Hiking Vancouver Island

Day 16: Englishman River Estuary and Rosewall Creek Trail

Trail: Englishman River Estuary, Parksville
Distance Walked: 4.3 km
Walking Time: 1 hr
Trail Rating: Easy

Trail: Rosewall Creek Trail, Comox
Distance Walked: 7.4 km
Walking Time: 2.5 hrs
Trail Rating: Moderate

Combined Distance Walked: 11.7 km

We had planned to hike The Abyss in Nanaimo today. We were actually on our way there when a nail in our SUV tire had other plans for us. Luckily, a local mechanic was available. Seeing us decked out in full hiking gear, he suggested that we head over to the Englishman River Estuary while waiting. It was an excellent idea.

Just over an hour later, our tire was restored, and so were we. In a quick change of plans, we decided to forego The Abyss for today, and to give Rosewall Creek a try. Alltrails lists this trail as 5.8 km. Recording it on our Alltrails App, we found that it was a bit longer, but we may have added an extra loop. Alltrails rates this trek as ‘easy’. Due to some tight, narrow sections near drop-offs, as well as many rock and root obstacles, a rating of ‘moderate’ is likely more appropriate.

Today - 1 of 1 Here’s an example of some of the terrain which varies throughout. It definitely is not stroller-friendly.

Regardless, this trail is worth the effort. Rosewall Creek is a second-growth forest of Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Sitka Spruce, and Western Red Cedar. It reveals remaining springboard cuts used by fallers in decades past. To reward you for your commitment, it ends with a peaceful waterfall. Good hiking shoes and an adequate sense of balance are a must.

And yes, I admit, I’m lousy at’hide and seek,’ both in this set of photos, and in the set above.

Tomorrow we will once again set off for the Abyss. The following day we will be joined by two ‘special guest hikers’. We look forward to seeing you then!


By Retirement Reflections

Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.

40 replies on “Day 16: Englishman River Estuary and Rosewall Creek Trail”

Hi, Ann – That’s a good idea. I do find that hiking poles are a very personal decision. I personally was grateful for my poles today — but I did see very few others with them. Hellions I say! 😀
Refreshments are not usually a part of the provincial hikes that we have been doing. But drinks and snacks are a bonus at city walks and harborfronts.
Thanks so much for following along.


Hi, Joe – Thanks again for your kind words. Richard and I have taken a very flexible approach to these hikes. We usually select them the night before, and then often change our minds in the morning and go with a different choice. Although we aim for an overall 10 km per day, sometimes its more and sometimes. less. It works well this well.


Hi, Janet – Richard and I are trying to select a wide variety of hikes so that there is something for everyone. If this hike is not one that you would enjoy, there will definitely be others that may interest you. Then all you would have to do is to come to Vancouver Island. That would be awesome! 😀

Liked by 1 person

Hi, Jans – I have walked the Estuary before and love that place. I thought that it might be too short on its own for a hike in this series. Combining it with another hike was absolutely perfect. However, I could write heaps and heaps about the Estuary. Be glad that I stopped myself! 😀


Oh no, not a nail. Hate when that happens. At first I thought it was a blocked road when I saw the fallen tree.


Hi Donna – sorry about the tyre – but wonderful sensible mechanic … do something while it’s being fixed. That trail looks delightful, while the fallen tree looks to be blown down – a tree that’s had its time … at least apparently not demolished. stay safe – Hilary


The winter before we moved Here, we rented a house in Parksville for a month. It was near the Englishman River Estuary, and we spent many happy hours wandering around there. I haven’t yet hiked Rosewall Creek, but I’ve seen the signs for it many times going back and forth from the ski hill.



HI, Jude – I remember when you rented that Painter’s Cottage (or was it Artist’s Cottage). It seems like just yesterday. How does the time fly by so much more quickly these days?! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We all missed you yesterday.


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