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Looking out at Neck Point rock formation and land bridge during low tide

Neck Point Park

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Activity:
Walk, Beach
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Nanaimo
Time:
1hr+
Distance:
3km

Activity:

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Accessibility:

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All ages elderly Icon
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Highlights Include:

Info Map

Why Neck Point Park is Nanaimo's Must-Visit Destination: A Complete Guide

Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: Neck Point Park, Nanaimo

Located in Nanaimo on Central Vancouver Island, Neck Point Park offers forest walks, beaches and unique lookout points all in this accessible 36-acre waterfront park.

It is renowned for its stunning landscapes, which include rocky shorelines and lush greenery. Whether you’re into hiking, wildlife watching, or simply enjoying the outdoors, Neck Point Park has something for everyone.

In this post, we’ll uncover what makes Neck Point Park a must-visit spot. From its picturesque trails to its rich historical background, get ready to explore the diverse facets of this Nanaimo park.

Photo taken from the beach looking up at one of the trails with stairs along the rocky shoreline at Neck Point Park in Nanaimo

The Neck Point Park Loop – A Scenic 2.9km Trip

The Neck Point Park Loop is a 2.9km trail that offers an easy and enjoyable route for visitors of all ages and abilities. Starting conveniently at the parking lot, this loop guides you through some of the park’s most picturesque spots.

Looking down at the Finn Beach, a pebble beach on a nice summer dayAs you embark on the loop, one of the first highlights is Finn Beach. Known for its inviting waters, it’s a popular spot for swimming during warmer months. The beach also features benches and picnic tables, making it ideal for a family outing or a relaxing lunch with a view. Notably, Finn Beach is accessible with a wheelchair-access mat, ensuring everyone can enjoy the beauty of the pebble beach and tranquil waters.

Continuing along the trail, you’ll come across the Neck Point Boathouse and Seawall. This area provides a perfect vantage point to observe local marine life and enjoy the expansive ocean views.

Look across the bay to Shack Island, you will see remaining fisherman cabins built in the 30’s. On a clear day, it’s a great spot to catch spectacular views across the Salish Sea to the coastal mountain ranges and communities.

Further along the loop, you’ll pass more driftwood-covered beaches as you climb a few stairs and reach Neckpoint, the unique outcrop that becomes an island during high tide. At low tide, wander out across the pebble bridge way and climb on the rugged rocks.

Continue on through the trees past viewpoints and along the dirt paths, and you will reach Sunset Beach, where the vistas are incredibly stunning at dusk. The serene atmosphere here is perfect for unwinding and watching the sun dip below the horizon.

Complete the loop walking through the  Garry Oak Groves. This forested path is shaded by majestic Garry Oaks, offering a peaceful retreat into nature. The trail here is wide, flat and well-maintained, making it a pleasant walk through the woods to the parking lot.

The Neck Point Park Loop is an ideal way to experience the diverse landscapes of the park. Whether you’re here for a brisk morning walk, an afternoon of exploration, or a sunset stroll, this trail loop ensures a memorable visit with minimal effort.

Neck Point Park Dive Site

Neck Point Park isn’t just a haven for land-based adventures; it’s also a gateway to an underwater world of wonder. Known for its clear waters and diverse marine life, the area around Neck Point is available for scuba divers of all skill levels.

A Diver’s Paradise: The waters around Neck Point Park offer an exceptional scuba diving experience. Divers can explore a variety of underwater landscapes. The shallow rocky terrain and clear water provide an ideal spot for both novice and experienced divers.

Dive Sites and Accessibility: A couple of designated dive sites around Neck Point Park offer a unique underwater adventure. The sites are easily accessible from the shore. A second parking lot closer to the dive sites is available with a key. For more information, visit Vancouver Island Dive Sites.   

Tips and Suggestions

Visiting Neck Point Park can be a delightful experience. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most of your visit:

Arrive Early or Late: To avoid crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience, consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon, especially during peak seasons.

Gates do close in the evening:
October to March: 6 am-9 pm
April to September: 6 am-11 pm

Amenities:
Public washrooms and outdoor showers. There are not a lot of options for drinking water, so I recommend bringing your own.

