Little Qualicum Falls and Englishman River Falls offer well-maintained trails, Rathtrevor Provincial Park offers a 5 km riverside walk and for more intrepid explorers there is a five-hour journey deep below the surface at Horne Lake Caves which includes a seven-storey underground waterfall called the Rain Barrel. For those of us less brave there is Milner Gardens to explore which is rated one of the ten best public gardens in Canada – sadly for me who loves to visit any garden it was only open Thurs – Sun in October. Oh well, another excuse to re-visit the Island.
We managed a walk in the Englishman River Falls Park looping around the top falls and the lower falls where the water ran the most incredible deep emerald-green and followed by a visit to the Wildlife Recovery Centre where injured birds and mammals, including eagles and black bears, are given a home and help to recuperate before being rehabilitated. As a non-profit charitable organisation you know that your entrance fee is used to make a difference.
Would I stay in this area again? Probably not. I’d have rather extended my time on the West coast, although saying that if I wasn’t visiting off-season then I would have gone over to Gabriola Island which is close to Nanaimo and is famous for numerous studios and art galleries. There are three provincial parks, a museum, bald eagles and lots of coastal scenery. It is a good day trip by bike or by car.
Food comments? Managed an OK steak platter at Leftys (cheap) in Qualicum Beach and a relatively good Jambalaya and home-made tiramisu at the Cozy Stove on Alberni Hwy