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On the far side of Mount Arrowsmith from Cathedral Grove, Port Alberni lies at the head of the rich salmon fishing grounds of the Alberni inlet.

Cultural and historical explorers are in their element here thanks to three fine attractions: the Alberni Valley Museum, rated as one of the best regional museums in BC; the harbourside Maritime Discover Centre with its fascinating retelling of the town’s 1964 encounter with a tsunami; and the McLean Mill National Historic Site, a vintage lumber camp with working steam-powered sawmill that can be reached by car or on a memorable half-hour steam-train ride from downtown. Hike or mountain bike the Log Train Trail, one of 100 routes in the valley (including a challenging trek by boat and food to Della Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada).