Hiking in Parksville

 In Blog

Vancouver Island is well known to hikers who travel from all over the globe to enjoy the island’s natural beauty and an array of hiking trails, ancient rainforests, and west coast beaches.  Home to several provincial and regional parks, each with its own network of hiking trails, scenic outlooks, centuries-old trees, and local wildlife, Vancouver Island’s Parksville community and surrounding region are certainly a huge part of that draw. At Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort, we have curated our top 10 trails to explore when visiting Parksville.

Hiking Trails



Level of Difficulty:  Easy
Length: 1.6km
Time: 35 minutes

Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees, majestic pillars untouched by the modern world – some more than 800 years old.



Level of Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.3km
Time: 30 minute

Englishman River Falls features two stunning waterfalls that feed into a river that runs through a deep canyon set amid a lush old-growth forest of Douglas firs. Visitors will find a large day-use area as well as three kilometres of hiking trails that provide views of the canyon and waterfalls along the way and cross the river in two places. The lower falls spill into a deep, clear pool, creating an ideal swimming hole on hot days.



Level of Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.5 km
Time: 2 hours

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.

Start Dreaming of Your Next Getaway


Level of Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.9km
Time: 1 hour

Little Qualicum Falls is a local favourite! This easily accessible trail is made up primarily of wooden stairs and gravel sections. Perfect for families, this easy to follow trail provides two different vantage points to view the cascading waterfall. Depending on the time of year, you may even find a swimming hole when the water is low.



Level of Difficulty: Easy
Length: 5.5 km
Time: 2.5 hours

Trade toes-in-the-sand for a good pair of walking or hiking shoes and explore the park’s 5.5 kilometres of wheelchair-accessible trails! Winding both around the beach and through the surrounding area’s lush forest, these easy trails are a wonderful way to see the park. The trails will take you through campsites, as well as the scenic nearby heritage farm field.

Image Courtesy of Daniela Saunders


Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2.5  hours

Hike your way through the lush West Coast rainforest. Along the way, you will see stunning hemlock and towering big leaf maple trees, as well as a large variety of moss, ferns and fungi. Once you make it to the waterfall, there is a large open area of big rocks to sit on and enjoy some lunch.

Image Courtesy of Vancouver Trails


Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Length: 7.5 km
Time: 4 hours

Located 2 hours away in Ucluelet, this family-friendly trail traces through the edge of reefs showcasing the distinct beauty of Vancouver Island. This hike is offered in two sections – an easy 2.5 km loop and a more difficult section that traces the shoreline for almost 5km.

Image Courtesy of Parkville Qualicum Beach Tourism


Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Length: N/A
Time: N/A

This beautiful park lives up to its name! The rocky beaches are filled with life-rich tidal pools and gorgeous views west across Craig Bay to Parksville and Mount Arrowsmith and north across the Salish Sea to the mainland coastal mountains. Come spend an afternoon exploring the beachfront at low-tide – we promise it won’t disappoint!

Image Courtesy of All Trails


Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.9 km
Time: 1.5 hours

This short trail located on the Northside of Nanoose Bay. At the summit, you will see views of Mount Arrowsmith, Nanoose Harbour and Nanaimo. Please ensure that you wear proper footwear on this hike, as the trail steepens for short periods of time.

Image Courtesy of All Trails


Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Length: 6km
Time: 5 hours

This hike is not for the faint of heart. Mount Arrowsmith is the highest mountain in the southern half of Vancouver Island. The trail is steep and loose, so be prepared to use handholds, careful foot placement and watch for quick changes in the weather.

These trails and many others are just waiting to be explored. Ignite your passion for nature and book your stay at Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort today!