In my ongoing search for sections of the VI Spine Trail to hike, I wanted to find out more about the south end of the Alberni Inlet trail. It’s being built in 3 stages and while all the stages are there for the trail, they aren’t all used the same amount. Some parts are easier to find than others. This weekend I headed out to find the section that heads north from Franklin River.
The Franklin River Alberni Inlet Trail Parking Lot
The trailhead has a brand new parking lot and an information sign about the 3 stages of the trail. Stage 1 ends at China Creek 11 km south of Port Alberni (measured from where Ship Creek Road and Anderson Ave turn into Franklin River Road near the entrance to the Inlet trail).
The turn off to the parking lot down Franklin Creek is 16.2 km from Ship Creek Road, and then another 3.4 km down the spur to the trail parking lot.
Starting the trail
The trail starts along the logging road right next to the parking lot. Hike up the hill to the end of the spur taking the left at the fork. The start of the single track is flagged at the end.
Note: There is a single track entrance further down the road towards the water but this is on private land. Please use the logging road next to the parking lot to start the trail.
I had lunch on a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the water. When I realized I had cell reception, I couldn’t resist posting something on instagram.
Back to the logging road
I exited out onto the logging road and walked down to the parking lot. With its many trailheads and beautiful scenery, the Alberni Inlet trail is going to become a popular destination in the years to come. The China Creek entrance to the trail is already seeing many new visitors. The trailheads further south will undoubtedly see fewer hikers because of the longer drive if you do make the trek, you’ll probably get the trail all to yourself (hopefully not everyone will read this post and go out to hike at the same time!).