Hiking, Vancouver Island

Day 15: Columbia Beach, French Creek

Distance Walked: 9 km
Time Spent Walking: 2 hrs 20 min
Terrain Covered: Rocky Beach, Forested Trail, Residential Streets
Rating: Easy

Columbia Beach West
Columbia Beach East

French Creek is a small marine community that lies between Parksville and Qualicum Beach. Although the beach was fairly quiet this morning, oystercatchers, herons, shorebirds and sea lions are frequently spotted here. In addition, the marina serves as a hub of activity with people fishing, boat charters, fresh seafood sales, a pub and a general (fishing based) store.

Screen Shot 2020-07-10 at 1.14.21 PM

Today we walked a 9 km loop from rocky shore, to forested path, to neighbourhood streets, to Eaglecrest Golf course and back. Our goal in including the golf course was to grab a quick cup of coffee. Sadly, their restaurant currently does not open until 11:30 a.m. Still, all was not lost. This extra loop added to our steps and passed by lovely Yambury beachfront (a favourite for many locals). As well, watching oceanfront residents begin their day, casually overlooking the water, with a newspaper and warm drink in hand, made me immediately know where you will find me after a big lottery win!

Like all of our hikes in this series, the diversity of Columbia Beach is best described in pictures.

Can you spot Richard hiding in the first photo (to your left)?

We are now halfway there. We have walked for 40 hours, taken 256,803 steps and completd 175 kilometers. We greatly appreciate you following along.
#30hikesin30 days.

56 thoughts on “Day 15: Columbia Beach, French Creek”

  1. Can’t find Richard—send out APB! Lovely spot for a hike. Sorry about the coffee, but that’s the world we’re living in today. We hiked three miles in Yellowstone today. You guys are amazing! Joe


  2. Halfway there, Donna, Yoohoo! I love everything you said about your present day bucket list. I get it on the big lottery win. I am loving all of the photos. Like you say, depicting the diversity. Yes, I can see Richard hiding. Just don’t tell him I said this, since he is likely delighted to keep his little secret.🙂


  3. Found Richard! Are all those hikes on Vancouver Island? You don’t mention going anywhere else. If so, you are certainly spoiled for choice. Well done with the halfway mark!


    1. Hi, Laurie – Not only are all of these hikes on Vancouver Island, they are all on a very narrow section of Central Vancouver Island (i.e. Nanaimo to Bowser). Six of the hikes that I have shared so far I can easily walk from my front door. We are definitely spoiled for choice! I greatly appreciate you following along.


  4. I love the French Creek area! Not far at all from where my sister lives so I’ve spent a fair bit of time in that area. Great photos. You almost, but not quite, make me miss living in BC.


  5. Hi Donna – I don’t think you can stop these daily walk outs!! I’ll miss not having one to look at … I know there’s another 15 to see and do. The advantages of those early mining days … with tracks left etc … Union Bay interested me – there’s a fascinating book at the library/museum in the town centre about the mining interest. Take care – Hilary


    1. Hi, Hilary – It’s ironic that you should mention mining areas. We are off to a hike in Harewood (South Nanaimo) today. It was previously a small mining village. It’s supposed to be a pretty cool hike, with a seemingly bottomless fissure, fairy circle, stunning views….and of course, bears and cougars. Stay tuned!


  6. Just catching up on your last few days of hikes Donna – our internet crashed and then our daughter and SIL visited so I’ve been offline a lot (not a bad thing really). It seems you’re steaming full speed ahead with your hikes x


    1. Hi, Leanne – I’m sorry to hear about your internet crash. I hate when that happens – so frustrating! I’m glad you had time your daughter and SIL. Thank you for following along. It would have been great to have done this hike with you in person. I think that you would have enjoyed it (except for the lack of coffee part). 😀


  7. Beautiful photos of an interesting area. I’m sorry you didn’t get your cup of coffee, that’s a bummer. Still, a nice long walk is lovely in and of itself.


  8. Donna, your posts are bringing back memories of a week in 2017 that I spent in Nanaimo with a good friend. We explored Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Coombs, Port Alberni, Bamfield. And you inspired me to create a what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation list. I’ve decided to do day trips to the giant monuments in the surrounding area usually within a 1 hr drive beginning with the giant pyrogy at Glendon. It will also include the duck, the mushrooms, the garlic sausage, the landing pad. Some of these are Very kitschy monuments that used the province’s tourism dollars but they worked. I was amazed at the steady stream of people who stopped at the pyrogy.


    1. Hi, Mona – I’m so glad that you have been inspired to create a summer vacation list, and to visit the giant monuments in your area. I just googled the ‘Giant Pyrogy’. That is soooo cool! I have added it to my “definitely want to see” list.


  9. I did spot Richard. I’m enjoying your walks and adding them to my list for when I get over there…but not the railway one…or the waterfall one…just saying.


  10. Donna, You’re half way there, woohoo! I did spot Richard. He can’t hide from you and your camera 🙂 Beautiful photos and interesting info about the area as usual. Thanks for blogging and sharing your hikes with us. I’m in awe of your blogging ability.


    1. Thanks so much, Natalie. RIchard and I are now fully in our Camino routine. i.e. Get up, get dressed, grab hiking gear + snacks, hike, ooh aww, snap pics, come home, shower, eat, blog (me), catch up on the news (Richard), sleep, repeat. Oh, and we often have a social commitment thrown in there. On those days, we start even earler, and aim for a slightly shorter hike! 😀


  11. I’d never been to Columbia Beach until a couple of weeks ago, when I visited the lovely home (actually backyard patio) of a member of my writing group. I definitely need to explore this area a little more.



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