When the Inland Island Highway was built the new connector between Highway 19 and Highway 4A resulted in the closure of Coombs Road between Highway 4 (the new connector) and the Port Alberni E&N Railroad. This quiet stretch of abandoned road now makes a pleasant pedestrian approach to the oftentimes crowded and chaotic Coombs Market. During the busy summer use this route to avoid the traffic snarl at Coombs and reward yourself for your effort with an ice-cold treat.
Directions: From the intersection of Highways 4 and 19, drive 1.0 km south and park near the yellow gate on the east side of the intersection of Highway 4 and Hilliers Road.
Walk along the old road to the abandoned railroad grade of the Port Alberni E&N Railway. Cross the railroad grade and continue along Coombs Road to Highway 4A. Turn left, cross the bridge over French Creek and explore Coombs Market. Continue along Highway 4A to Station Road before crossing the highway and returning along the abandoned railroad grade. Turn right on the old Coombs Road and return to the start. Total time for this 5 Km walk is about 1 hour return.
This short trail through the Englishman River Estuary Nature Reserve is a favourite amongst bird watchers.
Directions: From the intersection of the Old Island Highway and Shelley Road, drive north 0.4 Kilometers and park at the end of Shelley Road.
Turn right just before the gate and head east to the bank of the Englishman River. Turn left along the river taking care to avoid any of the cut banks that are barricaded off in order to prevent further erosion of the riverbank. Make your way to the dike that borders the estuary and proceed west to the bird watching platform. Continue a short way along the dike that leads to Surfside Resort, most of the old dyke has now been removed. Return back along the dike, turn right at the platform and follow the trail back to the foot of Mill Street. Turn left and follow the trail along the edge of the Nature Reserve back to Shelly Road.