When asked what I love about living in Nanaimo, I always respond with “there are so many beautiful outdoor adventures”. Awesome, so we live in a community with over 200 parks and trails but narrowing down where to start is TOUGH! Let’s pick a theme, be it stairs, waterfalls or dog friendly – it will at least give you a place to start! I recommend the waterfall walks in the Spring or Fall because the rainfall will add to the WOW of seeing them up close.

Number One: Ammonite Falls

This place is a gem. It’s well worth hiking down to the base to look up at the water thundering over the rocks. If you pick a sunny day, the spray almost looks like glitter pouring over the edge as the sunlight catches the water drops.

I’m not the best at describing how to find it so I’m including a link to a local blogger who writes about many hikes on Vancouver Island. Pure Outside BLOG describes trail access, skill level  and directions. Best to check it out before you go! Pure Outside also covers both the Christie Falls in Ladysmith and the Bonnell Creek Falls in Nanoose. These are two short day trips from Nanaimo & Region to add to your waterfall list!

If you’d like to see some pictures of Ammonite Falls in all four seasons – click HERE to link to various images found on-line. The images below were taken in June when it was more of a trickle.


Number Two: Chase River Falls aka Granny Falls in Colliery Dam Park

The walk along beautiful boardwalks and through the colourful culvert is an adventure in itself. These falls are gorgeous and not that far of a walk from the parking lot. This is a great little hike for kids, the terrain is fairly kid friendly and they love the loud sound of pouring  water. Pure Outside Blog has a great post about the Colliery Dam Trails so again, I recommend checking it out for helpful hints before you go. Also, if  click HERE for a link to more images of these falls found on-line.


Number Three: Bowen Park Falls

These falls are so close you can almost drive up to them. I suggest parking in the lower section of Bowen Park (near the volleyball courts) and stroll towards the river, following the sound of the running water. In autumn the trees lining the falls have all changed colour and it’s a beautiful spot to take family pictures. You can go for a walk through the park after checking out the duck pond and salmon channel . For some beautiful images found on-line of these falls click HERE.

Number Four:  Beach Estates Park Falls

It might be best to park in Brooks Landing (near the Tim Hortons). Use the crosswalk to safely cross the busy street.  Across you’ll find the Church of the Nazarene, where you can access the trailhead from the church parking lot. Nanaimo Information has a great page about directions, safety tips and images. The waterfall is found near the top of the trail but I recommend walking down to Departure Bay beach and watching the ferries dock.


Photo Credit Nanaimo Information

Have fun, #ExploreNanaimo and please be sure to send us any photos, tips or other waterfalls that we can add to this post!