Wildlife Watching: The north section of the park is a great spot to watch for Orca, Sea Lions and Otters. During herring season in January, the beach is awash with roe.

Enjoy Water Safely: If you plan to swim or snorkel, be aware there are no lifeguards on duty. Always stay within your comfort and skill levels in the water.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When planning a visit to Neck Point Park, it’s natural to have questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions, along with their answers, to help you prepare for your trip:

Is there an entrance fee to Neck Point Park?

No, there is no entrance fee. Neck Point Park is a public park and is free to all visitors.

What are the park hours for Neck Point Park?

October to March: 6 am-9 pm
April to September: 6 am-11 pm

Are the trails suitable for all ages and fitness levels?

Yes, the trails at Neck Point Park are designed to accommodate a range of ages and fitness levels. Many trail options are suitable for families, including those with young children or strollers.

Can I bring my dog to Neck Point Park?

Yes, dogs are welcome in the park but must always be on a leash.

Are there food services available in the park?

Neck Point Park does not have food services, so visitors are encouraged to bring their snacks or a picnic. The park has several picnic areas to enjoy your meal with a view.

Is swimming allowed at the beaches?

Yes, swimming is allowed, and Finn Beach is a popular spot for a swim. However, there are no lifeguards on duty, so please swim responsibly.

Does the park have wheelchair-accessible areas?

Yes, the park includes wheelchair-accessible paths and facilities, including access to Finn Beach, ensuring everyone can enjoy Neck Point Park’s beauty.

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The History and Lore of Neck Point Park

In its earliest days, the Snuneymuxw fished and collected food resources in the area, which was abundant in salmon, lingcod, and rockfish.

During 1930’s, the area started to see families build cabins along the three beaches.

In 1993 there were plans for development for the property, including a 450-unit residential development that the council had given preliminary support for. Residents mobilized to create the Neck Point Park Society and eventually persuaded city and provincial authorities to buy and preserve the area and in 1996 the park was established and 14.5 hectares were set aside to protect sensitive habitats local history and to offer waterfront recreation.

In 2009, the park further expanded with the purchase of another 1.25 hectares. The area of the boathouse and seawall once had a house looking over the bay and has now been removed. The cement structure found out on the point was used to store boats and watercraft accessories for recreational use by the private owners of the land.

The concrete seawall was a large waterfront patio. In 2009, the City of Nanaimo purchased the property to add to the existing Neck Point Park. Now, the boat house is being used to store equipment for park events, and the seawall is used for many weddings, events & park enjoyment.

"This place blew my mind with how big it is, forest walking trails, tonnes of rocky beach to explore, tide pools filled with purple & orange star fish, sea anemones, tiny fish & crabs, the view of the ocean from all sides of the park is beautiful, the rocky cliffs, driftwood & just everything, well done mother nature!"

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Getting to Neck Point Park

Whether you’re a local or a visitor to Nanaimo, reaching Neck Point Park is straightforward and part of the adventure. Here’s how you can find your way to this scenic destination:

By Car: If you’re driving, Neck Point Park is easily accessible from the Island Highway. Take the exit onto Hammond Bay Road and follow the signs to the park. The drive is well-signed, making it easy to navigate. Google Map Directions

Public Transportation: For those who prefer public transport, Nanaimo’s bus system offers a convenient way to reach the park. Bus Routes 20 and 30 regularly run to and from the city center. BC Transit

Biking or Walking: If you’re staying nearby, consider a bike ride or a walk to the park. The area around Neck Point Park is bike-friendly, and walking can be a delightful way to take in the local scenery and prepare for the nature immersion at the park.

Accessibility: The park is designed to be accessible, with select pathways suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. This makes it an inclusive destination for everyone to enjoy.

Once you arrive, you’ll find clear signage directing you to the different areas of the park, including the trails, beaches, and viewpoints. 

Concrete picnic table looking out at Sunset Beach in Nanaimo

Amenities at Neck Point Park

Neck Point Park is well-equipped to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for everyone. While immersed in nature, you’ll also have access to several amenities that enhance the park experience.

