March to Moat Lake

I don’t know what was more difficult: the long hike out and back to Moat Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park, or sorting through the photographs this week. The hike was a physically draining 25+ km and by hour 8 I was literally dragging my feet from Croteau Lake down through Battleship and Paradise Meadows. The light was less than ideal …

Around Aston Pond

Two weekends ago my brother-in-law J. and I hiked out to Panther Lake to see if we could scout out a route back to the Cruikshank Canyon lookout trail and Lake Beautiful. After bushwhacking our way to a lunch spot on the east side of the lake and a relaxing lunch being harassed by gray jays, we reassessed the terrain …

Morton Lake Provincial Park

On these hot summer days, Morton Lake Provincial Park just north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island is an ideal swimming destination. It’s a bit of an adventure getting there, but the 14 km drive on logging roads is well worth it. The sandy beach and shallow water make Morton Lake Provincial Park an excellent swimming destination. We made  family …

Paradise Meadows Perambulation

Jocie and I had a “kid-free day” today and made the most of it by heading up to Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. The weather on Vancouver Island has been hot and clear for over a week and last winter’s snow is gone in the lower meadows, although patches remain in the shady section of the Lake Helen Mackenzie …

Vancouver Groundcone at Little Qualicum Falls

Don’t let the “little” part of the name of Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park fool you—these waterfalls are definitely a worthy of a stop on the way out to the West Coast of Vancouver Island or as an easy day trip from Courtenay or Nanaimo. In addition to the dramatic falls, the narrow canyons also make for good photography. And if …

Wildflowers on the Canyon View Trail

This is the time of year on Vancouver Island to get down to local riverside trails and check out the spring wildflower bloom. One of my favourite places to walk is the the Canyon View Trail in Campbell River. We usually start this moderate 6 km loop trail at the John Hart Generation Station and then walk downstream along the …

Kwai Lake Hike

It’s been a late year for hiking in the sub-alpine on Vancouver Island. I thought I’d check out the “back-country” of Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park today before the rain moves in later in the week. My original plan was to complete the shortish (about 8 km) Lake Helen MacKenzie loop but trail conditions were fairly good up to the …

Waterfall Gets Stamp of Approval

We had originally planned a family trip to the spectacular Little Qualicum Falls in Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park but by the time we arrived (approximately 45 minutes from Courtenay) both of the kids were asleep in the back of the car and we were faced with a dilemma: wake the kids or drive further afield. For those of you …

Buttle Lake Bluffs

It’s a spot where few people stop on their way to Ralph River Campground in Strathcona Provincial Park. There doesn’t look like there’s much to see and the road is so narrow, twisty and windy in this section that there aren’t many places to pull over safely as well, especially if you’ve got a Boliden-Westmin Mines ore truck on your …

Canyon View Trail in Campbell River

The beautiful White Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum) is one of many wildflowers in bloom along the Canyon View Trail in Elk Falls Provincial Park. The Canyon View Trail in Elk Falls Provincial Park is a six kilometer loop that follows the banks of the Campbell River is spectacular right now and getting better every day. Allow yourself about 1.5 hours …