Parksville is located 35 km (22 miles) north of Nanaimo and 11 km
(7 miles) south of Qualicum Beach
on Hwy 19A. Parksville, along with Qualicum Beach and the smaller
community in-between called French Creek, form the region on the
east side of Vancouver Island called Oceanside.
Parksville is an ideal ocean waterfront community located along
a large beach parallel with Hwy 19A called Parksville Bay. Situated
in town are grocery stores, hotels, motels, resorts and tourist
services. Most of the residences live off Hwy 19A towards the west
with an exception of a small section situated on the east side towards
As you travel through Parksville on Hwy 19A, there are number of
fast food restaurants, motels, resorts and general items. The main
intersection is at Hwy 19A and McMillan which takes you towards
the Alberni Hwy to Port Alberni,
and across Hwy 19A is the Parksville Community Park.
Bay Community Park
This beautiful park is located along Parksville Bay with a view
east towards Sechelt. The park features the arena, a sandy beach,
Lions waterpark-play arena, concession kiosk and a grassy field
and plays host to a number of events throughout the year. The entrance
to Parksville Community Park is located at the traffic lights along
Hwy 19A at Corfield Street.
Beach Provincial Park
One of British Columbia's premier parks, Rathtrevor
Beach Provincial Park, is located approximately 3 km (2 miles)
south from downtown Parksville. Here you can find a fairly large
campground featuring very private campsites situated next to a large
sandy beach along Craig Bay and Ballenas Channel.
The beach and day-use area for Rathtrevor Provincial Park is absolutely
beautiful. The interesting thing here is when the tide goes out,
the beach becomes an incredibly large playground for everyone to
beachcomb and play in the sand. Towards the south end of Craig Bay
outside of the park, the beach carries along the shoreline towards
luxury resorts, spas and condominiums.
Situated on Hwy 19A at the south end of Parksville near the Info
Centre by Northwest Bay Road is the entrance to Craig Heritage Park
Museum and Archives. Here you can find valuable archives, photographs
and artifacts dealing with the settlement of the surrounding area
including Parksville, Nanoose Bay, Coombs,
Errington, Hilliers and French Creek.
All throughout the summer months you can find events taking place
in Parksville. If you happen to come in late August, the Parksville
Beach Festival is on for a few weeks featuring lots of fun and enjoyment.
During this time, a main event dating back to 1982, is the Parkville's
Bridge Community Park
This park is the hidden jewel in Parksville. Beautiful trails along
a river gorge, nice forests, petroglyphs, a mountain-bike circuit
and excellent swimming holes. Top Bridge Community Park was once
the site of a vehicle bridge over the Englishman River and the original
transportation route to Port Alberni.
There are two ways to drive into Top Bridge Park. The preferred
way is to drive south of Rathtrevor Provincial Park on Hwy 19A,
go past the exits for Nanaimo and Qualicum
Beach and turn right onto Kaye Road, then quickly onto Chattell
Road, then 1.5 km (1 mile) to the parking lot.
The other route is to take Hwy 4A, turn onto Bellevue Road, then
travel on Allsbrook Road for 10 km (6 miles) to a parking lot. If
you go this way, take the time to go up Little Mountain. Rather
than turn at Allsbrook Road, take the next road called Little Mountain
Road for the best views of Errington, Coombs and Parksville.
There is also a great trail called Top Bridge Trail that takes you
from Rathtrevor Park for approximately 5 km (3 miles) to Top Bridge
Park. The trail follows Northwest Bay Road, crosses the Hwy 19A
at Tuan Road, then takes you through almost Okanagan-like conditions
then follows the Englishman River under the E&N trestle into
the park. From here, the trail continues across Englishman River
on a pedestrian bridge situated at a popular swimming hole at Top
Bridge known locally as the 'The Nose.'
If you enjoy going into some caves, try the ones at Horne Lake.
Located just north of Qualicum Beach, Horne Lake Provincial Park
features the Horne Lake Cave experience. This is a guided tour of
various lengths where you get to learn and see some unique formations
under the ground.
District of Nanaimo
Other communities around Parksville belonging to the Regional District
of Nanaimo for you to explore are: Nanoose Bay, Lantzville, Coombs,
Errington and French Creek. The RDN also operates and maintains
various parks, trails and recreational facilities in the area including
Ravensong Aquatic Centre in Qualicum Beach.
If you have time, take the passenger-only ferry from French Creek
over to Lasqueti Island
and hike around this beautiful place. Lasqueti Island is very unique
in that there are few cars and the island is off the BC Hydro electrical
grid and power has to be partly generated by wind and solar means.
Besides Rathtrevor Provincial Park, there are a number of private
resorts that are close to the beaches along Craig Bay. For motels
and RV camping, there are a number that are close to town, Rathtrevor
Provincial Park and Englishman River.