Picnic Areas and Tables: Scattered throughout the park are several picnic areas with tables. These spots offer picturesque views and are perfect for a family picnic or a restful break during your exploration. The picnic areas are strategically located to provide both sun and shade, catering to different preferences.

Public Restrooms: Clean and well-maintained public restrooms are available near the main entrance and parking area. These facilities are a convenient stop before or after exploring the trails and beaches.

Informational Signage: Throughout Neck Point Park, you’ll find informative signs that offer insights into the local flora, fauna, and historical points of interest. These signs enrich your visit by providing context to the natural and cultural significance of the area.

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Conclusion – Your Next Adventure Awaits at Neck Point Park

As our exploration of Neck Point Park comes to an end, it’s clear that this park is more than just a spot on the map; it’s a journey through diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant wildlife. Whether you’re seeking tranquillity, adventure, or a connection with nature, Neck Point Park in Nanaimo offers an experience that resonates deeply with all who visit.

From the easy-going trails of the Neck Point Park Loop to the captivating vistas at Sunset Beach, every corner of the park promises a new discovery. 

And let’s not forget the myriad of photo opportunities that await at every turn, capturing the essence of Vancouver Island’s natural beauty.

So, pack your essentials, bring your sense of wonder, and set off for an unforgettable day at Neck Point Park. Remember, every visit contributes to your own story – one that we hope you’ll share with us and others.

Two women sitting on a bench located at Finn Beach looking out at shack Island

Share Your Neck Point Park Experience

As you plan your visit to Neck Point Park or reminisce about your past adventures there, we’d love to hear from you. Share your stories, photos, and tips with us and the community of nature lovers. Whether it’s a breathtaking sunrise photo, an encounter with local wildlife, or a family picnic by the beach, your experiences enrich the tapestry of stories that make Neck Point Park so special.

Connect with Us: Tag us in your Instagram posts,  or leave a comment on our Facebook Page. Use the hashtag #vancouverislandbucketlist to join the conversation and see what others are sharing.

Plan Your Next Visit: Inspired to explore more? Check out our  Vancouver Island’s Adventure Map. Neck Point Park is just the beginning of your adventure in this beautiful region.

Stay Updated: Don’t miss out on the latest updates, events, and guides. Subscribe to our newsletter for more exciting content and insider tips on exploring Vancouver Island.

Your experiences, stories, and photos are what make exploring Neck Point Park and places like it so rewarding. We can’t wait to see the park through your eyes!

Neck Point Park Trail Map

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FAQ:

When planning a visit to Neck Point Park, it’s natural to have questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions, along with their answers, to help you prepare for your trip:

Is there an entrance fee to Neck Point Park?

No, there is no entrance fee. Neck Point Park is a public park and is free to all visitors.

What are the park hours for Neck Point Park?

October to March: 6 am-9 pm
April to September: 6 am-11 pm

Are the trails suitable for all ages and fitness levels?

Yes, the trails at Neck Point Park are designed to accommodate a range of ages and fitness levels. Many trail options are suitable for families, including those with young children or strollers.

Can I bring my dog to Neck Point Park?

Yes, dogs are welcome in the park but must always be on a leash.

Are there food services available in the park?

Neck Point Park does not have food services, so visitors are encouraged to bring their snacks or a picnic. The park has several picnic areas to enjoy your meal with a view.

Is swimming allowed at the beaches?

Yes, swimming is allowed, and Finn Beach is a popular spot for a swim. However, there are no lifeguards on duty, so please swim responsibly.

Does the park have wheelchair-accessible areas?

Yes, the park includes wheelchair-accessible paths and facilities, including access to Finn Beach, ensuring everyone can enjoy Neck Point Park’s beauty.

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Original Author:

Modified: January 3, 2024
Last Visit: September 9, 2023

Thank you for visiting – I hope you found the information you were looking for at VIBL (Vancouver Island Bucket List) please continue to discover all of the great places that makes Vancouver Island so great! 

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Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey! Click here for the tides in your area. 

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