Excursions

Excursions

Qualicum Falls – Cathedral Grove – Coombs For this trip follow Hwy. 4 from Qualicum Beach towards Port Alberni. Qualicum Falls Provincial Park has an excellent trail with lookout points over the falls. After a visit to this spot carry on towards Port Alberni, passing Cameron Lake, (a beautiful lake for canoeing and fishing). At the end of the lake, you will find Cathedral Grove, also known as MacMillan Park. Here you'll find some of the largest trees on the Island. A windstorm in the Spring of 1997 had a devastating effect on this park, with one-third of all old-growth trees now on the ground, trees that stood for hundreds of years. This will give you a feel for the force of nature. Next you should turn around and follow the road all the way in to Coombs, where you'll find the Old Country Market. Coombs has kept its charming, rustic personality and is a traditional resting place with a variety of stores to visit, a children's fun park and several eating establishments.

Qualicum Beach Qualicum received its name from the aboriginal peoples, a name which means chum or dog salmon, both of which were plentiful in the rivers. All the stores in Qualicum Beach are small, locally-operated ones and there is plenty of variety. Qualicum has a bylaw forbidding chain stores, so you won't find a McDonalds in town. The new Heritage Park houses the Power House and Museum and is alive with stories of yesterday.

Little Mountain – Englishman River Falls For this trip take Highway 19 South, exit at the first Parksville exit and turn towards Coombs. After about 100 feet you'll come to Bellevue Rd. Turn left there, and the third road on your left will be Little Mountain Road. Follow it to the top, where you will find a trail leading you to the very top, with a reward of the most spectacular 360 degree view. From here, go back down the hill to Coombs road and follow this road until you see the sign to Englishman River Falls. Here again you will find an excellent trail that lets you see all the beauty typical of the waterfalls that dot this Island. This is a great place to spend a few hours, and it has lots of picnic areas available.

Denman and Hornby Islands Denman and Hornby Islands lie just off the coast. The ferry to Denman Island leaves from Buckley Bay, just off Highway 19A and the ferry to Hornby leaves from Denman. You may take your car across or go on foot and rent a bicycle. For the cyclist it is advised to make the trip clockwise around the island. Both ends starting at the ferry terminals have a steep climb for a short distance at the beginning with an enjoyably long, slow decline to the other ferry terminal, which allows access to Hornby Island. Denman is known for its many galleries, studios and craft stores, with many local artists displaying their work. Chrome Island Trail starts on the southern end of East Road by the ferry terminal to Hornby Island. The trail goes into tall timber and leads to a view directly over to Chrome Island Lighthouse. Hornby Island requires a bit more time if you bike it, so make sure you get an early start. The road leads you round the island to a fabulous beach at Tribune Bay where you may want to have a dip in the clear water in a sandy bay flanked on one side by a unique rock formation and on the other by the cliffs of Helliwell Park. The trail through Helliwell Park is equally spectacular along the Helliwell Bluffs. Make sure you take your camera along! The circle route is about three miles long. Denman Island and Hornby Island Ferry Schedules

Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park At Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, you can discover a whole different world, a world where sunlight never enters. Among other attractions, you can take a guided caving tour, all the way from a 1/2 hour adventure to a 6-hour underground extreme tour. You can also explore on your own as there are two caves open to the public for self-exploring. For the adventurer there is a two-hour basic rappelling techniques course, called 'Going Vertical'. Enjoy!