Discover Alberni Episode 8: Great Central Lake

Nestled at the heart of Vancouver Island lies one of British Columbia's best-kept secrets: Great Central Lake. It's a destination that embodies the essence of natural beauty, tranquility, and outdoor adventure. Often overlooked, Great Central Lake is, in fact, one of the province's most stunning and pristine warm-water lakes, showcasing the unparalleled beauty of Vancouver Island's landscapes.

Stretching 35 kilometers in length and covering an area of 49 square kilometers, Great Central Lake ranks as the third-largest lake on Vancouver Island. Its unique character is a result of the glacial carving during the last ice age, leaving behind a long and narrow body of water nestled beneath the embrace of low mountains and majestic second-growth forests that gently cradle its shoreline. This pristine landscape has allowed Great Central Lake to retain its wild and untouched allure.

The lake is not only a visual masterpiece but also a haven for wildlife. It boasts large trout by Vancouver Island standards and serves as the headwaters of the world-renowned Stamp River, famous for its steelhead and salmon fishing. Lucky visitors might even spot black bears, Sitka deer, raccoons, and the occasional glimpse of a cougar or Vancouver Island wolf.

Great Central Lake's warm waters make it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Swimming, water skiing, wakeboarding, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and wake surfing are just a few of the activities that beckon during the summer months. For land-based adventures, hiking, camping, and ATV exploration are perfect choices.

Two of the lake's standout attractions include Della Falls, boasting a height of 440 meters and ranking as Canada's highest waterfalls, and Dorothy Creek, where a glacier-fed creek has created a natural waterslide leading into the lake. These natural wonders are waiting to be explored.

The heart of activity at Great Central Lake revolves around the Great Central Lake RV Resort and Marina. This gem offers RV sites, a boat launch, moorage, and breathtaking views of the lake. In the evenings, visitors can savor authentic Jamaican jerk chicken and pork at Marley's Joint. Be sure to arrive early, as this popular spot often sells out within an hour or two. Mark and Danielle Marley, the owners of the resort and Marley's Joint, pay homage to none other than Bob Marley himself, and they share a family bloodline with the iconic musician.

Real Estate on Great Central Lake

Real estate opportunities on Great Central Lake are limited but unique. Those seeking to own a piece of this paradise can choose from three options: an RV at the new Trestle RV Resort (named after the historic train trestle crossing part of the lake), a float home along the lake's banks, or one of the rare private islands.

Great Central Lake is a true gem on Vancouver Island, a piece of paradise that might have you feeling guilty for letting the secret out. But like all treasures, Great Central Lake is meant to be experienced to truly appreciate its wonders. It's a place where natural beauty, adventure, and serenity converge, offering an authentic taste of Vancouver Island's finest.

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