The beautiful Sproat
Lake Provincial Park on the northeast shore of Sproat Lake in the
Alberni Valley has a number of popular attractions, including a wonderful
beach and crystal-clear water.
Lake Provincial Park, Vancouver Island
Sproat Lake is noted for its warm water and is favoured for fishing,
swimming, water skiing and windsurfing when the wind is up. In the
summer, this popular family camping destination can be crowded with
boaters and anglers.
As much as visitors are drawn west by the magnetism of Long Beach
on the west coast, Sproat Lake Provincial Park has a fine beach
of its own, and much warmer water than the ocean. The park sits
beside a sheltered bay overlooking an expansive body of freshwater,
with Mount Anderson rising to the south. Many of those who camp
here come to take advantage of the triple boat launch and large
public marina. In fact, there are twice as many boat slips as campsites.
the park there are numerous hiking trails, with one leading to the
prehistoric petroglyph, K'ak'awin, on the eastern end of the park.
Little is known about the age of the petroglyph, who carved it, or
why, but you can easily imagine this rock carving depicting mystical
marine creatures, perhaps ancient monsters of Sproat Lake. The petroglyphs
are easily accessible, and can be viewed from a viewing platform positioned
over the water in front of the petroglyph wall.
at Sproat Lake Provincial Park
During the forest
fire season, the gigantic Martin Mars water bombers use the lake for
their runway as they thunder off to extinguish forest fires. The largest
water bombers in the world, these aircraft can scoop up to 27 tons
of water off the lake surface. One or more of the enormous red and
white water bombers are moored on Sproat Lake at the Coulson Flying
Tankers visitor centre on Cherry Creek Road.
are 59 camping spots in two separate campgrounds in the park. Reservations
are accepted. The campground is wheelchair accessible and has showers,
pit and flush toilets, a sani-station and a boat launch. The Lower
campground is open year around with fees collected April 11 to October
15. The Upper campground is open April 15 to October 15, the campground
gate is closed during the off-season. A large public marina is located
on site, and full amenities are available at Port Alberni.
Wall at Sproat Lake Provincial Park
off the platform at the Petroglyph Wall
Alberni offers freshwater fishing that would be the envy of any
fishing town anywhere in the world. The Somas River runs through
the heart of town, and bank casting is possible from a number of
locations beside Highway 4, and along Hector Road off Hwy 4 west
of Port Alberni. Just north of Port Alberni, the productive Stamp
River would probably make every chinook and steelhead angler's Top
in January and lasting through March, a winter run of steelhead
occurs in the Stamp River, while April and May are good months for
steelhead fishing in Sproat Lake. Sproat
Lake also has a solid reputation for rainbow-trout angling, particularly
June through September. Use the boat launch at Sproat Lake Provincial
Park to head out for some trolling or casting.
site alongside the Sproat Lake Park Boat Launch
In late summer,
upwards of a half-million salmon make their way to the spawning
grounds near the Stamp River Hatchery. Bank casting is permitted
downstream from the hatchery. Follow Beaver Creek Road about 7.5
miles (12 km) north from Hwy 4 to Stamp River Provincial Park. Watch
for pullouts beside the river along the way.
Sproat Lake Provincial Park is situated on the north shore of Sproat
Lake, 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Port Alberni. Access to the park
is directly off Pacific Rim Highway 4, or off Great Central Lake