Trail: Lantzville Lookout Loop (Part of the Copley Ridge Recreational Trail)
Distance Hiked: 8 km (we added side trails to the main loop)
Total Time: 3.5 hrs (including picnic lunch)
Trail Rating: Moderate (with steep climbs)
Main Loop: 5.6 km, Climb 373 m, Descent -371m, High Point: 405m, Low Point: 127m
Starting Point: End of Lorenzen Lane, Lantzville
Copley Ridge Trail offers two separate lookouts. It does make you work for them with steep, rocky climbs. But, for your efforts, you not only increase your length strength and heart health, you are also awarded with breathtaking views. From these vantage points, you overlook Lantzville, Nanoose Bay, Parksville and Nanaimo. On a clear, sunny day, Mt. Morariety and Mt. Arrowsmith are in full, glorious display. I can’t think of a better place for a picnic lunch. And that climb I mentioned? It helps ensure a lack of crowds, especially early on a Sunday morning!
Copley Ridge Recreational Trail follows the original logging road built by George Copley. Copley began logging on his farm during World War 1. In 1951, he was granted the first Farm Woodlot Licence issued in BC. Today, this 244-hectare working forest is managed for the sustainable production of wood, as well as ecological and community resources. (You can read more here.)
Vegetation and Wildlife
The trail is surrounded by mature second-growth Douglas firs, western red cedars, big leaf maples, arbutus, sword ferns, trilliums, salal and Oregon grapes amongst other trees and vegetation. Black bears, cougar, wandering salamanders, wild cutthroat trout and a variety of birds and wildlife call this forest home.
If you are in the area and don’t mind a climb, I can’t recommend this trail highly enough. And to make a perfect day even more perfect, we ended at a neighbourhood street concert given by local band, Bandelicious. They were awesome…and it was there first ever public concert. I look forward to more!