Fresh water adventure seekers will not want to miss a visit to Sproat Lake Provincial Park in the Alberni Valley on central Vancouver Island. Located 15 minutes west of Port Alberni, Sproat Lake is a favoured location for swimming, fishing, waterskiing and, when the wind is up, windsurfing.
A variety of short access trails lead visitors around this park, including a trail to the eastern end of Sproat Lake, which is home to one of the finest panels of prehistoric petroglyphs in British Columbia. Little is known about this petroglyph, named K’ak’awin, but it isn’t hard to imagine this rock carving as depicting some mystical ancient monsters of the lake.
Two separate campgrounds and a large day-use area make this park a popular destination for campers and picnickers, who come here to enjoy the host of recreational pursuits available or just relax in the sun by the warm lake.
All campsite reservations must be made the BC Parks reservations system. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.
Campsite reservations are accepted at this park. If sites are not reserved, then they are available for first-come, first-served camping.
There are two separate campgrounds with vehicle accessible campsites in this park. The Lower campground is located close to the lake. The Upper campground is located across the highway from the lake and is connected to the lower campground and beach access by a trail that leads through a highway underpass. Campsite reservations are required and first-come, first-served sites are available.
This park offers year-round camping with limited facilities during the off-season in the lower campground only.
Accessibility information is available for Sproat Lake park, as well as these areas in the park:
Pit toilets are located throughout the park and at the upper campground. Flush toilets are located at the day-use area by the boat launch and at the lower campground.
There are hot showers at this park. The shower building is located adjacent to the boat launch and next to the lower campground.
Cold water taps are located at both campgrounds and the day-use area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
While fires are allowed, we encourage visitors to conserve the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using stoves instead. Campfire rings are provided at each campsite and in the day-use area. Firewood can be purchased from the Park Operator. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act ). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
There are opportunities for fresh water fishing in Sproat Lake. Fishing is permitted as per provincial and federal fishing regulations and is subject to closures. All anglers should check the current regulations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to fishing. Specific closures will be posted in the park. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Sproat Lake Provincial Park. E-bikes are restricted to park roads and areas where motorized use is permitted. The only exception to this policy will be for authorized and identified trail maintenance bikes conducting work on behalf of BC Parks.
Sproat Lake Provincial Park is located 13 km northwest of Port Alberni on central Vancouver Island. The park sits on the north shore of Sproat Lake, and can be reached via Hwy #4.
There is no motorized vehicle access on the trail network or in the day use area in this park.
This park proudly operated by:
R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
History: Sproat Lake is named after Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, a native of Galloway, Scotland who arrived on Vancouver Island in 1860 with men and equipment to establish a sawmill at the head of the Alberni Canal.
Sproat was the resident manager of Anderson & Company, Victoria, that exported spars to Europe from Puget Sound and Vancouver Island, a business transferred to southern ports after the end of the US Civil War. As Sproat was a frequent visitor to the west coast of Vancouver Island in connection with his business, he was appointed Principal Customs Officer; his duties included control of the First Nations. Some of his experiences and observations are embodied in his very interesting and now scarce book “Scenes and Studies of Savage Life,” published in London in 1868.
The park was given to the province in 1966 by MacMillan Bloedel Limited. Before it became a provincial park it was known as Smith’s Landing, after George Smith, who farmed the area.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.