Distance Walked: 8.18 km
Time Spent Walking: 2 hrs
Trail Rating: Easy
Locations: Moorecroft Regional Park, 1563 Stewart Road, Nanoose Bay
Es-hw Sme~nts Community Park, 1650 Oak Leaf Drive, Nanoose Bay
Today we did a shorter walk through Moorecroft Regional Park and nearby Es-hw Sme~nts Community Park grounds. The main Moorecoft trail loop is under 3 km. Es-hw Sme~nts total trail length is barely 0.5 km. The challenge, which we were totally up for, was to extend our walk to at least 7 km. Mission accomplished!
Although both parks are small, they are ecologically significant and possess a rare and stunning beauty. They are well-worth visiting.
In 1934, Gertrude Moore initially developed the site of Moorecroft Regional Park as a camp for girls. This camp was later run by The United Church. In 2011, the Regional District of Nanaimo purchased this 35-hectare, oceanfront property, managed under a Conservation Covenant held by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The majority of the park’s ecosystems have been classified as provincially threatened or endangered, including the Garry Oak meadows and coastal Douglas-fir maritime ecosystems. Protecting our Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone is a provincial priority, as 93% of this zone is privately owned. Other sensitive species found here include the Great Blue Heron, Northern Red-Legged Frog, Western Painted Turtle and Steller Sea Lion. The park also protects several wildlife trees listed by the Wildlife Tree Stewardship Initiative. The covenant focuses on ecological protection and allows for low impact recreational amenities within a natural setting. (Source)
Es-hw Sme~nts Community Park consists of 3.2 acres of waterfront land. It is a five-minute walk from Moorecroft. It was officially opened in October 2017 in collaboration with the Snaw-Naw-As First Nations and the Regional District of Nanaimo. Its name, pronounced Eshk-Sments, means Seal Rock. This site was used by the Coast Salish people and is remembered for its abundance of seals and sea lions.
Despite this park’s rugged beauty, the land here contains much thin soil and fragile plant communities. This park also includes sensitive coastal luffs and unique Garry Oaks. (Source)
In order to preserve the delicate land of both parks, visitors are reminded to:
• Stay on the marked trails and tread lightly on the bluffs.
• Pack out everything that was packed in.
• Keep dogs on leash at all times.
• Respect wildlife and give them their space.
• Share their knowledge of the fragility and rareness of both environments.
And the reason for our shorter walk today? Visiting with these gorgeous faces. Their smiles were totally worth the early wake-up time!