Payzant Falls on the Juan De Fuca Trail

A couple of weeks ago I did a day trip out to the west coast between Port Renfrew and Victoria. This stretch of coast is the home to the Juan De Fuca Trail, a 47 km long trail that follows the coastline. Hikers have the option to do the whole trail as a multi-day hike or to pick and choose …

Rossiter Lake Ramble

I’ve been meaning to hike down to Rossiter and Divers Lake for some time but they’re a bit off the beaten track and access is essentially in and back. Both of these gorgeous lakes were added to Strathcona Provincial Park back in 2003. Rossiter Lake Access to Rossiter Lake (the first lake in the chain) is via logging roads. I …

Return to Rosewall Creek

I like the hike up Rosewall Creek—it’s fairly easy going and the walk doesn’t take much more than 45 minutes to get to the first view point of the main falls. At this time of year, the water levels are high and accessing good view points for photography is challenging. Rosewall Creek flows through lush west coast forest. Today I …

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 …

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 …

Horse Clam Hitchhiker

One of the fun things that you can do with your kids at the beach is look for the dramatic siphons of the Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) at low tide. Most people don’t connect the somewhat grotesque looking tube sticking out of the sand with the feeding apparatus of a clam but that is indeed what they are. Below the …

Shore Crab Uncertainty

Common shore crabs on Vancouver Island are usually pretty easy to identify. Colour isn’t always a good way to separate out the Green Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus oregonensis) from the Purple Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus nudus) since both have some variability in colouration. The more reliable way to tell the two apart is to look at the legs – Green Shore Crabs …

Sand Dollar Safari

I love taking the kids to the beach because it’s an adventure for both of them and me as well. I never know what we’ll discover and they’re always finding something interesting in the sand. Jocie and I try to encourage a sense of respect for the living things that we find and at their age (2 and almost 4) …

A Sad Day for Strathcona Provincial Park

Bedwell Lake is accessible by fairly good trail from the Buttle Lake corridor of the park (if the suspension bridge at the trail head isn’t damaged). BC Parks turned 100 just over a month ago on March 1st, 2011. On March 11, 2010, the BC Liberal government quietly and radically amended the Master Plan of Strathcona Provincial Park, the first …

Sandy Island Marine Provincial Park

Tree Island from Longbeak Point on Denman Island When is an island not an island? When you can walk to it – at low tide! You won’t find the name Tree Island on many maps – but ask someone from the Comox Valley, and they will refer you to Sandy Island – the Marine Provincial Park so close to the …