Hiking, Vancouver Island

30 Hikes in 30 Days

The Plan

Still missing our Camino summer hiking, Richard and I toyed with different hikes that we could do closer to home. We finally decided to go with a ’30 Hikes in 30 Days Challenge’ (which we didn’t realize was an actual challenge until after I had written this post)! We have placed our focus on Central Vancouver Island…and possibly surrounding areas.  To keep this goal doable (read here: so that Richard can continue to golf), we agreed to vary the lengths and locations of our walks. To start out strong, we decided upon an 18km hike that would begin at our front doorstep and lead to one of our favourite provincial parks.

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Starting out and ready to accept this challenge.

Day 1:

Trail: Englishman River Falls Provincial Park (ERFPP), Parksville, BC.
Distance: 18.27 km/11.35 mi (26,864 steps)
Time: 4 hours

For this hike, we began by crossing through Shelley Creek Park, took the railway tracks to Top Bridge, and then meandered on several of the ERFPP trails, including Allsbrook, Coho, Clay Banks, Steelhead, Channel and Chinook. Our full hike looked something like this:

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The astute eye might notice that our hike appears to end at a different spot than it started. That’s deceptive. This was our first time using Alltrails to attempt to map our route. The mapping is pretty close, but not exactly perfect. Hopefully, we’ll become better cartographers as we go along.

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park

This provincial park includes two waterfalls set amidst an old-growth forest and second-growth forest of cedar, hemlock, douglas fir and maple. There are numerous entry points, and several smaller loop trails, accommodating hikes of varying lengths and timeframes. The signage is good, especially in the central areas.

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Despite Richard complaining that we saw no wildlife, the hiking was easy, and the views were stunning. We ate our lunch (standing) on a floating wooden platform. Absolutely soul-soothing.

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Tomorrow and Sunday will be shorter hikes as we will also be fitting in a visit with our grandson, and of course, golf for Richard. I hope that you will stay tuned.

If you have any favourite hikes on Central Vancouver Island, please feel free to suggest them. We’d be happy to give them a try. And, if you feel inspired, why not hike along? #30hikesin30days.

 

 

78 thoughts on “30 Hikes in 30 Days”

    1. Thanks, Sue – I love that in under 20 minutes from our front door we can be at the beach or at a variety of grocery stores, shops or restaurants. And…in under five minutes, we can be in the middle of a forest and can choose from numerous great hikes. Thank you for your positive vote of confidence. 29 hikes to go!

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  1. Hi Donna! Such a great way for you and Richard to stay healthy AND keep in excellent walking shape for your next grand adventure. I love seeing photos of your area and I also love seeing your smiling face. Looking forward to your next report! ~Kathy

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  2. Donna, I’m more than impressed with your energy and proud of you for finding a great way to stay active in this most unusual time. thirty hikes should shave at least three points off of Richard’s handicap. Love your banner photograph! Joe

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  3. That’s a lot of hiking you have planned Donna – glad you’re varying the lengths and the destinations to keep it interesting (and to fit in the golf and the grandkids – got to keep your priorities in order!)

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    1. Hi, Leanne – We definitely need to keep room for priorities and variety. Otherwise, the whole thing would be a bust before we even begin. It’s only been one day so far, but we are already eagerly anticipating Hike #2. I hope that we feel this same way on Hike #20 and beyond!

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  4. Good grief and holy moley Donna! A man and woman with a plan. I’ll be looking forward to photographs and updates on this ambitious plan. Have a lovely weekend and visit with your grandson 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Susan – I have found that large, set goals have helped to get me through our COVID isolation more positively. Even though things are starting to open up on the island, Richard and are remaining very cautious. Hiking is the perfect blend of actvity, outdoors and sharing a friendly word with others from a safe distance!

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  5. Now this sounds like my kind of challenge! Lucky you to have close access to so many trails. I would have hours of driving time to get near any trail worth the effort.

    But 18km in 4 hours?! Holy Speedwalking, you are moving!! I know you said it was an easy trail, but still. I simply can’t walk that fast … not to mention the constant stopping to look around 🙂

    Hope you have a great weekend. Our Saturday is starting off with rain … and it’s still hot and humid. I’m saying thanks the air conditioning gods.

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    1. Hi, Joanne – You’ve given me a great reminder. The time listed is ‘time walking’ as decreed by my Samsung phone app. It doesn’t include time that I was standing still — eating, snapping a photograph or rumaging around with our map. All of the above added 45 minutes to our walk (according to RIchard’s watch). Thank you for this heads-up. I’ll need to fix this on future write-ups. Once this series is finished, let Deb and I know if there are any hikes on this list that you would like to do when you are here. I’d be happy to arrange it.

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  6. You go girl [and boy]! Clever idea. I take it your hikes are in areas where there are few people. Around here our parks are overflowing with families, most of whom are not wearing masks so I am hesitant to go there to hike. Or walk. Or mosey, even.

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  7. Donna, at least you know the accommodations waiting for you at the end of each day will be stellar!

    I am weary at the end of 9 holes of golf, (heat index 110f) can’t imagine playing 18 and walking in excess of 10 miles on the same day! Go, Richard!

    Your header photo is awesome. I’d walk that!

