Canada, Hiking, Vancouver Island

Day 13: Moorecroft Regional Park and Es-hw Sme~nts Community Park, Nanoose Bay

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.

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Source: Regional District of Nanaimo

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.

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Es-hw Sme~nts Community Park

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)

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Garry Oaks stunted by exposure to their harsh environment.

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!


44 thoughts on “Day 13: Moorecroft Regional Park and Es-hw Sme~nts Community Park, Nanoose Bay”

  1. Look at those smuchie faces, Donna! That hike looks so gorgeous, all that green! Thanks for phonetically pronouncing the name of the park. I am about ready to drive up there and hike with you, as it is ridiculously hot here–another 98-degree day with more to come. Can’t wait to move up north!


  2. My sister and brother-in-law used to manage Moorecroft Camp in the 90’s so I am very familiar with this area having stayed there a few times. It’s such a treasure and I am glad it didn’t end up being developed when the UCofC decided to sell.
    I bet the quick hike was worth it to see those faces!


    1. Hi, Janis – Yes, there was definite cuteness immediately following this hike. We had lunch with our son, DIL and grandchildren and then dinner with close friends. Somewhere in-between there, I wrote this blog post. No wonder I’m tired! 😀 Thanks so much for following along. I greatly appreciate your friendship!


  3. Hi Donna – wonderful … so pleased you’re able to see your grandchildren – they do look fun. Great to see the Garry Oaks … I made ‘pilgrimages’ to see areas where they grew … always inspired me and so interesting to find out about. Take care – Hilary


    1. Hi Hilary – I like the sound of your ‘pilgrimages’. These hikes have given us so much more than simple fitness. We have also learned a great deal about our local area….and our souls have been soothed in the process!


    1. Hi, Joe – My guess is that all of my grandchildren (at least the current ones) will be “outdoor people”. Their parents have been instilling this value early on.
      I hope that your travels have been going well.


  4. Such unusual sounding names – glad to hear the history and pronunciation. Thanks Donna, good ethos leaving only footprints. Lovely how ruggedness and frailty exist side by side.


  5. The area in which you walked looks unique. Something about it seems like a study in contrasts, frail and strong at once. As for seeing the grandkids, they are adorable. Who needs long walks when you’ve got them to keep you moving?


  6. Donna, Good to know about the “rare and stunning beauty.” You remind me how many years ago, I told friends there were infinite trails to walk on the Island. You and Richard are walking the talk. 🙂 The two smiley faces are adorable. Two of many reasons to stay fit and healthy. xx


    1. Hi, Erica – There truly are infinite walks on our island. At the beginning of this challenge, a blogging buddy asked me if we will redo any of the same hikes. Definite not. Our challenge will be narrowing them down to only 30!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m loving the cultural and nature lessons I’m getting through you. I’d never seen the ~ used in a language before so was glad you popped in the pronunciation. Your grandchildren look so sweet…


    1. Hi, Jo – I’m loving the cultural and history lessons too. The tilde (~) was originally written over an omitted letter (or several letters) as a scribal abbreviation. It denotes the omission of one or several letters. Originally, this saved on effort/expense for scribes when copying words down. Cool, eh?!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Moorecroft is another park I’ve visited many times. It’s a great place for a picnic. I especially like it during the damp days of winter when no one else is there.



  9. Hi, Jude – I usually love having Moorecroft to myself as well. When we were there, we ran into two other people. One woman previously was a member of the Muttley Crew Walking Group. The man that we met had a wealth of local knowledge about the area. So both trailmates were a definite bonus!


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