Foresight preserves Nanoose’s Beachcomber Regional Park

Swimming Beach, Beachcomber Regional Park

Two small, safe swimming beaches feature at Beachcomber

I am often critical at the seeming inability of government bureaucracies to ‘get it right’ but a recent discovery in Nanoose Bay puts the boots to that complaint, at least this once.  We recently visited Beachcomber Regional Park, a tiny gem of a place that someone in the Nanaimo Regional District had the foresight to preserve way back in 1955. And thank heavens they did!

Trail at BeachComber Regional Park

Park trails are mostly easy, although a couple have fairly steep grades

Just one hectare (a little less than 2.5 acres) in size, the park occupies the tip of Beachcomber Peninsula and offers much to lovers of the outdoors, regardless of age.  There are beautiful views west towards Parksville and Mt. Arrowsmith, and north to the mainland and the spectacular coastal mountain range. There is much in the way of wildlife including bald eagles, seals and a wide variety of sea birds. The day that we visited a group of friendly seals came very close to shore to say hello, entertaining us for several minutes with their antics. Two protected little bays offer up pretty, safe swimming beaches. At low tide there is a cornucopia of tide pools to explore among the flat rocks below the low bluff – a true natural-world wonderland.

Oyster Catchers
A pair of oyster catchers harvests lunch off the beach

        Two memorial benches are perched side-by-side looking out over water, mountains and sky, offering a peaceful place to sit and contemplate life. There are a few short hiking trails leading to the beachfront from the parking area. Most of them are pretty easy going but it doesn’t hurt to have some mountain goat capabilities on a couple of them. At the very least, be sure to wear good shoes in order to traverse the trails comfortably and safely.           

Benches at Beachcomber Regional Park

A couple of benches invite visitors to rest awhile and savour the spectacular scenery

A good part of the charm of this little beauty of a park is the fact that development hasn’t overpowered the peace and quiet or the very ‘natural’ aspects of the place.  Although there are homes scattered along the shoreline on either side of Beachcomber they are discreetly located among the Douglas fir, arbutus and Garry oaks that predominate on the peninsula, blending in with the terrain. Over-all, a wonderful spot for a picnic or an outing any time of year – and one, I suspect, that you won’t find over-run with people and traffic due to its low profile and small size.

          Beachcomber Regional Park  Further information on Beachcomber Regional Park can be found on the Nanaimo Regional District website at:

            The small off-road parking area for the park can be found on Marina Way, off Claudet Road. 

GPS co-ordinates are:

Lat. 49.31299265072135  Long. -124.2124689549845

N 49 18.780   W 124 12.748


About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers.
In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.

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