The 24km trail offers spectacular views of the Alberni Inlet, Mount Arrowsmith and the City of Port Alberni.
The Alberni Inlet Trail is part of an ongoing trail project using the historic Canadian Northern Pacific Railway grade, and is a component of a trail-building initiative throughout the Alberni Valley. The Alberni Inlet Trail was only partially complete and required further construction and development to be a marketable attraction.
This project supported constructing a connecting trail from the City of Port Alberni south to the existing trail at China Creek, and extending the route past Franklin River to Headquarters Bay. The work finalized the trail route and built trail infrastructure, stream crossings, signage and visitor parking. The welcoming first five kilometres of the trail taking visitors to Boy Scout Beach – a popular family destination – is constructed to ‘park standards’ and the rest of the trail follows a backcountry standard.
The completion of this part of the Alberni Inlet Trail, in December 2011, is a step towards connecting Lake Cowichan to the Alberni Inlet, and is part of a major mid-island trail plan ultimately linking to the Trans Canada Trail system along the east coast of the island to the Galloping Goose in Victoria. Trail expansion in this region provides new recreation opportunities for explorers on the west coast of Vancouver Island and stimulates the local economy. The Alberni Valley is a three hour drive from Victoria and is within easy weekend distance of Vancouver, attracting many urban visitors seeking to enjoy the outdoors.