Park Guide: Paradise Meadows (Strathcona Provincial Park)

In the winter, I spend a lot of time snowshoeing at Mount Washington Alpine Resort in Strathcona Provincial Park.  I go almost every weekend to walk around the trails, always marveling at the scenery and the quietness of the surroundings.  It’s one of my most favourite things to do and I look forward to when the trails open each winter so I can pull my snowshoes out of storage and get out & play in the snow!

This year though, I really wanted to go check out the park BEFORE the snow fell.  The park has beautiful boardwalks throughout, there are running creeks and small waterfalls, and wildflowers galore… I’ve just never seen any of that because it’s usually under a few feet of snow when I visit!   Continue reading “Park Guide: Paradise Meadows (Strathcona Provincial Park)”

The Other Islands: Malcolm Island

Just a short ferry ride away from Port McNeill is Malcolm Island. Having never been here we did some research before arriving. It was built by Finnish settlers who wanted the community to be a utopia—a place where everything is perfect. While that didn’t quite work out as planned, there is certainly a strong sense of community, neighbours helping one another, and people working together for the greater good of the island. Also, with every Gulf Island comes two things: a laid-back island feel and a totally unique culture that is simultaneously both like and unlike the other Gulf Islands.

It’s a long winding drive up to Port McNeill!
Continue reading “The Other Islands: Malcolm Island”

Try This: Attend Sointula Winterfestival!

Forty two years ago a few tree planters got together in the fall to sell their crafts for some extra dough before Christmas. That first event led to the creation of an annual event that has evolved to highlight much of the talent within the community and beautifully showcase local musicians and artists.

Fast forward to 2018 and Sointula’s Winterfestival is a highlight of the fall season! The whole Malcolm Island community and people from near and far gather for the festival consisting of workshops, a craft fair, and entertainment. Now, this isn’t just a few tables selling knitted dish cloths and wooden bowls… This is a huge event for the island and the whole community is involved!

Sointula Banner
https://www.sointulawinterfestival.com/

Continue reading “Try This: Attend Sointula Winterfestival!”

Try This: South Island Kid Adventure

I had a week off recently and was able to take my niece on another adventure!  You might remember my last adventure with my niece – our Sunday Funday Kid Adventure! My niece is 7 now and when you put a 7-year-old in charge of the day, you know it’s going to be both crazy busy but also heaps of fun!

We started the day with our pancake breakfast tradition before turning the car south and heading to Duncan.  Here, my niece got to choose between the BC Forest Museum or the The Birds of Prey Visitor Centre.  She chose the Visitor Centre and off we went to see The Raptors.  From the moment we arrived, she was fascinated… actually, we both were!  From owls to eagles to vultures to kookaburras to an actual real-life stork, my niece zoomed around, reading all the birds’ stories and calling to them.  We stayed for a flying demonstration and had eagles, hawks, and owls swish by our heads within inches.  My niece, an animal lover, loved getting to know more about all the birds and being able to be so close to birds that are normally only seen from a distance.   Continue reading “Try This: South Island Kid Adventure”

Go Hiking to the Bomber Plane Crash in Tofino

I’ve wanted to do this hike for years and just never made it there… Either it was too rainy when I got to Tofino or I was in Tofino to go to the beach or another event.  If I’m being honest, I also thought this hike was in Ucluelet (not Tofino like it actually is!) so it was probably best I waited for a friend to suggest we go and tag along with them so I actually got where I planned to go!

I’m talking about the hike to the famous Canso Bomber plane crash site in Tofino.  Starting near Radar Hill, you walk through some dense West Coast rain forest, a genuine muddy bog, an absolute maze of tree roots, and around a crater lake left by bomb detonations after the crash.  In total, the hike was only about 4.9km rountrip, but it was certainly one of the more interesting short hikes I’ve ever done!   Continue reading “Go Hiking to the Bomber Plane Crash in Tofino”

Park Guide: Stotan Falls

We had heard about Stotan Falls near Courtenay a few years ago. People who have been here before say it’s a perfect place to swim and explore so we were already motivated to find this spot, but then a promotional video in September 2017 from the Matador Network (check it out on Youtube HERE) made us even more googley-eyed and excited to check it out! Fast-forward to this summer and our friend posted pictures of it on Facebook and we knew it was finally time to just go!

Stotan Falls has been a bit of a secret for many years, though locals know it and love it as a great summer spot to cool down and relax. Continue reading “Park Guide: Stotan Falls”