Avatar Grove is a phenomenal stand of giant old-growth red cedar and Douglas fir alongside the Gordon River, approximately fifteen minutes away from Port Renfrew within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation.
Avatar Grove is a phenomenal stand of giant old-growth red cedar and Douglas fir alongside the Gordon River, approximately fifteen minutes away from Port Renfrew within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation. The area was recently declared off limits to logging through a new Old-Growth Management Area in February, 2012 after a two year campaign to protect it. It’s now quickly becoming the ‘Cathedral Grove of Port Renfrew’ due to the forest’s massive redcedars with huge twisted and contorted burls which are found in large numbers throughout the stand, including one that’s been dubbed “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree” – a giant redcedar with a huge burl nearly twelve feet in diameter! Rare giant old-growth Douglas-fir trees, of which 99% have been logged from Vancouver Island, are also found scattered throughout the forest.
Beautiful fern draped creeks with moss-covered rocks and small waterfalls meander through the woods along their way to the Gordon River. The forest also provides habitat for many of the large mammals found on Vancouver Island. Dogs should be kept on a leash. Most recently, construction has begun on sections of boardwalk to improve visitor access and protect the forest floor but the Grove is still largely a wilderness area that requires good balance and moderate hiking skills along some parts of the trail. The Grove itself is split by the road into two sections – Lower and Upper – with the Upper Avatar featuring the Gnarly Tree and Lower Avatar the big tree loop trail. Both sides are beautiful to visit!