This trail features fabulous ocean views, unique architecture, a secluded pond, diverse ecosystems and wildlife. It is also a good location to watch the comings and goings at the French Creek Marina. For a longer walk combine this trail with all or parts of Columbia Beach West.
Directions: From the beach access at the end of Johnstone Road head east along the beach for approximately 25 minutes. Turn right at the beach access just before the end of Admiral Tryon Boulevard. Turn left on Admiral Tryon Boulevard and keep left at the end of the road on to a trail that goes upstream along French Creek. Turn right just before bridge and either follow the trail along the highway or enter the woods and make your way through the network of bike trails to Columbia Drive. Turn right on Columbia Drive, left on Dalmation Drive, right on Marine Circle, right on French Connection left on Juan De Fuca Boulevard and right back on to Dalmation. At the intersection of Dalmation Drive and Admiral Tryon Boulevard turn left on the pedestrian path. Turn left at the trail intersection and follow the short path to the lookout over the Pebble Beach Pond. Go back along the trail to the beach, turn left, and return to the start.
This is one of the best walks in the Qualicum Beach area, and without a doubt my favourite. Years ago, while still living down island, I visited Qualicum Beach and went for a walk along Flamingo Drive. I fell in love with the town and vowed to return when I retired. As fate would have it, I found myself moving here much sooner than expected and settling on “the Flats”. I was even more impressed when I found that one could continue past Flamingo Drive to a beautiful wildlife reserve on the edge of a wide sandy beach that few people visited. The views to the west of Denman and Hornby Islands with the mountains of Vancouver Island in the background are sublime and fill me with awe. Sunsets are spectacular and the flocks of migrating sea birds are the highlight of the year.
￼Directions: Start at the Wildlife Viewing Area on the Old Island Highway, between Beach Terrace and Crescent Road West. Walk west along the waterfront for approximately 40 Minutes. A little over half way along the cobble beach swings to the southwest and broadens out to the wide sandy flats of the Little Qualicum River estuary. This area teems with wildfowl during the spring migration. Continue to the mouth of the Little Qualicum River and the memorial marker in recognition of Bill and Valerie Shuttleworth. Return along the beach to the first beach access at the end of Surfside Drive. Continue along Surfside and turn right on McFeely Drive. Follow McFeely as it turns to the south and becomes Kinkade Road. Turn left on Flamingo Drive, left on Seacroft Road, and follow Seacroft to the beach. Turn right and return to the beginning .
Cathedral Grove is located in MacMillan Provincial Park. It is one of the most accessible stands of old growth giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. A network of trails winds through the mighty stands of Douglas firs – one measuring more than 9 metres in circumference and ancient groves of Western red cedar.
MacMillan Park is located 25 km west of Qualicum Beach and 16 km east of Port Alberni on Hwy #4. For more information visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/macmillan/
Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park straddles the Little Qualicum River and incorporates the entire southern shore of Cameron Lake. The falls, lake swimming, riverside trails and picnic facilities make this park a popular recreation destination. For more information visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/little_qualicum_falls/
Two short loops in a beautiful little park near the ferry terminal in Swartz Bay: