove is frequented by visitors from across the grove
exploring its beautiful forests and gigantic trees.British Columbia is known for its beautiful views, endless forests, glacier fed waters and temperate rain forest environment and is also home to some of Canada's largest and oldest trees which can be seen at Cathedral Grove. The massive trees within Cathedral Grove can measure upwards to nine meters in circumference.

Located in MacMillan Provincial Park just west of the city of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island (map) along Highway #4, Cathedral Grove is one of the most accessible old growth forests in British Columbia with giant 800 year old Douglas Firs. Visitors can walk along the trails and enjoy these monstrous trees (both Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars) up close - the largest of which measures nine meters in circumference.

The area was a popular tourist destination in the This sign outside
the Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park explains the history of
the area and welcomes visitors into this beautiful forest.The trails through Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island
are
surrounded by 300 to 800 year old trees.1920s when the surrounding region was being logged and 136 acres of it was donated to the public for future enjoyment by the timber baron, H.R. MacMillan (for which the Provincial Park was named) in 1944. Today, the Park has been expanded to 301 hectares offering several kilometres of trails to explore, old trees to photograph and touch and wildlife viewing. No smoking is allowed at any time in the Park to protect this unique woodland from forest fires.

Open year round and including several trails (trail map) and alongside the Cameron River and Lake, Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park is the ideal destination to be awed by these living giants and to appreciate what the first settlers to the region saw as they explored the Island as they first arrived in the 1800s.






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