Two hikers admiring the views (Picture BC photo)
There's no better way to explore Alert Bay than on foot.
Drop in at the Visitor Centre for suggestions on how best to match routes with fitness levels and time constraints. Ask for the "Big Tree Interpretive Trail" brochure – the fold-out map in the back highlights the island's hiking routes.
Shoreline Circle Route
Check the tide schedule and, as the waters recede, set out on a hike around the rocky beaches and intertidal zones of Cormorant Island. The 12.8km/8mi Shoreline Circle Route, at times moderately challenging, can be completed in a brisk four hours or so. The terrain of the island's uninhabited north and western sides is uneven and hard on the feet, so be sure to wear good hiking boots. And keep a very close eye on the ocean. The tide comes right up to the treeline.