When going into the wilderness it is important to remember to take the 10 essentials in a backpack, wear steady shoes, dress for any weather and always tell someone where your going.
1. Heart Lake Loop
A 10 km hike located along Holland Creek, behind the beautiful little town of Ladysmith. I would say this is a moderate hike with uneasy footing and a slight but steep hill on one side of the loop. This hike has views of the straight, a waterfall along the trail, and a stunning lake perfect for a mid hike dip.
2. CPR Trail
A 10 km loop on Mt. Cokely starting off across the highway from Cameron Lake parking lot. *If you are crossing the highway please, please be careful* The total elevation gain of this hike is 1000m, which is considered high country. This area has many trails and is dense forrest, it is important to do your area research, make sure you are prepared for any weather, carry your essential 10 pack, and wear steady hiking boots.
3. Maple Mountian Loop
A more easy to moderate with both shore line and mountain trail networks for the best of both worlds. On the yellow trail walk along rolling bluffs covered in bright green moss while the salty sea air sweeps your hair until you start to gain elevation. When you hit the hill it may look daunting but remember that it isn’t a race, take you time and listen to your body. Once you get to the top the views are immaculate and their is a cute old tree with prayer flags, a great area for a midpoint rest and snack. The rest of the trail is through the cliff side forrest. These trails are maintained by the Cowichan district.
4. Newcastle Island Trail
Newcastle Island, known to our local indigenous peoples as Saysatshun. To get there, catch the protection island ferry letting the captain know what time you will be done at the island for pick up. There are over 22km of trails on the island so I suggest taking a whole day to enjoy the trails and sights. Saysatshun has multiple small beaches that are great for beach combing, a small lake in the middle and it is inhabited by rare golden racoons.
5. Ammonite Falls
A short easy hike located just outside of Nanaimo on Jameson Rd. Parking is found on creekside rd. Follow the gravel rd to the yellow gate and into the VIU woodlot. The ammonite trail is well marked and takes you into the dense forrest of Mt.Benson away from the bustle
and noise of the city. I suggest wearing shoes you don’t mind getting dirty on this trail, it gets pretty muddy being a commonly used trail.