MacMillan Provincial Park is a 301 hectare Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. Cathedral Grove, located within MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas Fir trees on Vancouver Island; some more than 800 years old 9 metres in circumference. You can wander through a network of trails, starting on either side of Highway 4 in central Vancouver Island, through the shadow of towering ancient Douglas fir trees, majestic pillars that have remained untouched by the modern world. These trees were massive. It really helped us put into perspective how small we are and how powerful Mother Nature is. Mother Nature’s power and beauty is absolutely fascinating. To be able to stand beside one of these Ancient Giants of our forestlands is truly a surreal experience that takes your breath away; inspiring with both beauty and simplicity.
There was some damage to the park after a severe windstorm back in 1997, that toppled hundreds of massive trees and have since forever closed some of the trails. Today you will see many of these huge trees laying on the ground, still valuable to regenerating the beauty of the park. The fallen trees provide a canopy that can provide light, shelter and nutrients for the next generations of plants. It was fascinating to see signs of growth in action and to see the huge giants along the ground. Cathedral Grove is a stunningly beautiful place.
While we were wandering, a kid jumped into a pile of nature along the path and started absolutely screaming in pain. The girls started to run over to where he was wanting to help. We didn’t know what he had stepped into, so I (Debbie) had to quickly run in to grab them and get them away from the area as the boy’s parents tended to him. As I put the girls down, I felt a sharp pain in my leg, enough to make me scream “OWWWW!” The little boy must have disturbed some angry Hornets and luckily I was the one stung instead of having upset kids. When it stung me, I looked down and it was still on my leg after it stung through my shorts, so that must have helped me a bit, too. I have only been stung by a Wasp previously, and a Hornet hurts a lot more. The ‘bite’ sure stung for a long time afterwards!
Take a virtual wander through this magical forest of massive Douglas Fir trees:
Know before you go:
- Help out Mother Nature by staying on the clearly marked trails and walkable areas.
- In the current arrangement, the Park’s estimated one million annual visitors are served by a road-side pullout-style parking lot right along the Highway. It is a huge safety issue for tourists and passing motorists. Be careful when getting out of your car and slow down when you’re driving past the stretch of Highway used for parking!
Right around the corner from MacMillan Provincial Park, we had to stop to take some photos of this incredible lake view. Stunning scenery and nature all around!
Where have you been fascinated with Mother Nature on your travels?