Hiking, Vancouver Island

Day 12: Lighthouse Country Regional Trail, Qualicum Bay/Bowser

Trail: Lighthouse Country Regional Trail, North and South Loops, with Woodlot Trail
Distance Hiked: 10.3 km
Time Walking: 2 hr, 48 min
Trail Rating:
Easy (except for the railway trestle bridge crossing…which I did not love)

How to Get There: The South Loop parking lot is located at the end of Lioness Blvd (off Lions Way, off Hwy 19A) in Qualicum Bay. The North Loop and Wildwood Community Park parking lot is located on McColl Rd in Bowser, one block inland from Hwy 19A.

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The Trail:
I’ve written about this trail before.  (Check it out…it includes The Widow Badass!)
I have previously only walked the South Loop. Today, Richard and I hiked both the South and the North Loops, connecting through Woodlot Road, Woodlot Trail, and the railway tressels high above Nile Creek. Otherwise an easy trail, the following photos show my two biggest challenges today.

When I left the house this morning, I hadn’t expected to be hiking in the rain. It was a good thing that my raincoat was in the car. I also hadn’t expected to be crossing over a railroad tressel. Even though my mind knew that I could not fall completely through the slats, nor would I likely fall over the sides…my pounding heart just wasn’t listening (fear of heights and other scary things)!

The rest of the hike was absolutely stunning, and so peaceful. (Most sane people were warm and dry indoors.) That really is the beauty of this challenge: It is getting us outdoors each day. It is also helping us to discover new trails, as well as parts of other trails that we hadn’t yet explored.

I have previously mentioned my gratitude to all who have worked tirelessly to make these trails happen. Parts of this trail are fully wheelchair accessible and include a continuous tapping rail for the visually or balance impaired. I can’t underscore my gratitude enough!


What has been your favourite walk lately?


45 thoughts on “Day 12: Lighthouse Country Regional Trail, Qualicum Bay/Bowser”

  1. Donna, I can see how you might not love the trestle bridge crossing. Especially when wet and nothing on the sides. It already gives me the heeby jeebys. Wheelchair accessible is a huge deal for many. Good for the both you and Richard! Rain or shine. 🙂


  2. Wow! I felt like I was inside of a terrarium looking at that first photo, Donna…gorgeous! Of course, you’re looking adorable in your yellow raincoat. You remind me of Paddington the Bear. 🙂 Lately, my favorite walk has been down the hall to my home office. Working from home sure beats driving downtown in the dark! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.


    1. This confirmed it, Jo. We truly are kindred spirits! I didn’t crawl on my hands and knees, but I walked much more slowly than even the most cautious toddler crawls. In my defense, my return trip across the trestle (yes, there was a return) was a little smoother!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sue – My fear of heights is a funny one. I could stand on top of the world’s tallest glassed-in tower and look down all day without a care. But…if there is any remote chance that I could actually fall: instant fear!


  3. How well I remember that first walk we took together! I’d be uneasy on the trestle bridge as well, Donna. But like you, I’d still walk on it (twice!). Something tells me I will be doing this at some point this summer.😁



  4. Hi Donna – I know those trestles are just extraordinary … I walked the Kinsol one (near Duncan) … I was amazed at how those early engineers built the railways over the island. Excellent about the disability aspects … I just walk locally … along the seafront quite often … stay safe and enjoy today’s hike … Hilary


  5. My clumsy self would have fallen for sure. When I read the title I just knew I was going to see a lighthouse, love lighthouses!!


    1. Hi, Dee – I’m sorry that there were no photos of lighthouses in this post. The two lighthouses after which the region is named are the Chrome Island Lighthouse off the southern tip of Denman Island, and Sisters Lighthouse off the northern tip of Lasqueti Island in the Strait of Georgia. If I get out that way, I will definitely post a photo for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Donna, You and Richard are great role models for the rest of us. I just finished reading hikes 10, 11, and 12. I LOVED the view from the Lantzville Loop as well as well as the information about the forest management. The waterfront was a nice relaxing visit. Thanks for taking us along…I wouldn’t have done well on the trestle either. Joe


    1. Hi, Joe – I hope that your travels are going well. Thanks for taking time out to follow mine. It’s great to know that I’m not the only one who had ‘concerns’ about being on a tressel. Richard was almost dancing a jig up there. I swear that that man has absolutely no fear!


    1. Anabel, there is a strong lobby to start up train service on the Island again. It would be an excellent form of transportation, given the growing population here. That’s why they continue to preserve many of the rail lines and bridges.



  7. Well done, Donna, for finishing another beautiful hike despite your fear on the trestles on a wet day. I’ve been cycling and walking to the different parks along Lake Ontario shoreline. A recent favourite is Trillium Park and Wiiliam Davis Trail.


  8. I am interested in doing these two loops together but I would be doing it by myself. Would you be comfortable doing them on your own? I always let someone know where I am and I carry bear spray, but some trails are more solo-female friendly than others so I wanted to ask. Thanks!


    1. Hi, Pamela – Thank you for dropping by. I haven’t done either of these loops on my own. The North Loop and adjacent Wildwood Community Park provide about 2 kilometres of easy walking. The South Loop offers about 2.5 kilometres of wheelchair-accessible trail as well as a rough trail and woodlot road. If staying to just these two loops, my understanding is solo-hiking would be fine, and there would likely be other trail users around. There are numerous trail extensions, some of them rougher and less populated so I would be cautious if extending into these areas. I hope that this is helpful.


      1. Thank you very much for responding. Is the trail connecting them simply the railway tracks? The District of Nanaimo description of the two loops doesn’t talk about a connecting trail and they also don’t show it on their maps. I’m assuming the linking trail is maybe not official due to the trestle crossing?


      2. Hi, Pamela – The North and South Loops are not officially connected. We blundered our way through, connecting via Woodlot Road, Woodlot Trail, and the railway tressels high above Nile Creek. Unfortunately, I did not map our route as I did on later hikes. If I hike this again, I will definitely map it and add that map to this post. If you do this full trail and connect the loops, I would love to hear about your experience with this.


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