Nitinat River Provincial Park is located approximately 50 km (30
miles) west of Lake
Cowichan and 75 km (47 miles) south-east of Port
Alberni near the small First Nation community of Nitinat,
now known by its traditional name, Ditidaht.
There are a couple of different ways that you can get to Nitinat
River Provincial Park by vehicle. One is to drive in by Lake Cowichan,
either by the South Shore Road through Honeymoon Bay or the North
Shore through Youbou to the end of Cowichan Lake. The other way
is from Port Alberni, 70 km (43.5 miles) away: take the road to
and just before the turn off at the old Franklin Camp, turn onto
Franklin South Road towards Ditidaht.
Nitinat River Provincial Park is divided into 2 parcels of land,
approximately 9 km (6 miles) away. One section, situated on the
Nitinat Road on the way to Cowichan Lake, is very remote. Hiking
and viewing the area are discouraged due to environmental reasons.
The other parcel called Bridge Pool is more accessible and has been
set aside for recreational use.
Just remember Nitinat River Provincial Park is very remote, has
very little notification or signage, and has no facilities. To view
the park, the best spot is on the Nitinat Main Road coming from
Port Alberni near a logging bridge that crosses the river about
7 km (4.5 miles) north-east of Ditidaht. The pools and access to
the riverbank and park are found here with a local swimming
hole close by.
The outdoor recreation found at Nitinat River Provincial Park includes
angling, with the appropriate fishing license, wilderness camping,
hiking, plus plant and wildlife viewing. During the summer, opportunities
for swimming, tubing, and canoeing are present. Be cautious around
the riverbank because in the BC Park system there are no lifeguards
present and swimming is at your own risk.
Just remember if you are enjoying the provincial parks and the countryside
around British Columbia, please remember this is bear country. Try
to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning times unless you
feel comfortable with bears around and take the usual precautions.
There is also the possibilities of encounters with wolves or cougars
so please play it safe.
When you travel here please respect the fact that these are logging
roads. Logging is very active both on the Cowichan Main Road and
the Alberni-Franklin Mains, the routes that you need to take in
order to get to Nitinat.
Always be cautious, have your lights on and make sure you pull over
and give all the room you can to these trucks and equipment. There
is no need to hurry; please carry a good spare tire, keep your eyes
on the road and be prepared for dust