Qualicum Falls Hike, Vancouver Island

I’m a little behind on blog posts due to moving back to the mainland from Vancouver Island and well, Christmas. The first one without my Mom in fifty years, so it was sad and I’m quite relieved it’s over.

This is my overdue hiking blog from last fall….


Autumn hikes are a symphony of colour and sensual delights on the West Coast. Damp, loamy trails and fresh scents of pine and ocean mingle in an intoxicating combination. Not too hot like summer, not too snowy and slippery like winter. Autumn hikes are the best—stunningly brilliant autumn tree colours, running streams and roaring waterfalls, fresh crisp air bursting with energizing oxygen, and yielding trails perfect for long stints.


Qualicum Falls is a short drive from Parksville on Vancouver Island, around twenty minutes, with ample parking and tons of picnic areas to choose from, many with fantastic views of the upper or lower falls.


A couple stopped to ask me which trail I recommended. I replied that you can’t go wrong with either one—the entire area is stunning.


Midway, I spied a man fly fishing in the middle of the running stream. The arc of his fishing line shone in a ray of sunlight. Crimson maple leaves floated lazily around him in the current—a lyrical scene that belonged in A River Runs through It. I soaked it up as much as I could without him noticing me staring dreamily. Nor did I interrupt the moment with a photo. It was for me and me alone to enjoy.


I’m back in the Okanagan now in the midst of a dull, grey winter. Consequently, I’m very happy to have my photos to remind me of future blissful hikes to come.


“At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.”  Shanti


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