Sproat Lake Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
January 17, 2019: Trail Condition Advisory
The petroglyphs trail has recently been washed out in a number of locations from significant weather events, and due to the consistently high water levels, the dock approaching the petroglyphs is not accessible at this time. Please refer back to this page for further updates.
About This Park
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.
Established Date: June 6, 1966
Park Size: 43 hectares
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
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.
- Cultural Heritage: Sproat lake Provincial Park 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.
- Management Planning Information
- Approved Master Plan for Fossli, Taylor Arm and Sproat Lake Provincial Parks
This is not the original management planning product. This document has been scanned from the original format of the plan. It may contain some formatting changes, however the content is consistent with the original.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Annual Drinking Water System Reports:
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible 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.
Upper Campground Rates
Lower Campground Rates
This park offers year-round camping with limited facilities during the off-season in the lower campground only.