The Rush Of Englishman River Falls

Do you remember what it was like seeing something amazing in nature for the very first time? Or how about seeing the expression in your child’s face? The awe, the WOW! Well, I almost missed it!

When the Vancouver Island sun starts to come out in the Spring and Summer gets ever closer… the island beauty rises to a whole new level.

Don’t you just love a good waterfall?

I love waterfalls so much, I once spent a good part of two years building a giant one in my backyard city lot!  It was also my excuse to get out of the house when the baby would cry.

Hey, don’t judge me! My wife (Gretta) got a nice looking waterfall out of the deal.

We headed up-island passed Parksville and drove onto a road less traveled toward Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. It’s about 20 minutes outside of Parksville and North of Nanaimo.

The park was established in 1940 to protect the old-growth Douglas fir forest as well as the area around the river and the waterfalls. The park is full of natural beauty, including a deep crystal clear pool with a small rocky beach downstream from the base of the lower falls, a great fresh water swimming hole and tons of hiking.

Englishman River Falls 1

Do you remember what it was like seeing something amazing in nature for the very first time?

Or how about seeing the expression in someone else’s face?

The awe, the WOW! Well, I almost missed it!

We parked the car and like kids always tend to do, they ran up ahead down the trail like jack rabbits. I knew we were going to see a waterfall, but I didn’t realize how big it was going to be and how close it was going to be to the parking lot.

I high-tailed it down the trail just in time. I saw it! The pure delight and amazement on my two boys’ face as they came face to face with something they had never seen before. A giant, stunning waterfall cascading down, down, down to a riverbed canyon below us. To them, it might as well been Niagra Falls for how big it was to their little eyes.

They just kept going wow, wow, wow daddy! And laughing and giggling at the sight of such power and such volume coming from Englishman Falls.

Englishman River Falls 3

What we especially loved about this hike is the bridge that went right over top and in front of the waterfall. I literally heard my middle boy (Titus) say, “Can we stay here forever?? I want to live here”.

Now that would be an interesting life choice. I thankfully was able to convince him to put a pin in that idea for right now and ponder it a little longer

If you are in the area and looking for a fun, relaxing and gorgeous short little hike, you found it. There was a longer meandering trail that ran up alongside the river, but we stuck to the main loop and saw the upper and lower falls.

There is a great map of the provincial park right by the parking lot, so if you want to explore further than we did just take a picture of the map and you are good to go.

Englishman River Falls 2

Traveling Islander Things To Know Before You Go:

Level of Difficulty: A stroll in the park… or more accurately a stroll in a canyon. As long as you don’t have a walker you will be fine. Kids will love it.
View: Excellent – River, Waterfall, Set amid a lush canyon of old-growth and second growth forest.
Length: As short as a 5 minute stroll to the big falls or about forty-five minutes to do the loop to lower falls.
What to bring: Whatever you want, the parking lot is a stone’s throw away. Bring water and a snack if you’d like, especially if you have kids.

Englishman Falls Lower bc
Photo Info: Vancouver Island BC Parks BC Parks

What else is in this park? 

A lot! Swimming in a deep crystal-clear pool at lower river levels, Fishing, Three km of hiking trails, You can bring your pets on leash, Wildlife viewing, Salmon spawning viewing in the Fall, Large Day use and picnic area, A well kept full-service provincial campground.

Get all the info on the BC Parks website.