Jul 1, 2009 | Marmot, Summer 2009

Discovering Points North and South

Mount Washington Alpine Resort is an idyllic resort nestled beside the Beaufort Range, midway between the Comox Valley and Campbell River. It is a retreat, an eco-experience or an extreme adventure.

The Resort is also well situated to be the jumping-off point for an extended Vancouver Island adventure. The resort is less than an hour away from Campbell River, half an hour from the Comox Valley and an hour from Parksville and Qualicum Beach, making experiences further afield more accessible than ever.

Campbell River

Campbell River is the North Island’s gateway to outdoor recreation or eco-touring.

DISCOVERY PIER Campbell River is known as the Salmon Capital of the World. The fact that it has Canada’s first saltwater fishing pier underlines this fact. Located in the 700-block of the Island Highway parallel to the government harbour breakwater, the 600-foot-long pier is used year-round. It’s wheelchair accessible and a concession operates from May 1 to Sept. 30.

FISHING CHARTERS Every year, millions of migrating salmon travel through Discovery Passage on their way to spawn in their birth rivers. Visitors can fish for Chinook year round. Tyees (Chinooks weighing more than 30 pounds) are found July through September. Coho is available June to September. Sockeye and pinks are prevalent from mid-July to August.

Fishers can take a boat charter, fly fish from the shore of many rivers in the area or beach-cast for Coho or sea run cutthroat trout.

ELK FALLS PROVINCIAL PARK A thundering waterfall and some of the finest year-round salmon fishing in Canada are two of the reasons Elk Falls is one of the most popular provincial parks on Vancouver Island. The park boasts an extensive network of trails of all levels, the Quinsam salmon hatchery and it’s close – only two kilometers from downtown Campbell River.

STRATHCONA PROVINCIAL PARK Strathcona is B.C.’s oldest provincial park. Two of the most popular ways to explore the park are through Paradise Meadows beside Mount Washington Alpine Resort, and through the Buttle Lake area in the north. There is also the iconic Strathcona Park Lodge, where eco-experiences begin.

GOLF Campbell River boasts championship golfing at the 18-hole Storey Creek Golf Course, which received a four-star award from Golf Digest’s Places to Play. But it’s not the only premier course in the region. Sequoia Springs Golf Course offers 18 holes of lush, undulating fairways and a two-storey clubhouse for the 19th hole. Pacific Playgrounds is a nine-hole, par-4 executive course located at Saratoga Beach and featuring a full pro shop and driving range. Hone your short game here.

SARATOGA SPEEDWAY is so much more than a racetrack: it’s a family fun destination. The track boasts a full weekend racing schedule from May to October. But race fans can also take a ride around the 3/8-mile oval track in go-karts, or take a spin through the forest in Pegasus, a monster truck. There’s outdoor Laser tag courtesy of North Island Battlefield, and mini golf or ice cream at the country market beside the speedway. www.saratogaspeedway.bc.ca.

Comox Valley

GOLF The Valley offers everything from an 18-hole championship course at Crown Isle Golf Resort to challenging 18 holes at Sunnydale Golf Course and Glacier Greens Golf Course and 9 holes at Comox Golf ClubMulligan’s Golf Centre on Cotton Road is the Valley’s only Par 4 and Par 3 executive course, while Longland’s is the original Par 3 course in the Comox Valley.

KAYAKING Kayaks are a staple along the Courtenay River and in the Courtenay Estuary, especially in the summer. Launches are available at Simms Millennium Park on the Courtenay Slough, or from the marina beside the Courtenay Airpark. Lessons are available from several companies, including Comox Valley Kayaks.

FARMERS’ MARKETS The Comox Valley is considered an agricultural hotspot, with 119 farms spanning 30,000 acres. From May through October, the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market offers fresh, organic and specialty products on Saturdays at the exhibition grounds and Wednesdays near downtown Courtenay.

GOOSE SPIT REGIONAL PARK Goose Spit is one of the most popular beaches in the Comox Valley. It offers an oceanfront beach on one side and a sheltered lagoon on the other; picnic tables, road access with parking, toilets – and fabulous scenic views in all weather.

SIMMS MILLENNIUM PARK A Year 2000 project, Simms Millennium Park is located across from Lewis Park. The park features meandering walkways through the trees, a kayak launch, toilets and a gazebo used for community gatherings and concerts.

AIRPARK WALKWAY The Courtenay Riverside Walkway begins at the end of Sixth Street and follows the Courtenay River to the Airpark. The walkway circles Courtenay Airpark. The walkway features a restaurant, washrooms and view pavilions at the end of the estuary.

FILBERG LODGE AND PARK The rustic heritage Filberg lodge has become a focal point for weddings, art shows, special events and the annual Filberg Festival on the August long weekend. The lodge is situated in nine acres of landscaped grounds on the Comox waterfront. More info: www.filberg.com

COMOX MARINA PARK Marina Park is a focal point on Comox’s waterfront. The urban park features plenty of parking, washroom facilities, a pier along the breakwater and walkway as well as a playground popular with the younger set.


The Parksville and Qualicum Beach region is home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in central Vancouver Island. For more info visit www.visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com

The 7 Wonders of Oceanside:

• Cathedral Grove • Horne Lake Caves
• Milner Gardens & Woodlands
• Rathtrevor Beach Park • The Landing Restaurant Aquarium
• The Boot @ Paradise Adventure Golf
• Old School House Arts Centre

COOMBS and particularly the Goats on the Roof, is a popular place in the summertime. The goats have posed for countless photos during the past 36 years that the Old Country Market has operated. The market boasts fresh produce, gifts from around the world and groceries.

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