The weather has been unreal during these turbulent times and you’re itching to get the kids outside. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get yourself into nature in and around the Comox Valley. Whether you’re looking for a quick stretch of the legs or an entire afternoon lost in the woods, the opportunities are here.
These five locations are merely a sampling of the endless outdoor adventures that await your family, but they’re a great place to start!
Cumberland Community Forest, Cumberland
This mature coastal Douglas fir forest that borders the Village of Cumberland is magical. An important area for hikers, mountain bikers, naturalists, families, schools, and many more, the extensive network of trails is easy to access from many locations within Cumberland.
It’s the home to two watersheds, an important habitat corridor, heritage sites, wetlands, salmon bearing creeks, and at risk species, so be sure to tread lightly when adventuring about.
Main entry can be at the yellow gate at the end of Sutton Road, just off Dunsmuir. Ample parking is located along the roadways and unfortunately, you can’t currently park at the Cumberland Recreation Centre. You can find space to park along Comox Lake Road.
Northeast Woods, Comox
Here you will find several kilometres of multi-use trail excellent for easy hiking, trail running, dog walking, and biking. The well-maintained trail system is mostly flat with a few small hills and suitable use all year long. Located next to Lazo Marsh conservation area, it’s well worth it to extend your adventure a little further.
There is a plenty of parking near playing fields at the corner of Guthrie Rd and Torrence Rd on the North East edge of Comox. Also accessible from Colby Road off Lazo Road.
Nymph Falls Nature Park, Courtenay
This nature park consists of 151 acres of second-growth forest on the north side of the Puntledge River. The river, Nymph Falls, and the well-maintained multi-use trail system are main attractions any time of year. During the summer, you will find an assortment of locals cooling off in popular swimming holes along the river. In October and November, spawning salmon swim upstream assisted by natural fish ladders that were blasted out over 70 years ago.
The main trail system can be accessed at the parking lot on Forbidden Plateau Road. Trails within the park connect with a larger system up and down the river.
Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park
If you want to visit Paradise Meadows right now, bring your snowshoes! Once the snow melts however, read on…located in Strathcona Provincial Park, the main loop consists of 4.2 km of disabled access boardwalk and gravel trail through sub-alpine meadows. Your adventure will be filled with fantastic views of the surrounding mountain ranges, a plethora of wildflowers, and visits with the friendly Whiskey Jack. You might even be lucky enough to spot a Vancouver Island Marmot!
Access to other trail systems, such as the Battle Ship Lake-Helen MacKenzie loop and Helen MacKenzie to Circlet Lake, are well-marked and make great family day trips or an exciting overnighter at designated camping spots. There is also the possibility of longer hiking routes and elevated gains.
The trailhead, information centre, and a toilet can be found at the Raven Lodge parking lot at Mount Washington Alpine Resort once it opens for summer.
Seal Bay Regional Nature Park, Comox
Seal Bay Regional Nature Park is one and a half times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC. It features a large continuous stand of regenerated second-growth forest, wildlife habitats, and rare plant communities.
Divided into two sections by Bates Road, this park offers plenty of adventure options. On the east side, there are three well-groomed trails that lead to the water and nearly one kilometre of beach to wander, picnic, and spot a variety of birds and listen to the seals. On the west side, there are optional and mandatory leashing trails for your dog and a creekside walk to Melda’s Marsh where will find beavers, muskrats, and an assortment of feathered friends.
Main parking is located at the lot on Bates Road. There are also access points at Hardy, Mitchell, and Seabank Roads.
If you have any questions about things to do in the Comox Valley and you’re moving here and want to find out more, feel free to call me anytime at 250-792-2776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!