The Port Alberni Hole in the Wall is a lovely place to stop along the highway for a short and easy excursion, with a fascinating sight. As you make your way down the trail, you will enter deeper into the rainforest. The trail levels out, and mossy trees and ferns surround you, growing down the slopes. A huge hole remains, bored straight through the shale cliff to supply Port Alberni with fresh water. Now a magical tourist stop.
As you arrive in Port Alberni, continue on your travels to explore a little-known gem. A trailhead on the south side of the road leads to The Hole in the Wall.
A few parking spaces are available along Hwy 4’s southside, there is a tiny pull-out before the curve heading out of Port Alberni. If you can park here, this is the optimal choice since it’s right at the trailhead and you don’t have to cross the busy road.
On the north side of the highway, you will find Coombs Country Candy there is a larger private parking lot make sure you stop by for some sweets and exercise caution when crossing the highway.
Although it’s a popular stop for many the Hole in the Wall is an unofficial tourist spot with limited parking and signage.
Facilities: There are no facilities in the area as it’s a non-official tourism stop. There is a lack of trash cans, so please be diligent in packing out what you pack in.
Food: Coombs Candy across the street for homemade chocolates, candies and frozen treats.
The unmarked entrance is located on the south side of the highway.
The approach is relatively easy, but watch out for washed-out sections. It’s a short trek at just over 1 kilometre long. The path down is not well marked, but the route is obvious overall.
There is a slightly steeper portion, but nothing running shoes can’t handle on a dry day. But it can be muddy at times.
Looking across the river, you’ll find a large hole carved in the shale wall with a tiny waterfall flowing through it now, making it an idyllic retreat along Rogers Creek. In the summer, visitors swim/wade through the water to stand for photographs in the large structure.
Wonder around the area and explore. It’s a beautiful oasis with rain forest, ferns and river rock beds, continue down along the creek, and you can find an old dam downstream with a bonus waterfall.
From the 1910s through the 1940s, there have been numerous dam and pipeline improvements in Port Alberni as demand for water increased. After a dry summer in 1940, a wood stave pipe was laid, and you can still see the hoops that formerly bound the old water pipelines. History of Public Works in Port Alberni.
As the town and landowners struggle over what to do with the land, tourists continue to visit, lured by social media and travel sites that showcase its beauty and distinctiveness.
The Hole in the Wall is a fantastic and one-of-a-kind location. It will undoubtedly continue attracting more interest. The number of visitors to this unique location will surely increase in the future.
Vancouver Island offers a lifetime of experiences. Highway 4 is a popular route for visitors is Nanaimo to Tofino. Cathedral Grove is a great addition to our list we’ve compiled of some of our favourite stops heading to Tofino from Nanaimo.
Blueback Beach: A lesser-known beach that offers beautiful sand beaches. Be prepared for a long staircase to gain access but it’s worth it at low tide.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park: A popular park to visit. When the tide is out, the cove turns into a wonderful 1km of sand to walk along.
Englishman River Falls: Just a short easy walk from the parking lot is a dramatic waterfall worth visiting.
Little Qualicum Falls: Ony 15 minutes from Cathedral Grove, Little Qualicum Falls offers a great 2km hike along the canyon, reaching lower and upper Qualicum Falls.
Coombs: Probably already on your list as this is a popular stop known for having goats on the roof.
Cathedral Grove: One of the most popular and easiest stops on the route to Tofino.
Sproat Lake Provincial Park Petroglyphs: A short trail from the parking lot, you will find ancient petroglyphs barely visible carved into the stone cliff along Sproat Lake.
Taylor River Rest Area: Beautiful blue-green river with a rope swing. Washrooms, charging stations, and picnic tables make this a great stop.
Is the Hole in the Wall Natural or Man-Made?
A water pipeline ran through the hole until the 1960’s.
How long of a walk is it to get to the Hole in the Wall?
Less than one kilometre, It shouldn’t take more than 15-minute to walk down to the Hole
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We love Vancouver Island and want to keep the natural beauty. Please respect the places you visit and pack out what you pack in and leave the area better than when you arrived. We all know how much trash can spoil an experience and the environment, so please help us keep it clean!
Tide and Seasonal Safety:
Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey!
When visiting the beach, it’s essential to pay attention and stay safe! Please be cautious walking on the shore during high tide. At this time, some areas may not be accessible. Click here for the tides in your area. Be aware of ocean currents before swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking.
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .
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