Hiking in Parksville
Do you ever feel the need to escape? Do you want to relinquish the roles and responsibilities you hold in life and just get away? Embrace nature and all its wonder, smell the fresh spring air, surround yourself with the lush wilderness, and connect with the serenity of the wilderness.
Hiking is one way for us to get back to our roots and ground ourselves. Connecting with nature is vital for our health. The majority of the population does not get the recommended amount of daily physical activity. Getting some more exercise into your daily routine will help lower your risk of heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, boost bone density and control your weight. Not to mention the muscles you can gain or tone from hiking: glutes, quads, hamstrings and core.
Fun fact: Did you know that taking off your shoes and putting your feet on the earth releases endorphins, which make you happy? Hiking can help battle the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Gregory A Miller, president of the American Hiking Society, says “Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.”
With over 136 hectare MacMillan Provincial Park is home to Cathrdral Grove. There are a number of trails that offer close-up views of the magnificent old-growth Douglas firs that are over 800 years old and have circumferences of up to 9 meters. With many viewing platforms there is lots of opportunities to take the perfect selfie. On the north side of the highway, the ‘Old Growth Trail’ offers two loops through ancient western red cedars, western hemlock and grand firs.
Considered one of the province’s most popular family destinations, Rathtrevor Beach offers approximately 5 kilometres of walking trails through the forest. Most trails are easy to navigate, making them ideal for family adventures. During low tide, the ocean recedes, leaving a sandy beach to enjoy.
Right at the outskirts of Errington, intrepid mountaineers can turn left up Little Mountain Road and drive almost all the way to the top of Little Mountain. Once there, you’ll be treated to panoramic almost-aerial views of Parksville that are gorgeous at any time but are indescribable at sunset. Turn 180 degrees from the edge of the mountainside and you’ll see a trailhead that runs through the forested area encroaching on the peak of the mountain.
HIKING SAFETY TIPS:
- Bring proper rain and safety gear
- Wear good footwear
- Don’t approach or feed wildlife
- Weather can change quickly in the mountains, so dress in layers
- At higher elevations, snow and mud can linger on trails, even in summer
- Sections of some coastal trails may be impassable at high tide – check tide charts before you go.
We asked an avid hiker why he likes hiking so much and he said “It’s not only a great exercise but it’s necessary for relieving stress. I gain mental clarity when I get outdoors and can completely forget about the worries of work.”
That is right, it seems like we have reached a general consensus that hiking is good for the soul.
Please note, we aren’t encouraging travel at this time; however, we will continue to post blogs and content across our social media channels to provide a virtual travel experience. We look forward to welcoming all visitors to Parksville when the time is right.