July 01, 2021
With international travel still looking unlikely it’s time to enjoy things closer to home, and boy are we lucky to have such an amazing backyard to explore this summer! Inspire yourself with some long weekend ideas for Vancouver Island. Remember: Be responsible. Check with the local tourism authority for the current situation – travel responsibly and do not put unnecessary stress on small communities.
Strathcona Provincial Park
There are a number of campsites to choose from, Buttle lake campground and Ralph River campground are my favourites and it is essential that you try to make a reservation, however they do have some walk-in sites set aside for each day but you should carefully check this prior to travel. This is the largest provincial park on Vancouver Island and the oldest provincial park in British Columbia. Satisfy your hiking itch and enjoy some breath-taking views. Mountain peaks speckled with snow dominate the landscape and dotted with clear alpine lakes. Strathcona Park is popular with kayakers, wilderness hikers and climbers, but there are a number of easier trails and hikes to satisfy all levels and abilities.
A Great day hike, with a good challenging elevation is the Bedwell Lake Trail, this is awesome if you just want a casual hike with some stunning scenery. The hike has some pretty steep sections, but the trail is very well maintained, I recommend taking a picnic and enjoying the surroundings for a bit before making the return journey back down.
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park
This park was fought for by a group of dedicated activists in the 1990’s and established as a provincial park in 1994. It is home to ancient trees, epic cedars, giant sitka spruces and rugged unkempt wilderness. The routine flooding during the fall and winter months results in the boardwalks being upturned and relocated, a park maintenance nightmare. But this hard to manage forest is just what makes it so special, it is the wild west coast at its damp, overgrown, independent, gorgeous best.
From the gorgeous collection of murals in Chemainus, sipping wine at a Duncan winery, or throwing a line into the Cowichan River. There are a plethora of options right on your back doorstep.
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