Falling for the Island’s accessible waterfalls

Outdoor blogger lists 17 waterfalls worth a family-friendly walk in the woods on the central east coast of Vancouver Island

Joel Collins cools down under Stocking Creek Falls

A silvery splash, a shimmering roar, or a cascading thunder in white — waterfalls come in many forms.

But few are those who fail to pause and drink in their wonder.

Some, like Jill Collins, will even walk many kilometres for a chance to experience one.

“From a distance they sparkle, are magical and tranquil. Up close waterfalls are deafening, powerful and spectacular,” she writes in her blog On the Beaten Path. “They captivate us, stimulate our senses and are a highlight of many hikes on Vancouver Island.”

Collins, who writes about family recreation opportunities on the Island, recently posted a guide to the best waterfall hikes on its central east coast.

If you are looking for a nice, family-friendly afternoon walk, you may want to start right here.

There are 17 waterfalls included, ranging from Cowichan to Fanny Bay. Most of them are a relatively easy trek for the novice hiker that can be completed within a few hours or less.

Collins’ criteria was pretty simple: include all the waterfalls she could think of that were worth seeing and easily reachable for families in the central Island area.

“I could have kept going but I ran out of energy,” she said with a laugh. “I needed to get this out.”

A resident of the rural Cedar area south of Nanaimo, Collins hasn’t been to every waterfall listed, but felt compelled to include those she hasn’t based on feedback she’s received from fellow hikers.

Her personal favourites are Ammonite Falls in Nanaimo and Stocking Creek Falls between Ladysmith and Chemainus — each for different reasons.

“Ammonite is very popular now; it never used to be as busy. It’s got the location and the wow factor,” she said. “Stocking Creek, it’s so easy to get there but you can get right down to the waterfall. Kids love it.”

Collins is a frequent reader of and contributor to various internet outdoor networks. She’s hasn’t seen a similar list posted anywhere and she is surprised by the amount of attention this one has generated.

“Not that I know of,” she said. “I can’t believe the amount of hits.”

Collins describes the hikes listed as mostly easy to moderate and usually within cell phone range. Wear the appropriate footwear, pack some water and a snack, and you should be fine.

The directions provided by the blog will get you to the right spot, but they aren’t so detailed they will spoil the joy of exploration.

She plans to experience every waterfall on the list and hopes she can inspire others to do the same.

“That’s what it’s all about: inspiring people to get out there and enjoy our natural beauty,” she said. “I’m just someone who is passionate about getting outside. This is my way to show others there is so much right here.”

 

Just Posted

33rd annual Rotary Auction raises $50,000 gross profit

The Rotary Auction is an annual joint project between the Port Hardy and Port McNeill clubs.

Port Hardy Secondary School girls volleyball team competes in Parksville

The girls volleyball team has a new coach this year, Kenzie McDonald.

Port Alice resident is taken on by a major publisher

As a youth, Wilkie was gigging in a 3-piece punk rock band called Sponge Cookie.

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

First annual North Island Christmas Festival

“If it’s a big success we can do it every year”

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read