Stage 2 Alberni Inlet Trail (9.8km)

Old growth forest and huge granite rock walls line this hike along the Alberni Inlet along the old CNPR grade.

Footpath only, not suitable for all hikers hiker

The Trail

Stage 2 of the Alberni Inlet Trail is a backcountry trail. It starts with a nice and easy grassy walk down to the Underwood Cove.  After Underwood Cove the trail eventually hits a “T” intersection; go right to Underwood Point or left through a cut block for about 0.5 km. Then the trail continues on the right with a single track leading down to a small creek and old bridge with the date 1913. The trail starts following the old CNPR grade with walls on either side (blasted by men and women during the building of the railroad which was never completed). Just after the end of the Grade you’ll come arcoss Nina’s Beach and Katimavik Creek Bridge.  Cross the bridge and after about 200m the trail goes back on the CNPR Grade with views of the Inlet on your right and big rock walls on your left. There is some falling rock from these walls , so caution is advised. A big rock fall came down in January 2017. Other than a few scrambles over rock fall, the trail has good footing. At around 5.5km the trail wraps around a steep knoll and has some chains for hand lines.  After the chained section,  the trail goes up through the forest to a logging road. Take a right hand turn on to the road and follow it to the Parking lot and the End of Stage 2- Start of Stage 3.


Katamavik Bridge.


Drainage works from early 1900’s helps the fresh water make it’s way to the sea.


Typical trail conditions on Stage 2.

Stage 2 of the Inlet Trail has quite a few water crossings with 4 bridges and a couple of small creeks that are not bridged.  There are also some small water falls coming down the cliffs.

The Inlet Trail System is extremely well built and marked with Tsunami evacuation points and gps coordinates on the maps. Stage 2 is mostly flat forest with rocks and roots and some creek crossings, granite scambles and one steep chained section wrapping around a knoll. All connecting roads are Private and subject to closures. Please contact Island Timberlands for openings and respect Private lands.

The closest place to resuply is in Port Alberni at the other end of Inlet Trail Stage 1. Stage 2 of the Inlet Trail has lots of natural water sources. Remember that all water gathered from a natural source must be boiled or treated before consumption. China Creek Campground also has clean water stations. This campground has a restaurant coming in the summer of 2017 and also offers pay showers for hikers. The trail down to the China Creek Campground is just behind the small building 100m in the trees behind the main trail sign in the parking lot. The campground is a long way down and back, up the same trail.

No Fires and Leave No Trace Policy applies to the entire area for camp spots. Much of this trail is on Private land and there is no camping allowed.  Please be respectful of private land owners rights.  Camping spots are:

(1)China Creek Campground (49º09’12” N 124º47’42” W)

(2) 134 Mile Creek which is marked with a wooden sign along the trail; it is the next main creek after Katamavik Creek travelling north to south (see #8 on the ACRD brochure pdf file noted below in the Web Links section)

Stage 2 of the inlet trail offers quite a few spots for lunch:

1)Underwood Cove  2) A Picnic table along the trail 2km 3) Underwood Point 4) the Old  1913 Bridge

5) Nina’s Beach ( swimming here).


Floral sunshine on trail!

Driving Directions to Trail Head

Turn left on to Port Alberni Hwy (signs to Bamfield),. Turn left on to 10th Ave N. Turn left onto Dunbar St. Dunbar turns into Anderson Ave. At the end of Anderson Ave, turn left on to Franklin River Road (turns into a gravel logging road watch for commercial vehicles). Follow signs for Bamfield. Take a slight right at the sign for China Creek Campground the parking lot is the next left. Follow the road all the way down to get to the campground.


There is a free dirt parking lot that can hold about 30 cars. Trailers can turn around if it’s not too busy. Alternately, there is some parking available at the China Creek Campground.


Parking area.

49º08’59” N  124º47’08” W  

Endpoint of the Trail

49º06’03” N  124º48’28” W

Turn left on to Port Alberni Hwy (signs to Bamfield), Turn left on to 10th Ave N., Turn left onto Dunbar st. Dunbar turns into Anderson Ave. At the end of Anderson Ave, Turn left on to Franklin River Road (turns into a gravel logging road watch for commercial vehicles),follow signs for Bamfield. Turn left to stay on Franklin River Road. 5.1km after China Creek Campground Sign turn right on to Bell Rd. (Follow Inlet Trail sign) parking is 3km down the road on your right. (Bell Road is an active commercial road and can be very tight please drive with caution and give commercial vehicles the right of way)

Other trail options in this area 

Port Alberni Inlet Trail Stages 1&3

Runners Trail

Log Train Trail

Other Web Links for info on the area


As Recorded by Andrew Porter and Chris Zygarlicki with additions by Judy Carlson on camping spots

May 2017

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