Botanical Beach, in the Juan de Fuca Park is about a 10 minute drive from the cottage. It's a 20 minute nature walk from the parking lot to the beach where you can walk out across the flat sandstone and granite outcroppings to view tidal pools filled with brightly coloured marine life.
Pacheedaht Beach is located on the First Nation reserve in Port Renfrew. This 2 km beach is a popular place for campers and beach lovers. The sandy beach with its mass of driftwood (and logs) is a delight for dogs playing catch in the water. In the winter months, Pacheedaht is good for surfing as well.
Sombrio Beach is 18.7 km (20 min) drive from Port Renfrew. It's about a 15 min. walk to the cobbled beach. While most visitors are drawn to the area for surfing and hiking, there's a hidden waterfall in a cave which always delights visitors too.
To reach the waterfall, turn left on the beach and head South for about 20 minutes. The first and only creek that you come across will be running into the Pacific ocean and this is where you want to stop and explore. Just a few metres up the creek you’ll soon find the emerald canyon and the waterfall.
There's lots to explore here. The suspension bridge over Pete Wolfe Creek, a hanging rope swing and waterfall are some highlights.
From the China Beach day-use area you'll find the trailheads for both China Beach and the Juan de Fuca trail (which leads to Mystic Beach). The lower parking lot is the China Beach access, while the first parking lot on your right is for the Juan de Fuca trail.
Fairy Lake (6.5 km) and Lizard Lake (18 km) are a short drive northeast of Port Renfrew on the Pacific Marine Circle Route towards Cowichan Lake. Both lakes are great places to swim and offer excellent freshwater fishing, canoe and kayaking, sandy beaches and picnic sites!
Fairy Lake is a small lake with a picnic area and beautiful sandy beach. What makes it so unique is the little tree growing on a half submerged log. Clinging precariously to life on the exposed end of the log is a single dwarfed fir tree, probably the most photographed tree on Vancouver Island. There's also a leisurely 30 minute hiking trail that loops around through the forest and along the shore.
Lizard Lake is filled with newts (salamanders), hence the origin of its name. The lake has a unique 100-foot long boardwalk where visitors fish, swim and launch boats. There's a 25 minute nature trail that loops around the lake, winding through the surrounding forest of cedar and fir trees. Those who come to fish the lake for rainbow trout arrive from April to June and others come in October.
*Friendly Note...freshwater fishing requires a fishing license that you can get online at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Gateway Marina is a 10-minute walk away along Parkinson rd. Port Renfrew is a fishing mecca from May through September. If you want to go fishing and don't have a boat, you can >charter a professional guide to take you out on the ocean for an awesome fishing trip. The guides know the secret fishing holes that consistently produce the biggest salmon and halibut and they'll try their best to ensure you the experience of a lifetime...fish or no fish.
A printed fishing license is required and be can be purchased online at the Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The West Coast of Vancouver Island offers year-round surfing. Surfing enthusiasts can 'catch a wave' at:
The West Coast Trail and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. If you've been on a hike on either the West Coast Trail or the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail you may want to stay awhile and explore Port Renfrew. Fish Tales Cottage happily welcomes travelers to spend some time relaxing before or after your journey on the trail.
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is one of three classic, long coastal trails on Vancouver Island. The Marine trail is a rugged 47-kilometre wilderness hiking trail located within Juan de Fuca Provincial Park along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island. The trail stretches from China Beach to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew. The trail can be hiked in either direction and usually takes 3-5 days. Read >MB Guiding for trail adventure information.
The West Coast Trail is one of the best-known hiking trails in Canada. It covers 75km through some of the toughest and most beautiful terrain in British Columbia’s Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.The trail is accessed from our remote village of Port Renfrew (also Bamfield and Nitinaht). It consists of rough trails in the coastal rainforest, boardwalk sections, ladders in and out of deep gorges, and coastal walking on sand, gravel, boulders and smooth sandstone shelf. There's bridges and cable cars across the major waterways, but some of the smaller ones must be forded. Taryn Eyton's >West Coast Trail
In Port Renfrew stop into the Visitor Center at 17151 Parkinson Rd. B Building for maps and more information. Or visit their website My Port Renfrew.