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Photo by: Don Lowther

Bamfield

Secluded on the edge of Barkley Sound and hidden within the vastness of the Pacific Rim National Park is the tiny sheltered coastal village of Bamfield. The community is quite literally ‘off the beaten path’ accessible only by long logging roads out of Port Alberni or Lake Cowichan or by the working MV Frances from Ucluelet or Lady Rose packet freighter also finding its berth in Port Alberni. The isolation of Bamfield forces one to unplug from the pace of modern life and to become immersed in the reverence of the unspoiled natural world held in highest regard by the villages some two hundred residents. Visiting Bamfield is not merely a getaway but a pilgrimage–welcome to a wild place where community still stands above almost all else, and where the island life can be found from an earlier time.

Fast Facts:


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Population: approx. 200

 

Seperating one side of Bamfield from the other is its ‘mainstreet’ otherwise known as Bamfield Inlet. There are no real roads here just gravel paths frequented by atvs or small tractors while kayaks, canoes and other small craft are the common commuting vehicles across the inlet. West Bamfield is the cultural hub of the area with the post office and general store at its heart. Depending on how good the fishing is, the Boardwalk Bistro may be open for a great espresso. You can continue along the planked pathways to enjoy Bamfields historic homes, gorgeous west-coast gardens and endlessly dynamic sea side vistas as far out as you can see.

Outdoor activities

Hiking

East Bamfield is the northern terminus of the famed West Coast Trail, an arduous yet beautiful 75 kilometre (47 mile) journey that was once built to service in the rescue of shipwrecked seafarers. Interested day hikers can meander along the trail or Brady’s Beach on Bamfield’s west side and the sandy spans of Pachena Bay on the east side. Located on Bamfield’s east side is also the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and the beautiful Rix Centre for Ocean Discoveries. Explore both for an array of educational experiences and for a closer look at the west coasts marine aqua culture. The Rix Centre is also the venue hosting the annual Music by the Sea summer concert series. Several small businesses, a grocery store and restaurant are also on the east side.

Sport Fishing

opportunities abound in the waters outside Bamfield’s inlet. Explore year round fishing opportunities by inquiring with local guides or chat with the anglers cleaning there fish at the dock for current conditions and catches.

Pachena Point Lighthouse

and eight-sided wood constructed tower thirty eight feet and nine inches tall standing proud along one hundred foot tall sea cliffs.

Camp Sites

are available from May to September at the Pachena Bay Campground managed by the local Huu-ay-aht First Nation.