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Hiking Vancouver Island

Day 6: Westwood Lake, Nanaimo, BC

Trail: Westwood Lake and Morrell’s Nature Sanctuary
Distance Walked: 13.94 km
Walking Time: 3hrs 7m
Trail Rating: Easy

Westwood Lake Park:
Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Benson, Westwood Lake is a popular spot to stroll, hike, run, (mountain) bike and swim. The main beach is Nanaimo’s only lifeguard-patrolled freshwater swimming area. Dogs can be walked on-leash. There is also a separate off-leash dog walking area.

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Westwood Lake and Westwood Ridge Loop

Trail Options:
The main 6-kilometre trail around the lake is picturesque and well-maintained with wooden bridges, boardwalks and wood chips. The trail is wide, giving passersby ample room to manoeuver.  Numerous other paths cross through the main trail. This makes it easy to choose a quieter, more wilderness-based, or more challenging route. Combining Westwood Lake and Westwood Ridge Loops (10.5 km) or looping Westwood Lake and Witchcraft Lake (11.6 km) are two such options.

History:
Westwood lake is man-made. In 1864, William Westwood purchased 650 acres of East Wellington land (currently Westwood Lake) for $1 an acre. After William’s death in 1872, his widow sold 600 acres of this land, for $150,000, to a local power company that constructed a dam. The dam flooded part of the property, providing a reserve water supply. In the 1950s, this property, now Westwood Lake, became a public recreational site. Did you catch my central theme (both here and on my Day 3 post)? Never underestimate the power of a woman!

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Our Experience:
Westwood Lake Park and Trails form a true recreational jewel, providing something for everyone. By veering off into Morrell’s Nature Sanctuary (header photo, and photo below) it is easy to stay close to the lake trail, yet away from any crowds. On our visit today, most walkers and runners were decked out in red and white. They merrily exchanged warm greetings with each other — which I will now pass on to you.

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Happy Canada Day to you and your family!!

#30hikesin30days
Thank you for following along.

By Retirement Reflections

Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.

32 replies on “Day 6: Westwood Lake, Nanaimo, BC”

Happy Canada Day to you, Donna! We’re getting ready to celebrate the US Independence Day this weekend. Fireworks (illegal and otherwise) are already punctuating the quiet evenings. The hike in this area looks so beautiful. Smart lady to sell the land for the good of the public and future use. Your images show cool cloudiness that I am craving right now as we inch toward mid-90s temps (again). Stay safe and enjoy those walks, I know I am!

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Thanks, Sue – It was incredibly calm and relaxing….even when you include the parts when our map of the off-shoot trails just wasn’t working for us. It was wonderful speaking with you today. I greatly appreciate your support and friendship.

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Lovely! Another place in my neighbourhood. We spent yesterday exploring Neck Point Park and sampling all the delicious berries available on the paths (Thimble, Saskatoon, and Salmon berries). Have you been there yet, Donna and Richard?

Deb

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Hi Donna, Such a beautiful hike. The lake looks calm and cool. We’re having a heat wave here, with high temperatures about 30C plus humidex, for several days, so I look for green shades and cool waters.

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Hi, Donna,
My group spent yesterday in Yellowstone, but I’m caught up on hikes 4, 5, and 6. Beautiful pictures and scenery…love the big bald eagle. When I experience nature like your doing, I always feel both blessed and enriched. Enjoy–you live in a beautiful part of the world. Joe

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Sounds fun – yes Happy Canada Day to all Canadians and visitors who happily have visited … love the sound of this walk … and your women theme – good to know about – take care – Hilary

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I hiked the Westwood Lake trails for the first time last week. The highlight of the hike was, I finally got a chance to meet Deb in person! A second highlight was that we saw turtles In the lake (near the outflow stream).

Jude

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