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The Ancient Harris Creek Sitka Spruce tree found just off the road between Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan

Harris Creek Spruce Tree

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Port Renfrew

Harris Creek Spruce Tree | No Hiking, just a great quick stop during your road trip

Activity:
10 Minute Stop
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Port Renfrew
Time:
10-20min
Distance:
.2km

Experience:

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Accessibility:

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South Island

Harris Creek Sitka Spruce Tree

The Harris Creek Sitka Spruce is an easy visit, being just off of a paved road. Perfect for those with limited mobility that would like to enjoy an incredible specimen of nature. This big spruce gets a lot of attention, so its caregivers have built a protective fence around the base of the tree to protect its root system. 

Harris Creek Sitka Spruce MapHalfway between Cowichan Lake and Port Renfrew, it makes for the perfect 10-minute stop to stretch your legs and breathe in some fresh air. A short walk from the parking lot it won’t be hard to spot this ancient spruce tree. It’s so large it’s hard to capture the sear size of the tree on camera.

The Harris Creek Spruce Tree was spared in 1893 during the first round of forestation in the area. The forest surrounding the Harris Creek Sitka is a second-growth forest, and no one knows exactly why this individual tree was spared. Surely this tree has many more years to come, as this portion of the forest was permanently restricted from logging in 2012.

Part of the over 250 km Pacific Marine Circle Route, this beauty is just one of the countless stops along the way on your travels around Vancouver Island. It is always a treat to stand alongside a tree of this size and stature.

 

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Waterfalls

During the dry summer months, Harris Creek doesn’t see much water as it runs just behind the giant tree. During the winter rainy season, the creek can turn into turbulent rapids and a raging river, and if you explore a bit, you might find some waterfalls past the Harris Creek Spruce. Please be careful walking around the banks of Harris Creek. There are sharp drops, slippery rocks and rugged terrain.

 

Tips and Suggestions

  • There is no cell service between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew
  • The path to the Harris Creek Sitka is short and wheelchair accessible
  • There are no amenities at this location
  • Check out the Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree for another quick stop along the Pacific Marine Road 
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