From the moment you set up camp at the Quatse River Campground, there's plenty to see and do. The fishing is second to none (both fresh and saltwater) and sites stay open all winter with special rates through to April 30th.
Nestled in a curve of the river at the north end of Vancouver Island, the campground's mature forest surroundings are home to eagles, deer, bears, and marten, to name a few. Winter camping is encouraged and off-season rates are attractive. This enables hardy campers to take advantage of the fabulous storm-watching (tours available in season) on the west coast near Cape Scott.
Operated by NVISEA (North Vancouver Island Salmon Enhancement Association) since 1983, all proceeds from the campground go directly into salmon enhancement. NVISEA is a not-for-profit organization created to aid in the recovery of salmonid stocks and their habitat.
The Salmon Stewardship Centre, just steps away from the campground, features guided tours of the working hatchery and encourages visitors to "Dive In to Salmon's Life", a world-class display about the life cycle of pacific salmon and their place in the environment.
Visit this winter and partake in storm watching and steelhead fishing, and then plan a return visit to this year-round camping paradise that offers:
Fishing - Fishing in the ocean around North Vancouver Island is second to none. The salmon start running early in July and by September; the Quatse River is chock-a-block full of spawning salmon. Salmon, halibut, and rock fish are in the waters close to Port Hardy and Coal Harbour, two popular ocean access points. Fishermen stage their trips to Winter Harbour or Port Alice from the campground and nobody goes home disappointed whether they stay for a day or a week.
Hiking and Walks - If you love to get close to adventure the Quatse River Campground makes an ideal base for all kinds of hikes and walks. The Quatse River loop is a 2.6 km walk that follows the river along both banks. As it loops through the campground, you'll find descriptive signage explaining features of the natural foliage. For the more adventurous, there's Cape Scott Provincial Park and several unspoiled coves with breathtaking white sand beaches just waiting to be discovered just a short drive away.
Wildlife viewing - As the river fills with fish, traffic along the riverbank can get a little bit congested as well. Fishermen vie with black bears and eagles for the best spot. Take-out has a whole new meaning when a black bear picks up your catch and says "For me? How nice!" before taking your fish back into the bush. The black bear population is quite shy and most bears avoid the river when people are present but a quiet watcher can be rewarded with some fabulous videos and camera shots as Momma bear gives her yearling a fishing lesson.
No matter when you visit, Quatse is one of BC's year-round camping treasures. For more information, visit http://quatsecampground.ca/index.html
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia