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Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree Vancouver Island 10 minutes from Port Renfrew BC

Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree

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Port Renfrew

Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree A Quick Stop Along the Pacific Marine Loop

Activity:
10 Minute Stop
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Port Renfrew
Time:
15min
Distance:
.1

Experience:

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Accessibility:

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South Island

A Rare Natural Bonsai Tree - 8km From Port Renfrew

If you’re looking for something a little strange, maybe a little magical, to see this weekend, visit the famous little douglas fir that stands atop a floating stump in the middle of Fairy Lake.

Yes a tree – a bonsai tree that has managed to root itself into a single log peaking out of the water, demanding attention from all of its visitors.

A popular photography location and easy to get to, visit this determined fir by pulling over along the Pacific Marine Road about 8km from Port Renfrew. On your way towards Lake Cowichan, you’ll find the pristine Fairy Lake, and on it, everyone’s favourite neighbourhood bonsai.

No official parking lot, just a well-used gravel shoulder, evidence of the attraction this evergreen has for passersby. Best photos are taken from the road but to get another vantage point, head down a short path through grass and shrubs to the water’s edge. Watch your step, during the rainy season mud abounds!

Map of hike campground and parking at fairy creek lake on Vancouver Island where to park to view the Fairy Creek Bonsai Tree

The climate of Vancouver Island proves itself to be a winner for helping this tree survive. The stump size and location naturally limit its growth, giving this little guy the distinction of being a rare, naturally occurring bonsai. The sunken log provides nutrients and the tree is along for the ride.

Estimated to be approximately 40 to 50 years old, it is still standing after countless rain storms and wind gusts over the years.

Tips and Suggestions

  • There is no official parking. This is an easy stop, the Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree can be seen from the road, making it accessible to everyone. Be cautious as you are pulling over alongside a popular highway.
  • Be ready to pull over, as there is no signage warning of the stop
  • There are no amenities at this stop. Pit toilets are located at the campground.
  • Along the highway from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan, there is little to no cell service.
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Fairy Lake Campground

If you are looking to stay and explore the local trails or do some fishing, swimming and paddle boarding – there is a simple, but nice campground located on fairy lake with 36 well-spaced sites. This popular campground offers some sites that are large enough to be RV-friendly. First come first serve. There is also a convenient beach area for launching kayaks, paddle boards and fishing boats. A great way to see the Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree up close and from unique angles.

Trails
There is a 3.5 km trail from the Fairy Lake campground through low floodplain area. The trail is marked but overgrown and often flooded. Great for a hike while camping.

If you want a unique hiking experience, we recommend heading to Port Renfrew and making the loop to Botanical Beach or one of the great beaches along the Juan de Fuca Trail.

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