Beach & Parks
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park – 347 hectares
Adjacent to Tigh-Na-Mara, sits one of British Columbia's most beautiful provincial parks. Majestic old growth trees, beautiful ocean sunsets and an inviting, wide sandy beach with campsites nestled amongst mature Douglas fir trees makes Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville one of the premier vacation destinations on Vancouver Island.
At low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometre, providing an ideal place for visitors of all ages to play in the sand and explore the shoreline. When the tide rolls in over the sun-baked sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and salt water fun.
Rathtrevor Beach is ideal for a relaxed family outing. Simply sit back and soak up the seaside atmosphere or take a walk through the wooded upland area of the park.
Bird watching is also a popular activity at the park, particularly in the spring when large numbers of seabirds congregate for the annual herring spawn. During March and April, Rathtrevor Beach is also one of the best spots on the Island to view the migrating Brant Geese.
Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees, majestic pillars untouched by the modern world – some more than 800 years old. Cathedral grove is approximately 35 minutes from Tigh-Na-Mara.
Englishman River Falls
Situated along the pristine Englishman River approximately 20 minutes from Tigh-Na-Mara, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park features two stunning waterfalls cascading along the descending riverbed into a deep canyon.
This picturesque destination, set amid a lush old-growth and second-growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock and maple, is an ideal location from which to explore and appreciate the incredible diversity of south central Vancouver Island, including nearby Cathedral Grove, the Pacific Rim, and the sandy shores of Parksville and Qualicum.
The park has a large day-use area and campground and contains several hiking trails that meander through the forest and along the river. Visitors can expect spectacular views along the way, particularly from two bridges that cross the river where it plunges down the narrow rock canyon toward quieter waters below. The lower falls end in a deep crystal-clear pool – an ideal swimming hole in the summer when river levels are low and a great place to view spawning salmon in the fall.
Little Qualicum Falls
A favourite destination on Vancouver Island is Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, which straddles the Little Qualicum River and incorporates the entire southern shore of Cameron Lake. The park is located approximately 25 minutes from Tigh-Na-Mara.
Impressive waterfalls cascade down a rocky gorge in a beautiful forested setting bordered by steep mountain peaks at this park, one of the most beautiful parks on central Vancouver Island. The falls, lake swimming, shaded riverside trails and picnic facilities make Little Qualicum Falls a very popular family recreation destination. A number of walking trails are available in and around the park, offering picturesque views of the river and providing access to the upper and lower falls.
Cameron Lake is an ideal spot for swimming and fishing, as well as sail boarding, due to a wind funnel created by the surrounding mountains.