Coastal Communities, Pacific Northwest
Port McNeil Vancouver Island sits on the edge of the Broughton Archipelago, on the northeast side of Vancouver Island. It is surrounded by misty rain forests, spectacular mountains, rushing rivers and serene lakes. The community has a resource based economy, but it is balanced with a great tourism industry that will continue to grow and prosper.
This small, thriving community offers many things to do, there is great hiking trails to enjoy or head out on the sea for some kayaking, some of the best fishing can be had here, both fresh and saltwater, you can go diving, bird watching or take a whale watching tour to see Killer whales, grey whales, fin whales, porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals or mink.
Port McNeil Vancouver Island is the gateway to the Broughton Islands Archipelago, here you can pick up last minute supplies before heading out. The Broughton Islands are just awesome, offering some of the best kayak/canoeing opportunities on the north Island.
For a remote community with a small population of 2700, the town offers great places to stay and eat, from the fabulous to the ice cream and hamburger joints and no matter where you eat or stay, you will be greeted by the friendliest folks around, always willing to lend a hand.
The wildlife viewing is incredible and the variety of bird life is mind boggling, you can see black bears, cougars, black tail deer, wolves, eagles, ravens, northern shrikes, owls, hawks and a vast variety of other animals and birds. Just head out on any of the numerous trails in the area and keep your eyes open.
Port McNeill Vancouver Island was named after Mr. William McNeill who worked for the Hudson Bay Company. Established in 1937 as a logging community by Pioneer Timber, it services many of the surrounding communities and is considered the hub of the north island. Port McNeill was the first village in Canada to be proclaimed as a town after the Canadian Charter was repatriated. The Queen’s first act, in Ottawa, after signing the Charter, was to sign the town’s Proclamation papers. Quite an honor for a small community.
You can take a ferry from Port McNeill and head to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island or head out to Sointula on Malcolm Island, Alert bay is reputed to be the oldest community in B.C.
Sointula was settled by the Finnish people and has a very interesting culture that was found in other communities that were settled by the fins in many places here on the north island, Sointula is the last Finnish area on the north island.