Burdwood Group Islands Broughton Archipelago Photo: Kim Walker
Port McNeill is on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island and the gateway to the Broughton Archipelago – the centre for outdoor recreation and eco-tourism. Broughton Archipelago Provincial Marine Park, consists of a wonderful collection of dozens of undeveloped islands and islets situated at the mouth of Knight Inlet on the west side of Queen Charlotte Strait. The park offers excellent boating, kayaking and wildlife viewing opportunities. A multitude of islands provides park visitors sheltered waters and anchorages with a backdrop of the magnificent coastal mountains to the east and the waters of Queen Charlotte Strait to the west. Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park, located south of Port McNeill offers a rugged wilderness experience in a remote setting at the south end of Nimpkish Lake. The park protects old-growth coastal western hemlock forests and provides opportunities for nature appreciation, backcountry skiing and mountaineering. Sailing, windsurfing, fishing, kayaking are popular in the area and the town of Port McNeill provides opportunities to enjoy local shops, galleries, marina and museum. A stroll along the scenic seawall brings you to the start of the Schoolhouse Creek Trail and a protected fish habitat. Port McNeill is also a short distance from Telegraph Cove, a former fishing and cannery village that has become a base for eco-tourism.
Port McNeill is 195 km (120 mi) North of Campbell River and 43 km (27 mi) south of Port Hardy. The top half of 280-mile-long Vancouver Island is served by a maze of logging roads and Hwy 19 (North Island Highway), which links Campbell River with Port McNeill and Port Hardy, the southern terminus of BC Ferries’ Inside Passage and Discovery Coast routes.
The town of Port McNeill was established in 1936, and was named after William McNeill, a Boston-born explorer for the Hudson’s Bay Company. It was the first town to be incorporated under the new Canadian Constitution on February 18, 1966.