Enjoy a day of outdoor activities among the forests, lake and waterfalls of a scenic park on central Vancouver Island.
Follow miles of trails along the fast flowing river at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Dip your feet in sheltered swimming holes and canoe, kayak or windsurf across a lake.
The park was established in 1940 to protect the native Douglas fir trees and the river and waterfall areas. It encompasses the south shore of the vast Cameron Lake as well as another 1,087 acres (440 hectares) of land that incorporates Qualicum River.
There are approximately 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) of boardwalk trails that pass through forests above the river. Stop at lookout platforms along the way and watch the lower and upper waterfalls surge through a rugged gorge. The incredible power of the water has been known to uproot trees and move large boulders.
Carry on downstream where you will find several deep pools. Nestled beneath cliffs, they are picturesque places for a swim. Note that there are no lifeguards on duty at the park.
Another good swimming spot is Cameron Lake, situated at almost 656 feet (200 meters) above sea level. Consistent afternoon winds mean that the lake is also a superb sailing and windsurfing location. You can also travel across the water by renting a canoe or kayak.
The lake is favored by anglers, because it is one of the few lakes in the region to have brown trout. You will need to purchase a fishing license to be able to cast your line in the water.
Between May and September, stay overnight in a campsite. There are more than 90 dotted throughout the park and one campsite is wheelchair accessible. There are no electrical hookups nor shower facilities at any of the sites. For prices and booking details, visit the park's website.
Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park is a 2-hour drive east of Tofino and admission is free. The park's facilities include an adventure playground for children and day-use areas with picnic tables, toilets and cold water taps.