Port Alberni Perimeter Trail & Log Train Trail
A trail system operated by the City of Port Alberni includes a number of attractive trails through and around the city. These provide a link between the Alberni Inlet Trail (south side of Port Alberni) and the Log Train Trail (north side of Port Alberni). At several points, a hiker can detour into the commercial part of town for re-supply, food and refreshments, or even treat themselves to a stay overnight in commercial accommodation.
From the Stage 1 trailhead parking area, cross over Ship Point Road onto Anderson Road for a short walk to pick up the Ship Creek Trail on the right. It proceeds up a fairly steep hill before making a sharp right turn and at the top of the hill and then a sharp left turn where you will notice other trails branching off to both the right and left – ‘Fir Baby’, ‘Indecision’ etc. Here, stay on the main trail which proceeds in a northerly direction. In 2.1 km you drop down onto the Maquinna trail, also know as the APL grade; turn right along this trail for another 600 meters where the trail splits. Keep left on the main trail (red on map, not ‘Wrong Way’). From this junction is the Argyle Street section which crosses over the east end of Argyle Street and continues for another 300 meters to where it makes a sharp left turn and becomes the Dry Creek Trail. In about 400 meters it makes a sharp right to head downhill to Owatchet Creek (despite alternate ‘Dry Creek’ name, this is usually a water source) bridge. From the bridge, head uphill to Burde Street and the start of the Log Train Trail with its trailhead sign, yellow gate and room to park a couple of vehicles. Information on this historic old rail-grade/trail can be found at: acrd.bc.ca/log-train-trail. Proceeding northwards, stay on the main trail which in 2km takes you down to the Roger Creek bridge (good water source) and another 1.2 km to intersect Redford Street. Crossing over Redford, continue north on Maebelle Road for a short distance to cross Johnston Road/Highway 4.
If you want to access food, lodging, supplies etc. in Port Alberni, you have several options. You can head west on Argyle Street to 10th Avenue. Here just south on 10th you will find a Quality Foods for groceries, drug store and coffee shop – 1.1 km from the trail. Or you can take Burde Street: here again head west to 10th, then north on 10th to Redford Street where a Save-On-Foods, Shoppers Drugs, and fast food are available – also 1.1 km from the trail. The third and the last chance for shopping is Highway #4 (Johnston Road): again, head west and downhill for 1.6 km to the town’s main shopping centre with Walmart, Canadian Tire, ‘No Frills’ food store, and several fast-food establishments, including a Boston Pizza. Both Redford Street and Highway #4 (Johnston) have several motels if you want to take a break with a comfortable bed in Port Alberni.
From Johnston Road/Highway 4, continue north on Maebelle for 700 m to a left turn onto Mozart Road. At the Maebelle-Mozart junction, go right/east onto a trail and follow it until you meet the Log Train Trail rail-grade. Turn left which heads you in a northwest direction along the main LTT. At 2 km you cross the Cold Creek bridge, where you can take a short side trip to Cold Creek Falls over massive conglomerate rock, quite spectacular after heavy rain or snow melt. In another 1.5 km the LTT is interrupted for a short distance (a 600 m gap) at the junction of Horne Lake and Tahlen Roads. Head along Tahlen to Desmond Road then to the end of Desmond where you pass through a yellow gate, back onto the Log Train Trail.
Another 3 km along the LTT you will see a sign indicating the McLean Mill National Historic Site with its extensive collection of old logging and sawmilling equipment, including an operational sawmill and log-pond, and with an old steam locomotive that still operates from time to time (mcleanmill.ca – the LTT continues N of the McLean Mill for an additional 17 km). The sign also points out the trail access to the Beaufort Range, which is on private forest lands managed by Mosaic Forest Management. The route heads northeast up a rough trail climbing steeply up to railway tracks. After crossing over the tracks, the route picks up an old logging spur road and at about 450 meters is a T-junction where you go sharp right a short stretch to the main logging road on which you head left/northwest towards Don’s Trail.
The LTT, a BC Ministry of Transportation lease managed by the ACRD, is largely through older second-growth forest, providing periodic views over some of the Alberni Valley farmlands. The route crosses five creeks – Cold, Platzer, Cherry and two that are unnamed, with a reliable water source at Cold Creek.