PQB Beaches

A new feature highlighting the beaches between Nanoose Bay and Deep Bay/Bowser

  • Mar. 19, 2013 7:00 a.m.

Moorecroft Beach is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of pages that will appear every Tuesday in The NEWS. Every second week, Nanoose Bay writer Jill Davies will provide some information on the beaches of our region, from Nanoose Bay to Deep Bay. On alternating Tuesday’s, a different writer will feature the trails of our region. Enjoy!

By JILL DAVIES

Special to The NEWS

Tyler and Natasha were strolling hand-in-hand with their English Bulldog Bob. Natasha explained that a decade ago she too had been a camper. Her memories of the peace and tranquility of Moorecroft continue to bring her back. Said Tyler, “It’s nature. It’s all around you. It’s awesome”. Added Natasha, “This is where we came to have our engagement photos taken. We took them at Vesper Point. It’s so untouched, so unspoilt. We keep on coming back”.

Fay was also walking her dogs, Audi and Tess. She had never been to Moorecroft before and had been told that it would be a perfect place to paddle her kayak on a warmer day. “It’s such an interesting landscape. It’s very beautiful. It will be fun to come back with my kayak and explore some more.”

Jane Armstrong lives in neighbouring Schooner Cove. Walking with Gracie, her Wheaten Terrier, she said “I love it here. It’s off the beaten track. It’s always quiet and for me it is an endless source of delight. The movement of the tides is fascinating. In the winter the water reflects the forest in beautiful shades of green. In the off-season there are never too many people and even on the greyest of drizzly days it has a beauty all of its own.”

Said Guy Monty, field ornithologist. environmental consultant and park caretaker “In this mild winter a visit to Moorecroft is a great opportunity for a stroll on a quiet and peaceful beach”.

What might you see there in January?

Moorecroft is a magnet for naturalists and keen observers of nature alike. On this January afternoon there were raucous Glaucous-winged gulls in plenty. A distant solitary heron kept a keen eye on the water and a bald eagle perched high above the bay. Already, as the eagles seek their mates, their courting rituals can be observed. Some are already building nests. In the shallows of the inner bay paddled a small flock of Mallard ducks and, for a while, were joined by a number of pretty white Buffleheads. In the Outer Bay were more ducks as mixed flock of Surf Scoters and Barrow’s Goldeneyes greedily scavenged mussels from the sea bed.

For keen observers of nature, head around to Vesper Point where both Stellar and California sea lions will often be seen gracefully looping through the water as they feed just off the rocks. Harbour seals too will often be seen in and around the bay. If you are lucky you may also see Oyster Catchers, Mergansers or Common Loons. The Brant geese have already made an appearance on our shores. Jane Armstrong lives in neighbouring Schooner Cove. Walking with Gracie, her Wheaten Terrier, she said “I love it here. It’s off the beaten track. It’s always quiet and for me it is an endless source of delight. The movement of the tides is fascinating. In the winter the water reflects the forest in beautiful shades of green. In the off-season there are never too many people and even on the greyest of drizzly days it has a beauty all of its own.”

Jane Armstrong lives in neighbouring Schooner Cove. Walking with Gracie, her Wheaten Terrier, she said “I love it here. It’s off the beaten track. It’s always quiet and for me it is an endless source of delight. The movement of the tides is fascinating. In the winter the water reflects the forest in beautiful shades of green. In the off-season there are never too many people and even on the greyest of drizzly days it has a beauty all of its own.”

Jane Armstrong lives in neighbouring Schooner Cove. Walking with Gracie, her Wheaten Terrier, she said “I love it here. It’s off the beaten track. It’s always quiet and for me it is an endless source of delight. The movement of the tides is fascinating. In the winter the water reflects the forest in beautiful shades of green. In the off-season there are never too many people and even on the greyest of drizzly days it has a beauty all of its own.”

To visit Moorecroft in winter is a truly unique experience.

WHAT TO BRING:

✓ Binoculars,

✓ Camera

✓ Picnic

✓ Book

✓ Paint box

If you plan on hiking the forest trails walking shoes are recommended.

Dogs are permitted in the park; however, a leash is required.

A reminder too: Nothing can be taken from the Park; no driftwood or oysters gathering is permitted.

DIRECTIONS:

No more than 20 minutes from the Island Highway

• From Nanaimo take Northwest Bay from Hwy 19. • From Parksville take Northwest Bay Rd from Hwy 19A

• Travel to Stewart Rd

• Follow Stewart to its end

• (at the bend onto Davenham stay left

• and follow the road down the hill)

• and this will take you to Moorecroft Park entrance.

• The park is open from 7am to 9pm year round.

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