Vancouver Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Hungry birds landing for some beef jerky
    Hungry birds landing for some beef jerky
    by epicult
  • Mmmm.... beautiful tall trees
    Mmmm.... beautiful tall trees
    by epicult
  • Easy up... hard on the knees down
    Easy up... hard on the knees down
    by epicult

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Vancouver Island

  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Get out there and check out the wildlife

    by K.Knight Written Jul 2, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We like to take that dirt road and see what happens.
    A couple of Aussies travelling in the northern hemisphere try to look at what others may take for granted. Salmon were jumping out of the water on their annual pilgrimage and the Canada geese were just taking it all in.
    Well, at least we were impressed and not a kangaroo in sight!

    Canada geese
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    CATHEDRAL GROVE

    by LoriPori Written Oct 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MacMillan Park's spectacular CATHEDRAL GROVE is a long archway of massive Douglas Fir trees that stand about 150 metres tall, some with trunks that are 6 metres around. The "Gateway to the Pacific Rim" takes you through this immense forest. You can stop and walk through the guided trails and learn about the history from the kiosks among the shaded, tall trees.

    Hans & GIANT FIR

    Was this review helpful?

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Colaland Museum and Diner

    by toonsarah Written May 12, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Driving to Qualicum Beach one day we were intrigued by some signs indicating the way to this attraction, which I hadn’t read anything about in my pre-holiday planning. With time to spare we decided to turn off the road and investigate. We love anything quirky, and have an interest in fifties Americana, so the detour was well worthwhile.

    The diner is a treasure trove of all things related to coca cola, the more kitsch the better, and there’s a great juke box. But this is also a genuine diner, so you can come here to enjoy a light meal or cold drink (and not just coke – I had a very good milkshake).

    The mural outside apparently caused quite a stir when it was first painted because Marilyn Monroe was portrayed in a topless outfit - see this website http://www.alicubi.com/articles/cola_01.html to see what she looked like before the bikini top was added, and to read about the controversy.

    Colaland Museum and Diner Inside the Colaland Museum and Diner

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    CATHEDRAL GROVE

    by LoriPori Written Oct 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On Tuesday, June 3, driving along Highway 4 West, we came across CATHEDRAL GROVE . Our friends in Vancouver recommended that we stop by here. You'll know you've reached this park because massive trees suddenly create a spectacular green roof across the road. MacMillan Park-Cathedral Grove is a preserved stand of old-growth trees. A network of trails will lead you to some of the largest Douglas Firs, several more than 800 years old. It's difficult to describe these forest giants but maybe one dimension will bring it home. The largest tree in the grove measures over 30 feet around.

    Lori & A GIANT TREE

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    PEACEFUL COWICHAN BAY

    by LoriPori Updated Nov 15, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tuesday, June 3. As we were driving North on Highway 1, just before Duncan, we decided to go off the highway and explore the Lake Cowichan District with its freshwater lakes, parks, campgrounds and friendly little communities like Cowichan Bay and Crofton, a forestry town with hiking trails, great fishing and a B.C. Ferries Terminal where you can board a ferry to Salt Spring Island.

    Peaceful Cowichan Bay
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    CATHEDRAL GROVE

    by LoriPori Updated Oct 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MacMillan Park- Cathedral Grove, a day park located at the top end of Cameron Lake is noted for a preserved section of lush old-growth forest that is unique on Vancouver Island. An interpretive trail system winds through these 800-year old giants, allowing for close inspection of the tree rings on some downed logs that were victims of blowdowns. This park gives you a sense of what Vancouver Island and the West Coast looked like before the arrival of European settlers.

    Hans & Old Tree Stump

    Was this review helpful?

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Bald eagles

    by toonsarah Written May 12, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were lucky enough to get a good look at a bald eagle on two occasions while on Vancouver Island. The first was on Quadra Island, near the lodge at Tsa-Kwa-Luten, flying between the pine trees near the shore (second photo). The second was this one at Telegraph Cove, perched on one of the pilings in the harbour – we spotted him from our table in the Killer Whale Café at lunch time and rushed out with the cameras to take photos (leaving our food to get cold on the table!)

    Bald eagles often spend the summer on the B.C. coast, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Queen Charlotte Islands fishing for herring and feeding young. I read up some facts about them on the internet:

    The adult eagle's white ['bald'] head and tail feathers are developed by its fourth or fifth year. An immature eagle has mottled brown and white plumage. Wing span is 6 to 8 feet; the females are larger than the males. Eagles can fly at 50 kph, dive at 160 kph and can spot a fish from more than a kilometre away. Their diet is mainly fish, supplemented by water fowl, small mammals, and carrion when fish are in short supply. Their preferred habitat is in the old growth timber along the coast. Bald eagles mate for life and can reach the age of 40.

    You'll probably need to click on the photos to see the eagles clearly

    Bald eagle, Telegraph Cove Bald eagle, Quadra Island
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • canuckmike's Profile Photo

    East Sooke Regional Park

    by canuckmike Written Dec 19, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Even though it is only about an hour away from Victoria, it seems like you could be on the other side of the island. East Sooke Regional Park is an amazing day break from city life. At 1436 hectares and around 50km of hiking trails, the hours can slip away. While hiking through thick temperate rainforest you can all of a sudden be at the Pacific Ocean. I only saw little bit of the park and I was amazed. Another bonus is that I had the park almost all to myself excluding the two other people I went with.

