Hiking, Vancouver Island

Day 21: Neck Point Park, Nanaimo

Distance Walked: 7.22 km
Walking Time: 1 hr, 45 min
Trail Rating: Easy (with options for moderately steep climbs and rock scrambling)
Address: 1055 Morningside Drive, Nanaimo

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Neck Point Park is surrounded by rugged rock cliffs and pebble beaches. It offers 36 acres of waterfront forest with several short trails, including a 1.8- kilometre loop around its perimeter. Boardwalks and lookouts provide numerous vista points overlooking the ocean to the mountains and islands beyond.

In 1994, at the age of 76, Annie Clark helped to initiate the process to protect this area from commercial or residential development. If you’ve been following this series, you’ll note that Annie joins Gertrude Moore, Widow W. J Westwood, Elizabeth Rath and Anne Klees in being directly or indirectly instrumental in protecting historic, scenic and environmentally sensitive areas on Central Vancouver Island.

This small park is a wonderful place for slow exploration of its captivating nooks and crannies (waterproof hiking boots are best for this purpose). In order to reach our minimum goal of a 7 km hike, we walked some of the loops more than once.

Neck Point is popular with locals and tourists, young and old alike. By 10:30 am, the parking lot was filled with over 50 vehicles. We arrived early to spend some quiet time with these guys.

Adding some controversy, Fairy Houses have been nailed into the bottom of some trees by park users, offering several trinkets inside for children to explore, take or trade. Word on the street is that people either love or hate these whimsical additions. What are your thoughts?

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#30hikesin30 days

21 thoughts on “Day 21: Neck Point Park, Nanaimo”

  1. Numerous lookout points is a bonus. It is interesting to see many women’s names. I know you had mentioned this in the past, Donna. I do wonder about nailing things into the trees. This is the first time I have heard about these Fairy houses. We lived in Nanaimo almost 30 years ago. Many changes. Beautiful hiking areas.🙂

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    1. Hi, Erica – The numerous lookout points were wonderful to explore. Finally, we had to remind ourselves to get up and move! I am torn about the Fairy Houses. I appreciate the generosity and the idea. Still, I’d prefer them not to be nailed into trees.

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  2. I loved Neck Point Park. Including all the types of berries we foraged as we hiked: salmon, Saskatoon, and thimble berries! I saw a fairy door at the base of a tree – I thought it was cute and whimsical. Why wouldn’t there be fairies in such a magical park? 😉

    Deb

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  3. Hi Donna – looks a delightful park … I’m ambivalent … it it’s not abused and is used as Laurie mentions above … then I’d agree with her thoughts … wonderful little area. I shall miss these! Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary – I also liked Laurie’s thoughts on the Fairy Houses. A negative of them is that people can get carried away with inserting brightly coloured, plastic toys in the trees (environmentally unfriendly and distracting from the natural beauty). A postive is the joy that I witnessed as I saw children running towards those trees to find their treasures!

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  4. That’s certainly a gorgeous and scenic area for a hike, Donna. With my fear of heights, I wouldn’t do well with the stairs. I’m not sure if I like the Fairy house built into the tree…makes me think of a tattoo. Great photos!

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  5. Good morning, Donna,
    Loving the bird pictures. As for Fairy Houses…one or two might be ok, but things like this tend to get out of control after a while and, suddenly, this beautiful sanctuary is covered in them. I vote no. Enjoy today’s hike. We’re rafting the Gallatin River in Big Sky, MT. Joe

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  6. I’ve never encountered a fairy house before but I suspect my reaction would be similar to your typical child … a squeal of delight and running as fast as I can to investigate closer 😀

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  7. My grandsons love the fairy houses — especially when they were a little younger. Most of my Neck Point hikes have been in the pouring rain. It’s not so crowded then.

    Jude

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