If you are driving between Port Renfrew from Lake Cowichan, you must stop at the Harris Creek Spruce Tree. It’s not very often that one can find a tree of this size located within a few meters of a paved and easily accessed road.
This tree was leftover from logging that was done here in the late 1890s, it makes me wonder why this particular tree was left standing. There could be many reasons why perhaps it was just missed or maybe the loggers themselves left it out of respect, we may never know why, but we can rejoice in the fact that it is still here. This tree is over 80 meters tall and stands over all other trees in the area.
Sitka’s spruce are coastal trees, they can not be found further than 80 km from the ocean. They can grow right to the water’s edge as they can deal with and seem to relish in the salt spray. These spruce grow best in the lowlands along with the many inlets of the coast, it’s the weather here with the winter winds and the mists that make them grow so well.
There is a fence built around this giant to protect its roots from human damage, please respect this. The trail is short, wheelchair accessible, and it takes you right to the creek where this old one is growing.
The trail in is about 20 km east of Port Renfrew on the paved Harris Creek Main. It will be found on the right side of the road 8 km past Lizard Lake while heading toward Lake Cowichan and is marked by a small sign. This tree is one of our coastal wonders and should be seen if you are in the area.