Living on Sproat Lake offers an abundance of activities year round, but summer is the best time to experience this beautiful destination. Spend time lounging on the beach or on the water, hiking local mountains or walking along the shore, Sproat Lake provides a place for everyone to enjoy themselves.
Sproat Lake is 25km in length, offering plenty of space for all of your water activities. With multiple public boat launch sites, you are welcome to bring your own boat to go fishing, tubing, water skiing, or just enjoy a day out on the water. You can also rent houseboats, motor boats, kayaks, and paddleboards, from local companies, like the Fish and Duck. The most commonly used boat launch is at Sproat Lake Provincial Park which can be found about 14km outside of Port Alberni heading towards Tofino/Ucluelet.
Sproat Lake is an ideal swimming location, with over 140km of shoreline to choose from, there’s plenty of room for everyone to have the perfect spot on the beach. Along the highway 4 side of the lake, you can find both sandy and gravel beaches. On the farside of the lake there are a few public docks, such as Dickson Dock, which are perfect for those who like to dive or cannonball into the water.
Camping is a popular activity during the summer months, and living in Sproat Lake provides two Provincial campsites to choose from. Sproat Lake Provincial Park has an upper and a lower campsite; the upper campsite is along Great Central Lake Road, and the lower campsite is just off the lake. The lower campsite is within walking distance of the lake, perfect for a morning swim or a day spent lounging on the beach. Taylor Arm Provincial Park offers a group camping experience, further down highway 4 towards Tofino/Ucluelet.
Sproat Lake is home to the famous Martian Mars Water Bomber, which has aided many firefighters during forest fire season. It is a focal point of Port Alberni and you can view the amazing water bomber from Sproat Lake Landing, and from a distance at the Provincial Park.
Autumn is a fantastic time to enjoy the beautiful lake; as the leaves change colour and tourism slows down, a sense of quiet calm befalls the lake and surrounding areas. The cooler temperatures provide ideal hiking opportunities, so you’re not trying to beat the heat, and can spend time enjoying the beauty that surrounds you. Dark greens from evergreens, bright greens from ferns and moss, mixed with warm reds, oranges, and browns as the leaves change colours. You could go for a dip in the lake, but the temperature drops quite a bit once summer ends, so it might be a little chilly.
While enjoying the surrounding areas, always be bear aware, especially as they prepare to hibernate for the winter. If you’re exploring with dogs, ensure they are under your command or leashed at all times, and young children are kept close by. Always pack out what you pack in so that our beautiful and abundant nature stays clean for everyone to enjoy.
The west coast typically offers a mild winter, with more rain than snow, but cooler temperatures nonetheless. Hiking is still possible, but curling up inside with a woodfire, hot tea, and a good book as you look out towards the chilly lake, is the best place to be. It’s an ideal place to hibernate alongside the bears during the winter months; you’re surrounded by forests, mountains, and a calm lake, which means ample opportunity to recharge your batteries before the busy season arrives.
Spring arrives with beautiful wildflowers, enticing you back outside into nature. The lake is still pretty cold, but it’ll warm up quickly enough. The trails are just waiting for hikers, bikers, and walkers alike, ready to show off the regrowth of another season.
Living on Sproat Lake provides something spectacular no matter what season it is; hiking, biking, water sports, swimming, or lounging around, Sproat Lake is the perfect place for all ages.
Written by Mike Youds, at the Valley Vibe. Port Alberni’s fast growing community and online magazine. The passion here at the Valley Vibe is to showcase the beautiful of our valley for all who live here, and travel through. Working together with many talented writers, we at the Valley Vibe love to explore, discover and uncover secret jewels about Port Alberni and Sproat Lake.