Discover Alberni Episode 19 - Log Train Trail
The Log Train Trail is one of the longest, most enjoyable trails in the Alberni Valley. It started almost a hundred years ago with the Bainbridge Mill rail-logging operation which later closed in 1927. The railroad track was about 7km at the time and later extended when H.R. MacMillan purchased the Alberni Pacific Lumber Company in the 1930s. The track was well used until about 1953 when logging trucks became the preferred method for transporting lumber. In the 1990s, the Alberni Valley Equine Society pushed to develop the abandoned tracks into a multi-functional trail for horseback riding, walking, and cycling.
Today, around 25km of the track is used for this very purpose, though mountain biking seems to be the most popular use. The old railway was dismantled leaving a comfortably wide walking path through a forest filled with Douglas Fir and Western Red Hemlock trees.
It extends out into the countryside passing by farms and attractions like the McLean Mill, a historic sawmill in the Alberni Valley, and the Cold Creek Waterfalls. The trail is moderately flat with a mixture of gravel and dirt. One of the best places to park your vehicle is at the access point on Mozart Road where it intersects with Maebelle Road. If you don’t mind driving out of town a bit, parking is also available at McLean Mill, but they do lock the gates after a certain time so make sure your vehicle doesn’t accidentally spend the night!
The trail extends along the base of the Beaufort Range and enters into town on the north-eastern side of Port Alberni. There are many access points along the trail, making it easy to jump on and jump off when you’ve had enough. Several other trails connect to the Log Train Trail, like the Beaver Pond Trail and the Horne Lake Trail.
On one end, you can access the trail from Mozart Road just off the Alberni Highway. The trail extends northward through Beaver Creek, past Stamp Falls Provincial Park and ends around Woolsey Road (off Somers Road). Other access points can be found by Coombs Country Candy and the McLean Mill National Historic Site.
The trail passes through privately owned farms and forested lands, making it unsuitable for camping or picnics. However, it is a refreshingly long path through the earthy west coast woods with views of the countryside and quiet, peaceful living. This is one of the most well known and loved hiking trails in the valley, so pack your backpack with some snacks and spend an afternoon exploring the Log Train Trail!