Monday, July 31, 2017
Woss Lake Campground is maintained by Western Forest Products which has a tree farm license for the surrounding forest. I think that it’s all crown land and is managed similarly to US national forests.
The campsites vary greatly. Some are large with tables and beach access to the lake. Others are nothing more than a clearing. The best beach access area is a large flat sandy spot where any size RV will fit but where privacy is nonexistent. Most of the other sites are surrounded by trees and shrubs. It’s a very pretty campground with no amenities other than pit toilets, a dumpster, and a scattering of tables. And it's free!
The ground is hard packed so the sites are accessible.
The road to the campground is not signed well. From Hwy 19 turn onto Englewood Dr and follow it south through Woss and across the railroad tracks. When you come to the next railroad crossing turn left across the tracks again and turn left onto Railroad St. After crossing the river continue on that road until you see the official sign for the campground. This entrance has a very steep hill. A better entrance is just a little farther on the road.
Campground 50.18720, - 126.62452
Marble River Campground is managed by Western Forest Products. The campsites are similar to provincial parks – roomy with a lot of vegetation but sunnier. The upkeep isn’t quite as good and the sites are not totally level. There isn’t a trash dumpster or drinking water. It’s still a very nice campground and it’s free!
The ground is hard packed and the tables have an overhang so most of the sites are accessible.
Burls develop when a tree sustains an injury, or from a viral or bacterial infection, or when a branch bud fails to develop properly. It must have quite a chore getting this more than 20 ton burl out of the forest but here it is without even one small sign pointing to it’s resting spot in a parking lot on the outskirts of Port McNeil. Look for the baseball field on the western end of Broughton Blvd and turn south into the parking lot.
The parking lot is large enough for any RV and the burl can be seen without exiting your vehicle.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Port Hardy is the northern most city on Hwy 19 with an economy based on fishing, logging, and tourism. Many of the tourist activities center around the water or back country but there’s also a museum and two walking paths.
The museum is tiny with displays on logging, mining, fishing, and natural history. RVs will fit in shopping center parking lot behind the museum. The sidewalk down to the museum is steep so wheelchair users may need assistance. The museum is accessible.
A short paved walkway with informative signs and nice views starts at Rotary Park and travels along the waterfront. The park has an information center, restrooms, and playgrounds. Park along the street north of the park for easy access to the walkway.
The Harbor Walkway parallels Hardy Bay Road and travels north for a short way, passing by commercial fishing businesses and boat docks, before ending at the Glen Lion Inn. The southern end is supposed to connect to two more short trails but we did not find this link. Pull offs large enough for RVs are located along Hardy Bay Road.This path is not wheelchair accessible due to steep hills.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
A chain saw carving contest is held every year in June and some carvings remain on display in Frank James Park. North from the park, the Seawalk follows the shoreline and goes to the middle of town which is about 5 miles away. The walkway is wide and smooth with good views of Discovery Passage, however, in some sections the view is blocked by residences and businesses. It’s also very noisy because it parallels the main road through town.
The parking lot is fairly small. Short RVs will fit. Long RVs can be parked on the street or in one of the other parking lots along the shore and walkway.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Excellent exhibits covering First Nation’s people, logging, sport fishing, commercial fishing, and pioneer life fill this museum. A theater features short videos and some of the exhibits have slide shows.
The museum is mostly accessible but two of the exhibits, the float house and the Willow Hotel, are difficult to access. The exhibits on the outside grounds are surrounded by large, loose gravel and are not accessible.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Parksville has sponsored a sand sculpting contest for 35 years. Contestants have 30 hours to complete their sculptures using only water and the pile of super fine sand supplied to them. Nothing is allowed to be added during the construction but when the sculptures are finished they’re sprayed with diluted white glue so that they’ll last for five weeks. The sculptures are amazing!
Soft sand that is very hard to push through covers the sculpture viewing area. A loner wheelchair with larger tires is available.
The contest is held in the Parksville Community Park which has tennis courts, ball parks, a lacrosse box, skate board park, covered picnic area, and playground. A walkway - part pavement, part boardwalk – follows the beach. The walkway is about 1/2 mile one way.
Signs directing visitors to the RV parking area are confusing. If you miss the correct lot you’re on a one way road out of the park. Look for the curling club building on the right and turn into the lot on the left. RV parking is in the gravel section of the lot. To get to the contest area and beach walkway cross the street to the tennis courts and follow the paved trails towards the water. The trails and curb cuts are in good condition. Park Contest 49.32191, -124.30833
From 1852 until 1938 coal mining was a major part of Vancouver Island’s economy and provided a living for families in 10 mid- island communities. No coal mines operate today and most of the old structures have been destroyed. This site protects an usual tipple built entirely of concrete, a processes perfected in South Africa. The site includes the tipple, a miner’s memorial, a short, interpretive loop trail, and a longer trail that follows the old rail line to the Nanaimo River.
The site is partly accessible. Navigating over a steep hump is required to get close enough to read the informative sign behind the tipple fence.The memorial sign is accessible. The Morden Colliery Regional Trail is not accessible due to very steep bridges but by following the first offshoot on the left it’s possible to view some of the ruins of support buildings.
Rathtrevor Beach is one of the most popular places on Vancouver Island. When the tide is out the beach stretches for about 1/2 mile before hitting salt water. It’s not the type of beach we’re used to but everyone seems to enjoy walking and playing on the sandy expanse. The campground has 208 sites and all are reservable so we did not even attempt to camp there but we did take a walk/roll along beach path.
The beach path is a little over a mile long one way and travels along the edge of the beach and through old growth forest. At the northern end the beach is covered with round rocks rather than sand. The path is mostly level with a few spots that are rough or sandy. Other trails that go to the nature center and old farm fields are very rough with roots and are not accessible.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
A loop trail crosses the river twice with viewpoints overlooking two sets of waterfalls. The first waterfall is just a short distance from the parking lot but the trail goes up a steep hill so wheelchair users may need assistance. A bridge, directly over the falls, gives visitors a great view of the top of the falls. The rest of the loop has hills, roots, and steps and is not accessible.
The campsites are level with good spacing and vegetation between the sites for privacy. We did not see a designated accessible site but most of the sites are usable. This is a good campground for those of us who do not make reservations. Almost half of the 103 sites are first come/first serve. We arrived around 3:00 on a Friday afternoon and had our pick of sites. I think they may have all filled later in the day though.