After spending several days on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, we then visited relatives who live on the east coast in Parksville, near Nanaimo. They showed us some interesting places.
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
This park is essentially in the Parksville area, and is a wonderful park for sightseeing, camping, hiking and, for some, swimming. The Englishman River starts on the eastern slope of the Beaufort Range, discharging from a small Jewel Lake, coursing through several other lakes for 40 miles and empties into the Straits of Georgia near Parksville. The park, established in 1940, contains a section of the river which runs over two stunning waterfalls into a deep canyon likened to a black hole. This is all very picturesque amid a lush old growth and second growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, maple and hemlock. There is a beautiful swimming hole at the lower falls and an interesting suspension bridge across the river at that point. The local legend has it that the indigenous people found the skeletal remains of a Caucasian man near the waterfalls, thereby the name of the river.
Elk Falls Provincial Park
Elk Falls Provincial Park is located two km outside Campbell River, about 70 miles north of Parksville.The park highlight is a thundering 25 meter high waterfall, and some of the finest salmon fishing in BC. The falls are reached via a 3/4 mile winding trail through an extensive network of forest trails and consists of 1800 hectares of property. A suspension bridge built in 2015 offers great views of the falls, as do several elevated viewing platforms. The park contains a hydroelectric plant built in the 1940’s; river water runs downstream from above the falls for some distance though three large diameter wooden penstocks. The water flowing from the plant runs downstream as the Campbell River.
This modest city and its’ namesake river are considered to be one of BC’s best area for fishing, with a heavy focus on salmon. Fishing is done in the river and extensively in the Straits of Georgia.