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.
One of the first impressions that one gets of Qualicum Beach is the old world charm of some of its older residential streets. The narrow lanes and quaint cottages of the original beach front village seem to have been directly transported from the English countryside. Many of the older cottages have spectacular ocean views and are slowly being replaced by newer homes and extravagant renos. But for a little longer take a walk on the Quiet Side along Buller Road, Beach Terrace, Hoy Lake Road, Alder, Poplar and Bay Streets. Peak into picturesque Country Gardens through handcrafted gates and fences. Experience the timeless beauty of narrow streets designed more for pedestrians than rushing vehicular traffic.
Directions: From the Courtesy Boat Ramp between the public washrooms and the Beach Hut Concession Stand on the Old Island Highway, walk west along the beach for approximately 30 minutes to the Beach Access at the end of Buller Road. Turn left at the “Gables” then left on the Old Island Highway at St Andrews Lodge and Cottages. Turn right on Beach Terrace, right on Crescent Road West and then immediately turn right into the parking area for the Grandon Creek Trail. Head up Grandon Creek and at the top of the stairs at the end of the trail, turn left on the path that runs along the side of West Hoylake Road. Turn left on Arbutus Street and right back onto Hoylake Road. Turn left on Alder Street, cross Crescent Road and continue on Alder to Poplar Avenue. Turn right. At the end of Poplar, turn left on Bay Street. Follow Bay down the hill back to the beach. Turn right on the Old Island Highway and follow the Beachfront Promenade back to the beginning.