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.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dougal the blind raven enjoys role as ambassador at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Bird helps animal care technicians teach visitors about his species

RCMP: Trio arrested, firearms seized after report of shots fired in rural Qualicum Beach

Police say search also found evidence of large-scale drug operation

UPDATE: Qualicum Beach man, 51, dies in kayaking incident

No foul play suspected; body was found floating near Lasqueti Island

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Most Read