Climbing high above Cameron Lake, this beautiful 15.3 km out-and-back trail boasts gorgeous views and tranquil forested areas as it meanders across Wesley Ridge and up to Mount Wesley. There are lookouts as early as 5.8 and 3.5 km along the hike, which are the most commonly visited. This trail is difficult, especially at the onset as there are some sections requiring the use of a rope as an aid to climb a rocky and slippery hill face. However, this trail does flatten out once you reach the tip of the ridge. To access this trail, follow Highway 4 west towards Port Alberni until just before Cameron Lake. Pull off into the pullout next to the train tracks and park. Cross the small trestle on foot. The trail entrance will be about a 2-minute walk on your right after the trestle.
To view an astonishing set of waterfalls where the Englishman River makes a shear 90 degree turn, head down Errington Road until you reach the far end of the parking lot. The upper bridge is only minutes away and leads to a trail that takes you down to the lower falls bridge, now a mere image of its former self. The lower falls, used in the movie, Alaska, for a canoe spill, blew a boulder and is now more of a rushing river, but still well worth the hike. The uphill climb back to the parking lot is quite steep.
Make time to take a hike through this array of winding and twisty waterfalls in a beautiful canyon setting in the forest. The park entrance is on Highway 4 right, going west, just past the Whiskey Creek Store - a great place to stop for an ice cream cone. There are great hiking trails on both sides of the river, also accessible from Meadowood Road in the Meadowood neighbourhood. This park is a great place for a family picnic; however, there are a lot of stairways to get to some of the more spectacular lookout points along the rivers edge.
More famously known as Cathedral Grove, this park is located along Highway 4 on route to Port Alberni. It is the only highway accessible, protected, old growth Douglas-fir forest in BC and draws visitors from around the world to marvel at trees more than 800 years old and up to nine metres in circumference. In 2007, Cathedral Grove made the short list for CBC television's Seven Wonders of Canada competition. With parking and wheel-chair accessible pathways on both sides of the Highway, this is a must stop and gawk experience.
This 44 ha park runs along both sides of the Little Qualicum River, downstream from Little Qualicum River Provincial Park. This park is for the outdoor enthusiast! The park is largely undeveloped, although rough, unmaintained trails do lead down to the river, however, keep your eyes and ears open for ATVs and dirt bike activity. A parking lot off Meadowood Way in the Meadowood neighbourhood is the trailhead that links to the central bridge hiking trail in the provincial park.
Dudley Marsh is a lovely little wetland, fish and wildlife habitant that is part of the French Creek watershed wetland preservation project. This fish and wildlife restoration initiative is funded by Ducks Unlimited, Nature Trust, and the DFO. The marsh is fully supported by the Friends of French Creek Conservation Society and accessed off Tintern Road in Errington.
Hamilton Marsh is the largest body of water in the French Creek watershed. The 360 acres that surround this vital wetland is a virtual island of remaining undeveloped land and undisturbed wildlife habitat. Although this acreage is privately owned, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Regional District of Nanaimo and Friends of the French Creek Conservation Society continue to work together for the protection of this spectacular natural environment. There are two parking lots at trailheads on Hilliers Road south off Highway 4 west just a few minutes from downtown Qualicum Beach.
The Canadian Pacific Railway developed this trail in 1912 to provide Cameron Lake Resort guests with access to a network of alpine trails around Mount Cokely and Mount Arrowsmith. The trail winds steadily uphill from Cameron Lake through private forestlands, includes a great lookout about half way up and ends at the old ski hill in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District Park. Visit the Coombs Museum for more information on the old CPR Cameron Lake Resort.
This park is characteristic of the rural lifestyle of Errington residents, complete with a log entranceway to the summer Farmers' Market and loads of local produce, crafts and live entertainment. The park is located next to the Errington War Memorial Hall, quickly becoming the exclusive music centre for the development of local talent and world music experience.
Still in the final stages of development, the rustic hiking trails of Malcolm Community Park can be accessed from the rear parking lot of the Whiskey Creek Store off Highway 4 on route to Cathedral Grove. There is a rough 2.5 kilometer loop trail for the hiking enthusiast.
The Area F Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) initiated a development project in 2007 to create a safe bicycle trail from French Creek Community School to Errington Elementary School. The first link in this community project, connecting Errington School to Middlegate Road and Kopernick Road, opened in late 2011. This trail is lined with educational signs that offer information about identifying local trees and plants.
Located off of Galvin Road and just across the street from the Meadowood Store, this community park spans 9 hectares. Half of the land is forested, while the other half is open. This park is still under development, but a children's playground has already been built. The park is located close to the Meadowood General Store.
This 7-kilometer trail starts at Station Road in Coombs and ends by Springwood Elementary School in Parksville. The path runs parallel to the retired railroad tracks and the Alberni Highway. The multi-use trail welcomes walkers, cyclists, leashed dogs, and equestrians. This trail is one of the newest additions to the area, having been officially opened in October 2017.