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Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
About This Park
Situated along the pristine Englishman River north of Nanaimo, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park features two stunning waterfalls cascading along the descending riverbed into a deep canyon.
This picturesque destination, set amid a lush old-growth and second-growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock and maple, is an ideal location from which to explore and appreciate the incredible diversity of south central Vancouver Island, including nearby Cathedral Grove, the Pacific Rim, and the sandy shores of Parksville and Qualicum.
The park has a large day-use area and campground and contains several hiking trails that meander through the forest and along the river. Visitors can expect spectacular views along the way, particularly from two bridges that cross the river where it plunges down the narrow rock canyon toward quieter waters below. The lower falls end in a deep crystal-clear pool – an ideal swimming hole in the summer when river levels are low and a great place to view spawning salmon in the fall.
Know Before You Go
Domestic animals must be on a leash at all times in the park. Domestic animals are not allowed on beach areas or in park buildings. Fishing is not permitted at Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is located 13 km southwest of Parksville on central Vancouver Island. Take Errington Road off Highway 4, toward Port Alberni. Directional signs are posted on main highways. Nearby communities include: Parksville, Qualicum, Coombs, Errington, Nanaimo.
Nature and Culture
- Natural Culture: The park was established in 1940 to protect the old-growth Douglas fir forest and the associated plant communities, as well as the area around the river and the waterfalls. According to an old legend, First Nations people in the area found the skeleton of a white man along the river near the waterfall, thus giving the falls its name. Today the park is noted for its natural beauty which includes crystal clear water and a small rocky beach downstream from the base of the lower falls.
- Conservation: Established as a park in 1940 to protect the old growth Douglas-fir forest and the associated plant communities as well as the area around the river and the waterfalls.
- General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
Activities Available at this Park
Cycling is permitted on roadways and designated trails. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in B.C.
Three kilometres of well maintained walking/hiking trails weave throughout Englishman River Park. From the day-use area and campground, trails lead through the lush second-growth and old-growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, arbutus and maple. The paths follow the river and lead to the upper and lower falls, providing views of the canyon and waterfalls along the way. The main trail crosses the river in two places, offering visitors a bird’s eye view as the water plunges down the narrow rock canyon toward quieter waters below. Detailed trail maps are posted at information shelters in the park. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets, due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Swimming is allowed in the river below the lower falls. This deep crystal-clear pool is an ideal swimming hole when river levels are low. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
A number of viewing stations in the park offer spectacular views of the forest and river canyon.
Facilities Available at this Park
Some facilities in the park are wheelchair-accessible.
While fires are allowed, we encourage visitors to conserve the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using stoves instead. Campfire rings are provided at each campsite. Firewood can be purchased from the Park Operator. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. Bring a portable stove for cooking.
Cold water taps are located at the campground and in the day-use area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
Annual Drinking Water System Reports
This park has a large day-use/picnic area, located past the campground next to the parking lot. This scenic location nestled in the forest provides a viewing platform overlooking the river, as well as access to park trails. Facilities include a parking area for approximately 105 vehicles, a picnic shelter, picnic tables, flush toilets, fresh water and an information shelter.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit toilets are located in convenient locations throughout the park. There is one flush toilet building, located near the day-use parking lot.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers spacious vehicle-accessible campsites nestled in the mature forest. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.