Cathedral Grove is without question one of the most famous places on Vancouver Island. It is remnant of the ancient Douglas fir ecosystems that were once widespread across Vancouver Island, BC. The trees in Cathedral Grove are the survivors of a forest fire that ravaged the area approximately 350 years ago and the extensive logging on Vancouver Island that began when Europeans who colonized the island in 1849.
Cathedral Grove is located in MacMillan Provincial Park, which was donated the 136 hectare of land to the people of British Columbia for their perpetual enjoyment. The biggest trees in the Grove are a remarkable 800 years old and measure 75 m (250 ft) in height and 9 m (29 ft) in circumference. One of the things that makes Cathedral Grove so popular with locals and tourists alike, is that is unquestionably one of the most easily accessed stands of old growth forest, within the Coastal Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic Zone, remaining and Vancouver Island.
Needless to say, MacMillarn Provincial Park is a protected site. Woodpeckers, owls, insects, reptiles, amphibians, deer, elk, black bear and cougar all call the old growth forest of Vancouver Island their home. The Cameron River, which runs through the grove, is home to rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.
There is a small parking lot along the highway, and a short network of trails on either side. You will find the largest Douglas Firs tress on the south side of the highway. On the north side, you will find stands of ancient Western Red Cedar overlooking the scenic Cameron Lake. When you are on your way into the Valley of Trails, Cathedral Grove is simply a must see.