Running west from Campbell River , Highway 28 provides access to Strathcona Provincial Park and the west coast. The first place to stop is 1,087-hectare (2,700-acre) Elk Falls Provincial Park, six kilometers (3.7 miles) west of Campbell River. Here you can follow beautiful forest trails to waterfalls, go swimming and fishing, and stay the night in the wooded campground (Apr.–Oct., $15).
British Columbia’s oldest and Vancouver Island ’s largest park, Strathcona preserves a vast 250,000-hectare (618,000-acre) inland wilderness, including the island’s highest peak, 2,220-meter (7,300-foot) Golden Hinde. You’ll get a taste of Strathcona’s beauty along Highway 28, but to get into the park proper, turn south off Highway 28 halfway between Campbell River and Gold River.
This access road hugs the eastern shore of Buttle Lake, passing many well-marked nature walks and hiking trails. One of the first is the 10-minute walk to Lupin Falls, which are more impressive than the small creek across from the parking lot would suggest. Apart from numerous picnic areas along Buttle Lake, the only facilities within the park are two campgrounds ($15) with unserviced sites only.