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Waterfalls outside of Parksville on Vancouver Island. Provincial Park worth visiting.

Englishman River Falls

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Parksville

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park | Add this one to your waterfall list

Activity:
Walk, Waterfall
Difficulty:
Easy-Moderate
Location:
Parksville
Time:
30-45min
Distance:
2km (1.2mi)

Experience:

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Accessibility:

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Highlights Include:

Info Map

Central Island

Get the family together and explore one of nature’s most beautiful areas. Be sure to bring your camera and comfortable shoes!

The best way to enjoy the Englishman River Falls

Use the hiking loop to get the most out of this hike! Head left on the main 2 km loop that takes you past the lower then the Upper Englishman River Falls. The trail is easy for any hiking level, with wide paths and plenty of scenic views. The path winds through lush forest before opening up to a breathtaking view of the Englishman River cascading down into two spectacular waterfalls.

Lower Falls

For the best experience, take the long way to the upper falls to visit the lower falls first. The trail starts off heading downhill, weaving through the trees, until you reach the first bridge, then opens to the Englishman River. Depending on the time of year and water flow, you will be greeted by a large rock wedged in the canyon that is impressive in itself. For the brave who are willing to take on the cold water, the crystal clear pool makes for one of the best swimming holes in the area.

During heavy rains, as the river rises, the giant rock works as a dam causing the water to rush over the boulder and become the lower falls.

Now that you have crossed the river, it’s time to start heading up along the well-marked trail winding through the old-growth forest.

Upper Falls

Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with one of the Englishman River’s most spectacular sights; the Upper Falls. Here, the Englishman river cascades over the rocky edge falling into what seems to be an endless void. Standing on the bridge with the Englishman River Falls on one side and a great canyon on the other, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty and serenity of this place.

This is why we like to start the hike with the lower falls and finish strong by taking a few moments to relax and take some pictures to appreciate all that Englishman River Falls has to offer.

If you prefer a quick stop — head directly to the upper Englishman River falls from the parking lot. It’s an easy, short walk that is wheelchair accessible and has excellent views for any age and ability.

Picnic Area and Amenities

You are now only metres away from the parking lot, washrooms and picnic area, making it a great time to enjoy lunch or a snack before heading back out for your next adventure.

During the summer months, you will find flush toilets and cold water taps. There are a lot of picnic tables to choose from, including six that are located under a shelter protecting you on rainy days. In the winter, outhouses are available.

Tips and Suggestions

  • It’s no hidden treasure Englishman River Falls is a popular spot and for good reason. The parking lot is large (approximately 105 vehicles) but fills up quickly in summer, so arriving early is beneficial.
  • Start your walk heading to the lower falls first and building up to the upper falls taking in all the stunning views. Doing it the other way is a little anti-climactic.
  • Don’t forget to add Little Qualicum Falls, Coombs and Cathedral Grove on your way to Port Alberni and Tofino.
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Location and how to get to Englishman River Falls

There are two Englishman River Parks. Englishman River Falls is located in the Provincial Park further upstream. Take Errington Rd all the way to the park gates continuing on past the campground right to the gravel parking lot.

Located only 13 kilometres southwest of Parksville and 50km from downtown Nanaimo. The falls are located 9km off Hwy 4A (Alberni Hwy), making it a great stop before Coombs and Cathedral Grove on your way to Port Alberni and Tofino.

I am so glad we made a stop here. It was a short walk to the beautiful falls and a lovely saunter in the forest, the terrain was easy to navigate with some stairs along the way and the scenery was magical. There are also bathrooms available and they offer plenty of parking in the lot. Would definitely recommend.

Englishman River Falls Campground

Englishman River Falls Campground is a great place to stay if you want to make a weekend out of exploring the area. This campground has access to the Englishman River, and camping sites are framed by huge trees offering shaded private camping sites.

Campsite – Each site includes a picnic table and a campfire ring. Firewood can be purchased from the park operator.

Water – Cold water taps are located at the campground and in the day-use area.

Toilets – Pit toilets are located throughout the park. There is one flush toilet building located in the day-use parking lot.

Seasonal Dates- The park is open all year long, but camping is available from the beginning of May to the End of September.

Reservations – Campsite reservations are recommended to guarantee you have a place to stay. First-come, first-served sites are also available if you want to be spontaneous.

Map of Englishman River Falls campground and hiking trail to upper and lower falls

In Conclusion

To sum it up, the Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful spot to enjoy nature and take in the incredible views of the Englishman River. The park has a 2km loop walking trail that takes you along the river and past both lower and upper falls, as well as picnic areas and flush toilets. If you’re looking for a peaceful day hike or an easy overnight camping trip, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is definitely worth checking out.

FAQ:

WHERE IS ENGLISHMAN RIVER FALLS LOCATED?
Located in Englishman River Falls Provincial Park (different from the regional park) 13 kilometres southwest of Parksville and 50km from downtown Nanaimo. The falls are located 9km off Hwy 4A (Alberni Hwy). MAP

WHAT KIND OF TERRAIN IS AT ENGLISHMAN RIVER FALLS?
The well-marked 2km trail winds through old-growth forests and provides access to incredible views of the Englishman River. The short walk to upper falls is a wide flat accessible trail. The Trail to the lower falls is still straightforward but has some grade to climb, with a 52 m elevation gain.

ARE THERE AMENITIES AT ENGLISHMAN RIVER FALLS?
Yes, Englishman River Falls has a picnic area and amenities like flush toilets and cold water taps during the summer months. There are also pit toilets available in the winter.

CAN YOU SWIM AT THE ENGLISHMAN RIVER FALLS?
Lower Englishman River Falls is a popular spot for swimming when the water levels are low. The water is cold, and it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution when in or near water.

HOW LONG IS THE WALK AT ENGLISHMAN RIVER FALLS?
The walk should take around half an hour to complete, depending on how often you stop to take in the views. If you’re in a rush, you can walk directly from the parking lot to the upper falls in a few minutes.

ARE THERE ANY SHELTERS AT ENGLISHMAN RIVER FALLS?
Yes, Englishman River Falls has six picnic sites under an open shelter to protect you from the rain.

ARE DOGS ALLOWED?
Yes, but must be kept on a leash.

Photo Gallery:

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Waterfalls outside of Parksville on Vancouver Island. Provincial Park worth visiting.
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Everything you need to know about Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. The waterfalls, accessible trail, parking camping and more.
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