Hiking, Vancouver Island

Day 22: Pheasant Glen Nature Trails, Qualicum Beach

Distance Walked: 10.75 km
Walking Time: 3 hrs
Trail Rating: Easy

Although a familiar trek for local off-leash dog walkers and community hiking groups, I consider this trail to be another hidden gem. It is not currently listed on Alltrails. Google wasn’t much help either.

Just before reaching the gate for Pheasant Glen Golfcourse, off of Qualicum Road, you will notice a small parking lot beside a trail to your left. A sign at the entrance warns: “Unmaintained Natural Trail. Use Caution. Difficult Terrain. May Be Unsuitable to Some People.”

If you are seeking a relatively flat, peaceful, forest trail, with multiple path options, this one is for you. It’s a great place to get out, breath and clear the cobwebs from your mind. For the first hour today, wildflowers, trees, birds and trails were our sole companions (other than each other, of course).

On a clear day, you are rewarded with spectacular views of Mount Arrowsmith. Today was not a clear day. Still, that did not detract from the natural beauty surrounding us.

Imports - 1 of 1

In our second hour, we did run into a few dog walkers, including a very fascinating and chatty woman named Carol. Within five minutes of meeting her, we learned that Carol has never owned a mobile phone or computer. She has never been on an airplane, and she drives a 21-year-old Toyota 4-Runner. We also learned that she was once locked inside the gates of Horne Lake. Fortunately, she had a saw in her truck, so she carved her way out via an ATV path. Most importantly, we learned where two bears that frequent this area hang out. This was not a good time to realize that our bear spray was back in our Jeep!

As many paths do crisscross, using a tracking app or map download, like Wikiloc, may be helpful (although Carol would likely mock this suggestion).

To discover more local hikes like this one, many community walking groups do post their hikes online. For the Qualicum Beach area, you can find an example from the Newcomers’ Association here, with more details here.

All Photos - 1 of 1

Happy Hiking!


35 thoughts on “Day 22: Pheasant Glen Nature Trails, Qualicum Beach”

  1. I love meeting characters like this, on or off the trail. Also, I think I need to put a saw in my car. Or some bolt cutters 😉
    And bear spray? I’m not sure how that works. If the bear is close enough for you to spray him, isn’t it already game over?!?! So much to learn about BC life!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Deb – Bear Spray is definitely a last resort. It is a pepper spray that, depending on the brand, is effective up to 30 feet. We also carry a boat horn to worn of our presence in isolated areas known for bears. Sadly, that was in our Jeep too. Carol had seen one of the bears earlier that day. She said that she simply put her hands on her hips and starred him down. Apparently that worked.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even the name of the trail is enticing, Donna. It does look very peaceful with no one else around. Carol does sound like a very interesting lady who has lived life on her own terms. A beautiful setting!


    1. Hi, Erica – I’m not even sure if that is the real name of the trails, or simply a name that locals use. The only sign that I’ve ever seen on the trail system was the one warning that the trails were not maintained. Hopefully, I’ve given the true name. If not, I hope that someone will correct me. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had not given much thought to the trail names in our area. Some of the names are likely made up/morphed along the way. We have an area near us called “Panama Flats.” Many stories circulate about the origin of the name. For the longest time supposedly a Panama Canal engineer gave Panama Flats its name. Last week this story was debunked. Your trail today was in a gorgeous area. Soul-enhancing. Meeting Carol. A good day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. In Maine, we would call Carol a “character,” as in “she’s some character.” It’s usually said with equal parts humor and admiration. Those flower photos are gorgeous as is the shot of the mountains. Remind me what kind of bears you have.


    1. Hi, Laurie -British Columbia has about one-quarter of all black bears in Canada, and half of all grizzly bears. Until recently, there were no grizzly bears on Vancouver Island. I’m not sure how this has changed, but apparently it has. The bears that we were chatting about today were black bears.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like some forest bathing for the first half and some Carol bathing for the second half Donna – not a bad combination by the sound of things. Loved the wildflowers too. x


  5. Hi Donna – interesting note that the “sign at the entrance warns: “Unmaintained Natural Trail. Use Caution. Difficult Terrain. May Be Unsuitable to Some People.”” then you say it’s easy! Bears … but over and above that aspect – the place sounds wonderful. I hope you can meet Carol again and spend a little extra time with her. She does sound interesting – I wonder how long she’s been on the Island. Enjoy the next walk later on today … Hilary


  6. Stunning picture, with the clouds over the mountains. Inspiring; I may actually get off the couch today 🙂


  7. Another lovely walk (how many times have I said that… but they are all lovely!). I really like the flowers that you found along the way. I’m not sure if I should feel fortunate or unfortunate that bear spray or saws are not things I normally keep in my trunk.


    1. Hi, Janis – I don’t believe that we have ever kept a saw in our trunk either. When we first moved to the island, our DIL’s father, who is a doctor, and has lived here for many years, recommended we carry bear spray when hiking. We trust him, so decided to follow this advice (with the sincere hopes that we would never have to use it). 😀


  8. Hi, Donna,
    We keep bear spray in our backpack while here in Montana…hopefully, we won’t need it. I love your flower pictures. You have an image of Foxgloves which is one of my top two favorites (Columbine is the other). Loving your hikes. Joe


  9. Apparently the grizzly bears swim across from the mainland to the northern part of Vancouver Island. Bears are good swimmers. I once saw a bear swimming across a lake when I was canoeing. It swam across in front of our canoe, climbed up the bank, shook itself off, and ambled into the bush. This was a black bear rather than a grizzly.



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