Posted by: cherylyoung | January 20, 2012


Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one

of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on

Vancouver Island.

Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the

shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees, majestic pillars

 untouched by the modern world – some more than 800

years old.

Trails on either side of the highway lead visitors through the

mighty stands of this coastal forest.

 On the south side you will find the largest Douglas firs – one

 measuring more than 9 meters in circumference.


On the northern side of the road you’ll find groves of ancient

Western red cedar standing sentry over nearby Cameron Lake.

The park has been restoring some of its trails after a sever

 windstorm on New Year’s Day in 1997, which changed the look

of the park forever.

 The storm toppled hundreds of huge trees and obliterated

sections of the trail system.

 Some sections of the trail system were so badly hit that they

 have never been reopened.


Restoration and cleanup began almost as soon as the winds

 stopped, and although visitors will now find many of these

 huge trees lying on the ground, their value has not diminished.

These fallen trees open the canopy to provide light, space,

shelter and nutrients for the next generations of plants.

 Natural regeneration is beginning to restore the Grove’s

pristine beauty and the park’s diversity, making a visit to

 Cathedral Grove all the more intriguing.


Improvements to MacMillan Park can be supported by

 “feeding” the donation tree next to the main trail; your

contributions will be used for youth team trail projects,

volunteer projects, revegetation projects and new signs.

The park’s small size and accessibility has left it vulnerable to

 impacts from high visitor use.


Please stay on designated trails, where you will find ample

opportunities to view and photograph this bit of history.

For your convenience the park has a concession managed by

the Park Facility Operator.


Special Features: The park protects and preserves an

 internationally significant representative example of Douglas

 fir old-growth forest within the East Vancouver Island and the

Coastal Douglas fir Biogeoclimatic Zone.

Many species of wildlife use the old-growth forest as their home.

 Park Size: 301 hectares




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