The province's warmest fresh water destination, Sproat Lake, with all its trails and provincial park camping sites, provide an undeniably popular spot in the summer months. Locals and visitors from around the globe come to our pacific west coast to experience the outdoors, sporting life and heritage that have put the Alberni Valley on the map.
But Sproat Lake isn't just for those seeking a great place to cool off, fish, and paddle when the weather's warm. The lake and surrounding valley offers year-round recreation and outdoor winter activities when the snow falls, and our rolling tree-canopied landscapes are dusted in white. Check in with the Alberni Valley Outdoor Club for updates on hiking or browse the options below and find some fun things to do when the weather's too cold for swimming - unless its polar bear swimming!
There are plenty of hiking trails in and around Sproat Lake and when the snow falls there's no better place to pull out the snowshoes. Try Fossili Park and Teodoro, or Mt. Arrowsmith. This last mountain is not overly technical but does require a certain expertise and fitness level to navigate some sections and is best left for the intermediate to advanced outdoors hiker. The views from the top are unparalleled, with a panorama of the coast mountains and those in Strathcona Park, with the ocean stretching out in the distance. Tools you'll want for this winter trek will include an ice axe and crampons as well as snowshoes.
Because winter hiking can bring you near avalanche territory it's imperative you check online reports at CAA, and travel with appropriate certificates and precautions. Backwoods skiing can also be found on Mt. Arrowsmith. For comprehensive information on trails, routes and difficulty ratings visit Trail Peak.
The Mt. Klitsa plateau is a popular spot for snowmobilers, as well as snowshoes and x-country skiers. After Mt. Arrowsmith this is the second highest peak in the valley, and is an impressive towering landscape for those traveling along Hwy 4 to Sproat Lake, and further north to Tofino and Ucluelet. Logging roads used for ATVs in and around the lake in the summer transform to great quiet wilderness trails in the winter for snowmobiling. Or join the Mid-Island Sno-Blazers, founded in 1970, and active today. Stay up to date on all the best outings, trails and safety tips for fun days out in the valley with other like-minded sledders.
Outdoor Skating, Hockey and Indoor Rinks
While we have an excellent indoor skating arena at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in Port Alberni, or the the Weyerhaeuser Arena, where our local Alberni Valley Bulldogs host their home games, outdoor winter activities extend to frozen pond and lake skating around the valley for a more traditional and old-school afternoon on skates. Skating on Devils Den Lake is a popular spot, and the lake is four kilometers west of Port Alberni. After a day on ice, return to Sproat Lake homes, cozy fireplaces and mugs of hot chocolate. For more information on ice-skating opportunities in and around Port Alberni, visit the city website.
Some of the best steelhead fishing can be had in the area in the winter time, especially from November to April on the Stamp River, when hundreds of steelhead move through to spawn. This is one of the best steelheading rivers in the province, and is unique for its Robertson Creek hatchery, which gives anglers the chance to retain up to two hatchery steelhead a day. The area can be accessed by motorboat or a power drifter; most of the best winter fishing spots are off-shore. There are plenty of guides and tours available that book up early, or find a local who knows there stuff and grab a lift while the fog is still lifting off the tranquil river waters and the trees creak under the canopy of soft white powder.
Indoor Events, Clubs & Workshops
If you're looking for indoor adventures this winter, there's plenty of organizations and events to get involved with in the Alberni Valley. From a winter market to zumba classes, card game clubs, quilting and lantern workshops to visiting bands and Canadian singer-songwriters stopping through at popular venues like Char's Landing in Port Alberni. Holiday benefits, events and dinners are also popular, and for a list of ongoing up-to-date events visit the city website's events calendar.
For more on outdoor winter activities around Sproat Lake homes, or home rentals, let us know! We'll help you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and family needs. Give us a call today at: 250.723.7653.
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