Alberni Pacific Railway and McLean Mill
Ride the Rails from the Harbour Quay in Port Alberni. Wander thru the recently restored 1912 CPR train station - one of hundreds built at the start of the last century to serve people and commerce along Canada's great national railway system. Climb aboard the 1929 steam-powered Baldwin locomotive as it takes you over the old train trestles as you look wa-a-a-y down into crystal clear creeks, past rolling farms and through the west coast forest to the McLean Mill, Canada's only steam-powered sawmill and now a National Historic site.
Just 5 minutes from your "home away from home" at The Hummingbird!
The Conductor's "All Aboard" and the sound of the Steam Whistle echos through the forest to start your adventure into life on the slow track. The soothing clackety-clack of the metal wheels on the rail and the rhythmic chant of the steam engine. Settle back for an engaging 35 minute journey and hear the story of old No. 7 as she takes you back to a time and place where steam and endless ribbons of steel helped shape our future.
Forget about your cares, it is time to relax at The Hummingbird. Come ride the little train that is rolling down the tracks to Port Alberni. Lots of curves, you bet, even more when you get to Port Alberni. There's a little B&B Inn called the Hummingbird. It is run by Cheryl & Wayne. Come be their guest at the Hummingbird. Hint - anyone recognize the theme song to "Petticoat Junction".
The trip to McLean's Mill was a daily commute for loggers and millworkers in the early 1900's so imagine you are on your way to a hard day's work amongst the steam donkeys, graders, logging trucks and lumber carriers which you will see fully restored on site.
And if you're lucky, you'll witness the Beaufort Gang in action as they "steal" the mill's payroll. They arrive on horseback and buckboard, forcing the train to stop as they climb on board for some shenanigans.
Take the path less travelled. Step back in time. Stroll through living history at the Mill. Catch the sharp scent of fresh-cut wood and hear the knock, buzz, hiss of antique steam engines hauling logs out of the pond, running the long green chain and driving the giant blades that cut raw wood into red-gold lumber.
Get into the act with the Tin Pants Theatre Troupe as they sing and dance through a muscial celebration of BC's pioner forest industry. Walk with them as they regale you with tales of yesteryear. Explore the buildings where the bookkeeper kept the time card, the cook turned out hearty meals and the school marm taught the worker's children. Meet the skilled people of today who restore and operate the heritage equipment. Afterwards, enjoy a bite to eat at the Steam Pot Cafe.