Parks and trails
For outdoor fun and activities, walking in the woods or spending a day on the water – you’ve come to the right area.
From south Nanaimo to Ladysmith and Chemainus, you will find some of the best walking, hiking and biking trails the Island has to offer.
Holland Creek Trail 5.8 km with entrances off Dogwood Drive, Sixth Avenue, offers an attractive walking route on both sides of the creek that can be a challenge for some. The trail is unique for its views of Crystal Falls, where a stone wall area has been built on the south trail to ensure safe viewing. At the ocean end the creek exits into flat grassy low lands, providing habitat for birds in a small delta. Holland Creek is a fish spawning creek where salmon return every year, and a popular spot for locals to watch salmon spawning.
Rotary Lookout Trail is a short 1.2 km walk which is accessed close to the log bridge on the Holland Creek Trail. Estuary Trail, a part of the Holland Creek Trail, can be found at King Road and is a short 10 minute walk along the edge of Ladysmith Harbour to Transfer Beach Park. Heart Lake Loop Trail is a challenging 6.4 km that takes about two hours but rewards you with a panoramic view of the ocean and Islands. There’s fishing or swimming once you get to the lake. Stocking Lake Loop is a 9.3 km trail that begins at Davis Road Park and takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to walk.
Marine Walk seaside trail follows old railway track linking Fisherman’s Wharf and Ladysmith Maritime Society docks. Flat and accessible for all fitness levels.
Just south of Ladysmith is the peaceful community of Saltair and Chemainus. Some parks to visit are:
Saltair Centennial Park, located on South Oyster School Road.
Stocking Creek Park, south entrance is off Thicke Road (off Chemainus Road) and the north entrance off Finch Place has nature trails, picnicking and a waterfall.
Diana, Princess of Wales Park between Olsen Road and Rocky Beach Road has a pleasant walking trail.
Gourlay-Janes Park is just a short walk through the woods to the ocean, off Chemainus Road (off-leash park).
Askew Creek Wilderness Trail with its 8km of trail systems is a place for the whole family to enjoy. Access from Oak Street.
Hermit Trail, a historic trail built by the town’s hermit who worked for years to create stone walkways and gardens. Follow Chemainus Road north from the downtown, and turn left on Elm Street, walk to the end where the road meets the trees and pass through the Chemainus ballpark and go through the gate to the trail.
A variety of outdoor adventure awaits north of Ladysmith in the communities of Cedar, Yellow Point, Cassidy, and south Nanaimo.
Blue Heron Park on Westby Road, off Yellow Point Road.
Cable Bay Nature Trail (see Cedar map). It is a 2 km walk through forest to the ocean. After the bridge, the trail turns to Joan Point that will take you past Dodd Narrows, a favourite spot to watch marine traffic navigate the narrows, and for spotting sea lions. Off-leash dog park.
Elliott Beach Park on Elliott Way, off Shell Beach Road, is a beach with picnicking, warm water swimming and snorkeling.
Extension Ridge Trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail system. It offers stunning views of the Strait of Georgia.
Haslam Creek Trail and Suspension Bridge to Spruston Road. This trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail system. The trail is accessed at the end of Timberlands Road in Cassidy.
Hemer Provincial Park off Holden-Corso Road has easy walking trails. Mainly forested with mature coastal Douglas fir, red alder and big leaf maple, it is a peaceful setting for walkers, paddlers, boaters and anglers.
Morden Colliery Trail offers walkers a chance to walk along parts of the coal railway route that once linked the mines of South Wellington to the coal ships docked at Boat Harbour.
Raven Park on Shell Beach Road is a pretty beach park.
Roberts Memorial Park off Yellow Point Road has bathroom facilities and a day-use area, picnicking, fishing, biking and hiking.
Yellow Point Park on Yellow Point Road features numerous nature trails dotted with wild flowers in spring time.
Many outdoor sporting opportunities lie north of Ladysmith. To access the back roads follow Christie Road through a rural area known as the Diamond. The road turns to a rough logging road and winds for miles through back woods. Watch for the Bush Creek Hatchery, operated by volunteers from the Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club who are usually there Saturdays from 9am to noon. The gravel road leads to Holland Lake, 2.5 km, a part of Ladysmith’s water supply and a protected area. Timberland and Cassidy area offers back roads that access several lakes for outdoor adventure.