POPULATION: ~20 (2013 estimate)
MUST DO: Get out on the water and look for Killer (Orca) Whales; Walk the boardwalk.
Just south of Port McNeill is Telegraph Cove, a tiny community of 15 people – and near one of the best spots in the world to see killer whales in the wild.
The community got its name because it was the end of the line for a telegraph line built before World War I. During World War II, Telegraph Cove served as a relay station. One of the last boardwalk communities in the province, the tiny community has seen many of the buildings – all on stilts above the waterline – restored. Visitors can spend hours wandering the boardwalk, a walk that takes you back into history. The restored buildings include workshops, bunkhouses and private homes.
Telegraph Cove is also the center of killer whale watching in Johnstone Strait. In addition to charters, the cove is the launch site for thousands of kayakers who paddle among the whales in the Strait. From May through October, killer whales gather in Johnstone Strait, where the feed on thousands of migrating salmon. Just south of Telegraph Cove, is the famed Robson Bight, where the whales rub themselves on rocks along the beach. The area is a major center for research into killer whale habits.
Other visitors come to Telegraph Cove for the great fishing, including salmon and halibut. The community is great for campers, with over 100 serviced sites.