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!
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.
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.
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.
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