Arrowsmith Parks and Trails
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
To view an astonishing set of waterfalls where the Englishman River makes a shear 90 degree turn, head down Errington Road off Highway 4A and just keep going until you reach the far end of the parking lot. Parking is free!! 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 could be challenging for the very young or hiking impaired.
Little Qualicum River Falls Provincial Park
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.
MacMillan Provincial Park
More famously known as Cathedral Grove, this park is located in Coombs Country along Highway 4 on route to Port Alberni and protects the delta of the Cameron River at the west end of Cameron Lake. 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.
Little Qualicum River Regional Park
This 44 ha park runs along both sides of the Little Qualicum River, adjacent and 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.
This unique marsh is a must-see for enthusiastic nature lovers! 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 is easily accessed off Tintern Road in Coombs.
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.
Arrowsmith CPR Regional Trail
The Canadian Pacific Railway originally developed this historical trail route 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.
Errington Community Park
This park is distinctive to 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 door to the Errington War Memorial Hall, quickly becoming the exclusive music centre for the development of local talent and world music experience. To find the park, head south on Errington Road, off Highway 4A, and look for the Errington Hall, just past the first stop sign at Grafton Ave. Join in the fun!
Malcolm Community Park
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 figure eight trail for the hiking enthusiast, after venturing down the trail access from behind the store. The local RDN Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) hopes to put the finishing touches on this first Arrowsmith Community Park project in 2012.
Errington School Trail
The Area F Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) defined an Arrowsmith Community trail development project in 2007 to create a safe bicycle trail from the French Creek Community School to the Errington Elementary School. The first link in this community project, the construction of a trail from Errington School to Middlegate Road and Kopernick Road, opened to the public in late 2011. The next link in the community school trail system will be defined by the Area F POSAC in the first quarter of the year.
Meadowood Community Park
French Creek Community Park