    Unfortunately there are some problems within the park. People use the park to have "grow ops" which can sometimes be booby trapped. As long as you stay on the trails you will have nothing to worry about. Trust me, this is not enough to worry you once you are in the park.

    East Sooke Regional Park
    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

    Was this review helpful?

  • cherylll's Profile Photo

    feed the Whiskey Jacks right out of your hand

    by cherylll Updated Oct 17, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Paradise Meadows, top if Mount Washington
    A beautiful hike for the whole family or can also be an excellent challenge for the more serious hiker. From 3hr. hikes to 3day hikes depending on which routes you dcide to take. There are maps of all the different trails, outhouses along the way, lots of wild life, great for bird watchers

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • cherylll's Profile Photo

    beautiful waterfalls, rainforest, ferns, salmon

    by cherylll Updated Jan 10, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was taken at Elk Falls Park in Campbell River. An awesome place for the whole family to go hiking thru rainforest trails, winter or summer. There are outhouses and wooden hand railings for those that me be a bit unsteady on their feet.The trails from the forest come out onto a river, with very fast rapids so a word of caution be very careful not to get too close to the edge of the Falls (they drop straight down about 50-80 feet, approx) also very slippery. The Parks have constructed a look out point towards the falls and it is an awesome view for taking pics. See the big picture I have on my homepage.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • cherylll's Profile Photo

    the sunset is awesome

    by cherylll Written Jan 10, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you drive along the Old Island Hwy, south of Courtenay, heading into Royston and then on into Union Bay, the drive along the beach is beautiful! You can look across to Comox and farther south you will eventually see Denman and hornby Islands. You acn also see the Rocky mountain range on the mainland, again, very beautiful. I live in Royston and the sun rise on the water is spectacular... summer or winter!

    Related to:
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    Tour the little islands around Vancouver Island

    by Camping_Girl Updated Mar 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This little island is home to a small lighthouse, which helps mark the way for ships coming through the Strait of Georgia. The island in the background is Gabriola Island, while the less-visible island behind Gabriola is Vancouver Island. It is barely visible through the fog and clouds.

    This is approaching Duke Point, near Nanaimo.

    Lighthouse near Gabriola Island Snake Island Gabriola Island
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    Snake Island

    by Camping_Girl Updated Mar 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Seals, Cormorants, and Snakes!

    Snake Island near Nanaimo is so named because in the old days the ocean going ships would keep snakes onboard to catch the rats on the ship. After they had crossed the ocean, they would stop and dump the snakes out here before they docked at the harbour in Nanaimo.

    I was warned that you should never set foot onto this tiny island. Apparently, there is some sort of virus in the sea gulls here that can infect humans and is very serious.

    Actually, the snakes would be enough to keep me away, even without the virus threat!

    Seals on Snake Island
    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • Beaches
    • Whale Watching

    Was this review helpful?

  • epicult's Profile Photo

    Strathcona Park - Flower Ridge

    by epicult Written Oct 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A great but somewhat demanding hike. To make it to the top of the mountain, allow yourself 2-4 hours depending on your physical condition. It's steep, hot (in summer) and somewhat technical in certain areas. And, if you think getting up was tough, wait till you go down! Your knees will take a real pounding... coming from a guy with good knees!

    On the way, we stopped off for a beef jerky snack and I noticed many birds flying into the surrounding trees. While eating a peice of jerky a bird flew up, handed on my hand and stole the morsel right out of my hand. Incredible!!! These birds have no fear of humans. From that point on we shared the rest of our lunch with the birds, before moving on. A great experience!

    Be sure to take at least a liter of water "per hour, per person". Otherwise, you WILL dehydrate! By the time you reach the top you'll be fully drenched in your own juices, trust me!

    You can do multi-day trips up here. I wish we had more time. This would have been the case.

    Enjoy.

    Hungry birds landing for some beef jerky Crossing the bridge up to Flower Ridge Mmmm.... beautiful tall trees Easy up... hard on the knees down Top of the hike
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • epicult's Profile Photo

    Campbell River: The Oyster River - Pure H2O

    by epicult Written Oct 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I grew up on this portion and have yet to experience a river like this one. Great pure water and amazing fishing. You can drink it, bathe in it, fish it, marvel in its beauty, swim in it or... the choice is your. While I won't give up the name of this particular location, there are 1000's like it on the Oyster River. As a youngster, I used to hitch hike about 5 or 6 miles up the river and snorkel down the entire length (with a few portages), to the mouth where it empties into the Pacific.

    The reason for its purity is that it's a glacial river, making it a little cooler than most but absolutely amazing. I really love this place!

    Purity : Te-boy in his element
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Vancouver Island

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

42 travelers online now

Comments

Vancouver Island Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Vancouver Island off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Vancouver Island sightseeing.

View all Vancouver Island hotels