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne – Tomorrow Richard will be playing 18 holes. He always walks the course, and carries his own bag (no cart). He has chosen tomorrow morning’s hiking route. I totally did not want that responsibility! Thanks for your kind words about the header photo. 😀

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  8. Hi Donna – this is great … I’m going to add to my knowledge of the Island … as hiking is something I wasn’t able to do. Enjoy – sounds so much fun … and as you say Richard gets his golf in … and any visits from grandchildren … Hilary

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  9. What a great challenge and not to mention healthy, Donna. Your area is just gorgeous, no wonder you want to hike the area! Now you’ve got me thinking of 30 paddles in 30 days, once I’m up north! Enjoy and keep us all posted with your lovely images!

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  10. When Plan A doesn’t work, use Plan B and your Plan B sounds wonderful. You will be able to do local activities along with adventurous hikes. Best of all worlds (except maybe a Camino hike!).

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  11. Your heading photo is beautiful, Donna! It is a wonderful example of the green lush beauty of Island trails. I really enjoy when you give a few details of the walk. It was so much fun to follow when you and Richard did last year’s Camino.

    After you and I and Deb did our last hike, I downloaded the AllTrails app, although I have not played with it yet. We often go on hikes, yet I have not thought about keeping a log/journal of the hikes. I may think about that. All of your photos are beautiful. I especially like the one of you and Richard. xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Janis – If the daily posting begins to drive you bonkers, feel free to press delete. It is always so much easier for me to write immediately after something has happened. If I wait too long to write, my muse takes a hiatis! :C

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  12. Oh, you know I am going to stay tuned, Donna!
    I need to have a repertoire of hikes to choose from in advance of Joanne’s visit 😁. I’ve been to Englishman River Falls and it IS wonderful. Looking very much forward to reading yours and Richard’s thoughts and pictures from the other 29 hikes 🥰🥰

    Deb

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    1. Thanks, Deb – As the series progresses, if there are any hikes that you would like more info on, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I look forward to doing a couple of these hikes with you and gang when Joanne is here (and with you any time that you like)!

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  13. Beautiful hike, Donna. And it’s so nice to start from home! I didn’t realize you were going to do the 30 hikes in 30 consecutive days. Yes, that sounds like a great challenge! Happy hiking! I hope the weather holds out. You’ll get even more appreciation for that gorgeous island you live on. 🙂

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  14. Hi Donna, What an awesome hiking plan you and Richard have. I love all your photos on Day 1 hike. Varying the distance is a great idea, not only to have time for other activities like golf but also make every day different and more enjoyable. I’ll be following along virtually. Thanks for sharing your Canadian/ BC camino.

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  15. Interested to follow along on your progress toward 30 hikes in 30 days. Do the hikes have to be in nature? And different hikes or can you repeat some? We could walk a week and not come to somewhere are lush and beautiful as this park! And 11 miles? Wow! Well done. Can’t imagine your hubs will be interested in golf after a long hike like that.

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    1. Hi, Leslie – Great questions! We didn’t set too many rules for this challenge. We won’t repeat any of the same hikes in the next 30 days. Most of them will be on nature trails. But…walking is walking, so it all counts to me! 😀

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  16. Hiking, golf, soul soothing views and floating lunches sound like nirvana to me 🙂 I think it’s wonderful what you are doing, and invigorating! I really look forward to future episodes. I just heard from a globe trotting friend today who lives half the year in Nevada; half in Sun City Palm Desert. She and hubby are big time travelers, but they just got into their vehicle and are going to explore America’s southwest for the next 16 days. I’m so happy for them; there is so much beauty to be found in our own backyards and this is the perfect time to scratch that itch (when travel abroad is not feasible or even desirable).

    Beautifully done Donna,

    Susan Grace

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    1. Hi, Susan – Thank you for your ongoing optimism and encouragement. It really does make a positive difference. I agree that your friends exploring America’s southwest is wonderful. There is so much to discover in our own backyards…much of it we have often overlooked. Thanks for staying tuned!

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  17. Such gorgeous photos Donna and a fabulous challenge! I’m so pleased you are letting us tag along with you as it may be a while until we are able to get over your way to join you in real life!

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  18. I’ve read these backwards, from day 3, but how awesome! Such wonderment on your doorstep. I’m loving seeing gorgeous summer photo’s of Vancouver Island. I’d love to go there one day 🙂

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    1. Hi,Sam – These hike posts can be read backwards, forwards, or any which way you like. They have each been chosen randomly — usually by Richard (the Trailmaster). 😀 I hope that you do get to Vancouver Island one day. I would ❤ to meet-up!

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  19. Once again, I am blown away by your ambition Donna and your creativity. What a great idea! I’ve been following along, and all of the hikes have such beautiful views. Thank you for sharing them. Enjoy!

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  20. Hi Donna. As you’ve probably noticed I’ve been AWOL from blog reading and commenting for awhile. I’m excited to read your 30 Hikes series — I know I’ll get some good ideas! But because I’m so far behind in my blog reading, I might not comment on every one of the posts.

    I have a question about this hike. Although I have hiked every segment of your hike at various times, I have never found a trail that connects the upper end of Englishman River Regional Park with the bottom end of Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. How did you go between them? Via the road?

    Jude

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    1. Hi, Jude – Sadly, I currently have ‘trail overload’ so I know longer remember how we connected the two sections. I did try to record our route on Alltrails…but it was my first attempt with that app, so this map is definitely was not perfect. After we hit 9 km, we looped back around, so we didn’t go all the way to the top. Thanks for reading!

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