A Favourite Camping Spot
I wanted to include a site from the incredible cluster of lakes & camps NW of Campbell River. Brewster Lake is one of the larger, more formal Rec campgrounds, complete with campground host in season. The big attraction is the swimming beach, boat launch and fishing. It's on the Sayward Forest Canoe Circuit route, so you might meet interesting neighbours. There's ~20 sites, $15/night. The sites are spaciously laid out. No showers or power, but a nice, comfortable spot. Real pleasant ride in (keep a eye out for occasional logging activity). Lots of small neighbouring campsites if Brewster Lake is full up (which is common, in season).
Getting to the lake is along the backroads, so be prepared for dirt road riding. That said, these roads are maintained and regularly used by the public. You may meet occasional logging, but they'll have an eye open for other traffic. This grand area of lakes and forestry campgrounds west from Campbell River is an excellent choice to try out riding along the backroads, if you've been thinking about it.
You can get to Breewster Lake Rec a few ways. You can head NW from Campbell River near Elk Falls Park, along the north shores of John Hart and then Campbell Lakes (see companion Fav ride, for more route directions).
From the junction into Loveland Bay Provincial Park (which I almost chose to include here rather than Brewster Lake), you can head SW to follow the north shores of Campbell and then Fry Lakes - wonderful riding, with Rec camps every few kms. Then branch north onto Gray Lake Road up to the south of Brewster Lake. Keep to the east shores of the lake for a km or so and you'll see a sign and the ~1km access track into the Rec camp. You could also head west on paved Hwy 28 (Gold River Highway) until just before you reach the north shores of Upper Campbell Lake (as you enter Strathcona Park). Branch right towards Strathcona Dam Rec Camp (honourable mention fav camp). Keep heading north past the campsite and you'll reach Fry Lake and Gray Lake Main. One more route option is to head north from Campbell River on the north Island Highway for ~11kms, then turn right onto Menzies Main (following signs that eventually go to Morton lake Provincial Campground). After ~12 kms west on Menzies Main, you'll be at the SE end of Brewster Lake.
Note that Brewster Lake is long (~5kms, north to south) and a fair size. It's known for occasional fierce north to south winds, so be cautious if boating or choosing a campsite in stormy weather.
As you ride in, particularly if you come up along Gray Lake from the south, you'll be in the midst of the densest cluster of Rec Campgrounds I've ever seen. Near south Brewster Lake, there's a half dozen camping areas within little more than one or two kilometres. Brewster Lake Rec Camp is (in my opinion) the nicest of the bunch.