One of my very favourite rides is on northern Vancouver Island. Not only does it have the hairpins/twisters/technical corners, but it has stunning scenery and gorgeous little pull out spots when you decided to make a day of it. Rest assured this ride is not for the faint of heart. Best done between the months of mid May to mid September, this is a typical north island ride. Weather is always a factor and should be checked before embarking. And always pack rain gear (if you use it) just to be on the safe side. I have given a bit of a window for riding this road because it is an active industrial road through mountain passes – meaning it’s best to wait until mid May for the first ride because that allowed for the highway to be cleared of all the winter ‘stuff’ that could be found in the corners. That being said, even during the summer – watch for the crap in the corners.
From my location in Port Alberni, Gold River is roughly around 249 km or about 3 hours through towering forests, gorgeous lakes and at least one provincial park.
We left fairly early for a weekday. Kick stands up was 8am for us.
Traveling east on Hwy4, we traveled to Memorial blvd in Qualicum Beach before following along and ending at the old island highway – highway 19a. The old island highway is a great ride when traffic isn’t heavy and runs parallel Hwy 19. Windy, with straight passing lanes, this highway strapless along the waterfront in some sections, through tiny communities like Fanny Bay, Union Bay and Bowser where you can stop for picnic beach side locations or the food truck on the dock at Fanny bay to grab a bite and watch the comings and goings on the dock. We usually stop at Buckley Bay rest stop where there are restroom facilities and shade to park the bikes under.
After a short break, we switched to the Inland Island highway – Hwy19 to make time up to Campbell River.
At Campbell River we turned onto the Gold River Hwy. A favourite stop for us it at the Elk in Strathcona Provincial Park. Time for a butt break and pictures every time.
The Gold River highway is spectacular. Hairpin turns, scenery and a relatively good road now that the mine is shut down and not as much industrial traffic, it is a typical coastal road.
We stopped at some of the landmarks before arriving at the Ridgeway Pub for lunch.
The trip home was a bit faster than the trip there as we took the Inland Island Hwy back.
A good all day trip with fantastic scenery and great roads. ❤️