Located approximately 18 km (11 miles) south from downtown Nanaimo
is the small community of Cassidy. Cassidy is made up of some mobile
homes parks plus a few small farms and acreages situated on either
side of Hwy 1.
Collishaw International Airport
The Nanaimo/Ray Collishaw International Airport is located along
the east side of Hwy 1 at Cassidy. Then farther south from Cassidy
on Hwy 1, approximately 9 km (6 miles) away, is the town of Ladysmith.
Cassidy is home to a number of businesses operating in the area.
There is the Cassidy General Store, The Trading Post for feed and
tack and, if you enjoy golf, try the Cottonwood Golf Course, a challenging
18-hole course located off Haslam Rd. near the north side of the
airport. If you would also like to stay in Cassidy there are a number
of clean B&B's and RV resorts in the area.
As you're travelling on Hwy 1 through Cassidy, you will see a notice
a bunch of rubble on the east side of the highway at Beck Road.
This used to be The Cassidy Pub, the local watering hole for people
living in Cassidy and the neighbouring community of Cedar but unfortunately
it has disappeared due to neglect.
Next door to the old pub site there is a public rest area for highway
travelers. If you have an RV, there is some good parking plus washrooms
and picnic site.
At the rest area is where you'll find a local favourite the
Cassidy Country Kitchen.
Just across from the old Cassidy Pub on Hwy 1 at the Nanaimo River
Bridge is WildPlay Nanaimo. Definitely one of the main attractions
in Cassidy, WildPlay Nanaimo offers great excitement with a jump
of around 44 metres (143 feet) off a bridge into an incredible pool
on the Nanaimo River and a canyon zip line.
In order to access WildPlay Nanaimo you have to take the Nanaimo
River Road exit from Hwy 1.
Cassidy is situated near the Nanaimo River, a river famous for its
fishing. There is an annual Steelhead run plus Coho salmon, cutthroat
and Rainbow trout available.
You can view the Nanaimo Salmon Hatchery just off Beck Road on Rugby
Road just north of the airport. Look for the signs and make sure
you visit between September to October to view the spawning salmon
and between March and May to see the juvenile salmon in the outdoor
The Nanaimo River is also noted as containing some of British Columbia's
best swimming holes. Starting near the Nanaimo Lakes chain, the
crystal clear water flows through rock formations forming natural
pools along the way creating the Nanaimo
River swimming holes.
Best Swimming Holes
During the summer months the water warms as it flows over the rocks
creating sites for excellent swimming. If you enjoy swimming holes,
these have to be rated in the world's best category.
One swimming hole you can quickly reach is 3 km (2 miles) past WildPlay
Nanaimo on the Nanaimo River Road. Look for the trail that leads
towards the river. Please remember to obey the posted signs plus
be aware of the hazardous currents and dangerous rocks along the
river. Some people in the past have experienced serious accidents
with some fatalities occurring.
If you want to hang out and relax near the Nanaimo River, try discovering
the Nanaimo Lakes Area. A chain of four lakes can be found approx.
25 km (15.5 miles) up the Nanaimo River Road from Hwy 1. The fishing
is good April to June and then later in September or October with
both cutthroat and Rainbow trout present.
Just remember that the forestry company, TimberWest, actively logs
this area so there are large logging trucks on the backroads. There
is a company security gate that you'll have to pass through to get
to the lakes. This is where you buy a camping pass.
The campsites are about 30 minutes past the gate with a few boat
launches available. Please contact the camp coordinator for the
Nanaimo Lakes Operation - (250) 729-3767 for public access times.
The Nanaimo Lakes area also has various trails to hike, horseback
ride and mountainbike especially around the Green Mountain area.
Once the site of a small ski hill, Green Mountain is all but a large
abandoned A frame which looms over the property. During the winter
there is great backcountry skiing and snowshoeing throughout the
old ski runs. If you like there are organized tours that visit Green
If you enjoy using the Trans-Canada
Trail you can get access to it from three points near Cassidy.
Timberlands Rd. located at the light on Hwy 1 at the south end
of the Nanaimo Airport. Travel just past the Rondalyn Resort to
the parking lot and trail head. Haslam Creek Suspension Bridge
is a short distance from here. Unfortunately the trail is not
that well marked and can be hard to find.
to the end of Spurston Rd. to a parking lot. At this time the
bridge over the Nanaimo River is not complete so you have to go
south to the Haslam Creek Suspension Bridge near the Rondalyn
Go up Nanaimo River Road past the White Rapids Road turnoff. Continue
for another approx. 7 km (4.4 miles) to the white gates and a
small sign pointing out the trail. You can either travel south
to the Nanaimo River (no crossing) or take the Pipeline Trail
north to the small community of Extension and beyond to Nanaimo.
River Regional Park
If you happen to be in Cassidy a great spot for a visit is the Nanaimo
River Regional Park. Located just north of Cassidy the regional
park has a series of well marked, easy going trails, and great for
nature viewing. To get to the Nanaimo River Regional Park, turn
either at Thatcher on Hwy 1, then Emblem Rd. or off Hwy 1 onto Fry
Colliery Provincial Historic Park
Going towards Nanaimo by 11 km (7 miles) is the community of South
Wellington and the site of the Morden
Colliery Provincial Historic Park. This place is where the Pacific
Coal Company operated in the early 1900's and also a recreational
trail called the Morden Colliery Trail which goes to the Nanaimo
River. To get here you turn east at the Morden Rd. traffic light
on Hwy 1.
Cassidy can be easily reached from Nanaimo or Victoria using the
bus service offered by Greyhound Vancouver Island Coach . Unfortunately
Via Rail has stopped service on Vancouver Island.
Campground and RV Park
For those who don't know Cassidy was once home to a 1/4 mile clay
race track that closed at the end of the 1999 season because of
recent zoning law changes. You can find some remains of the Cassidy
Speedway located on Spruston Road. Now located on part of the property
is the Mountainaire Campground and RV Park.