Last Updated on September 4, 2022
Hole In The Wall – Port Alberni
Unbeknownst to many, this hiking trail on Vancouver Island provides a stunning view of what was once a waterline to Port Alberni. While the hole in the wall area itself may be small, it’s definitely worth checking out when you’re in the area — and a fabulous spot for a swim to beat the heat!
If you’re looking for things to do in Port Alberni, this is definitely one of the top spots!
Where Is Port Alberni?
Port Alberni is a city located on Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia, Canada. The city has a population of about 18,000 people and is the largest community on Vancouver Island’s West Coast. Port Alberni is located approximately halfway between Nanaimo and Tofino, at the head of Alberni Inlet.
The city was originally named Alberni, after Captain Don Pedro de Alberní, a Spanish officer, who commanded Fort San Miguel at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island’s west coast from 1790 to 1792. The town was later renamed Port Alberni when it became a seaport town in the early 20th century.
How Was The Hole In The Wall Formed In Port Alberni?
Many believe that the Hole In The Wall is a natural phenomenon, but it was actually man-made.
Unbeknownst to many, this hiking trail on Vancouver Island provides a stunning view of what was once a waterline to Port Alberni. The decommissioning of the waterline many years ago left behind a popular oasis for hikers, where the creek flows through a hole in the forest down to a crystal clear pool.
The creek that flows through the hole is perfect for a refreshing swim or just cooling your feet off. You’ll find many Inukshuk sculptures around, adding even more personality to an already amazing place.
The walk to get here is relatively short and easy, and the Hole in the Wall is definitely worth making a stop for. It’s one of the many amazing things to do while driving to Tofino on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
The longer we spend here, the more of Vancouver Island’s hidden secrets we uncover. We just cannot get enough of Vancouver Island!
Hole In The Wall Parking
After you pass through Cathedral Grove, you will only be about 15 minutes away from the Hole in the Wall in Port Alberni.
To find the entrance to this trail, look for a small gravel clearing that will fit 3-4 cars just off the Alberni Highway, almost directly across from Coombs Country Candy. The trail is unmarked, so it is very easy to miss. Alternatively, you can park in a small parking lot beside Coombs Country Candy (NOT their customer parking), and you can very carefully cross the highway.
We strongly advise against parking on the highway as it is dangerous. There are two blind bends on the highway (both sides) so use extra caution when crossing.
How To Find The Hole In The Wall
Once you have made it to the small gravel clearing that is almost directly across the road from Coombs Country Candy, you will want to walk along the gravel road to the trail.
You cannot block this road. The land is privately owned by Mosaic Forest Management and access to any hiking trails here is through these private lands.
There are a couple of different ways to access the Hole in the wall. One starts walking into the forest, near where you’ll notice a couple of wooden pallets starting a trail into the trees where the few cars are parked. Once inside the forest, you will find a handwritten map showing you the way and you can follow the “Hole in the Wall” signage from there. This way basically takes you on an extra loop in the forest.
Otherwise, you can also just walk through the gate and down the gravel road and follow the signage. There was a gentleman there locking the gate while we were trying to figure out where to go during our first visit. He advised us that the easier way is to just follow the gravel road straight down until you notice a sign pointing you to turn right. After you turn right, you’ll follow the trail for a few minutes and you’ll fork right and see another signpost pointing you into the forest. You’ll come out of the forest to a gravel road without any further signage (make note of where you came out of the forest if you wish to return the same way). Turn left and follow the road until the signage returns, winding you down to the Hole In The Wall.
Privately Owned Land
Once again, whatever way you go, starting in the forest or through the gate, the land is privately owned by Mosaic Forest Management and access to any hiking trails here is through these private lands. Treat the land with respect and pack out anything you take on your hike with you.
Keep Your All Trails App Open
Since the signage is not the greatest, we recommend keeping your AllTrails app open and following the Hole In The Wall trail in the app to make sure you’re going in the right direction.
We did not notice until looking into the area closer after our visit, but there are also a handful of other trails in the Alberni Rogers Creek Woodlands area, including Stokes Creek Falls and the Roger’s Creek Nature Trail and Bear Den Trail Loop.
Will The Hole In The Wall Be Developed?
While there has been discussion about the importance of developing the site for safety reasons, there have not been any concrete plans put in place yet. I would suggest taking the effort to find this gem before plans are approved to develop it and it is completely overrun. It is worth the effort to figure out how to get there!
Leave No Trace
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, look no further than the Hole-In-The-Wall in Port Alberni. There aren’t any facilities, so you’ll have to pack out anything that you bring with you.
We do not gatekeep locations. Instead, we ask you to use your common sense and have the utmost respect for nature. Pack out what you pack in, and leave no trace. Always try to leave the area better than you found it, even if it means packing out someone else’s garbage.
Nanaimo To Tofino Drive
The Hole In The Wall is only one of the many incredible stops to make during your Nanaimo to Tofino drive. Take a look at our list for all of our favorite spots so you do not miss the best highlights!
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, Hole In The Wall is a great option for an afternoon hike. So pack your sunscreen and water bottle, and get ready to explore a gorgeous area of British Columbia.
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