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Fish ladder Nib falls

Nymph Falls

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Courtenay/Comox

Nymph Falls | Enjoy Waterfalls, Multi use Trails and Swimming

Activity:
Walk, Waterfall, Swimming
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Courtenay/Comox
Time:
45min +
Distance:
1-5km (.6-3mi)

Activity:

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Waterfall icon
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Picnic Icon

Accessibility:

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Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: Nymph Falls - Swimming, Multi Use Trails and Picnic Area Outside of Courtenay/Comox

What to Expect When Visiting Nymph Falls Nature Park


Just a 10-minute drive from Courtenay, Nymph Falls Nature Park is nestled along the Puntledge River in the Comox Valley. It’s the perfect location for swimming and waterfall gazing, giving access to numerous hiking trails, biking trails, wheel-chair access trails, and multi-use trails – some suitable for horses and off-leash dogs (just watch for signage). Picnic tables and pit toilets facilities are provided on-site.

Nymph Falls Nature Park is an exciting scenic area with so much to see and do with a nice mix of activities to keep the entire family busy all weekend long. Energize yourself with a swim in the Puntledge River, or take advantage of the various walking trails surrounding the area.

Throughout the trail system, you will find many benches, three outhouses spread out along the trail and picnic tables to enjoy lunch while listening to the river. Keep your eye out for one special picnic table with amazing faces carved into the legs.

If you head down towards the picnic area from the main entrance, you will see a clearing with tables close to the river. During World War II this area was the site of a labour camp for conscientious objectors.

 

Two Waterfalls at Nymph Falls Nature Park


Nymph Falls Nature Park consists of two sets of waterfalls:

Nymph Falls –
In summer, the raging waters calm and reveal a series of exposed bedrock ledges. Making it a popular attraction to cool off in the summer heat.

Nib Falls
– Cascading over man-made fish ladders blasted out of the rock in 1977 to assist spawning salmon swimming upstream. October is a great time to see the Salmon spawning as they jump and leap their way up the falls. You can find viewing and pool access on a rock outcrop 500 meters from the parking lot.

The Puntledge River is an important part of the salmon run that once boasted an abundance of various species of fish. The Puntledge River Hatchery was built downstream to save chinook salmon from extinction and help rebuild a healthy fish population altogether. 

 

Parking & How to Get to Nymph Falls


When you arrive, there are two parking lots to choose from.

#1 The first parking lot is well signed and is ideal for the short hike to the falls viewing point. It’s not a large parking lot, so it fills up quickly in the summer. Parking along the road is also an option. Just make sure you are completely off the pavement.

#2 The second parking lot is just a little further down the road and hidden in the trees. It’s a longer walk to the falls but much closer if you are looking to go for a swim at Barber’s Hole.

 

Nib Falls, Viewing Area.


Access to Nib Falls viewing area, the nucleus of the park, is just 500m from the main parking lot and is accessed from the
River Trail, where you can scope out the man-made fish ladders and walk out onto the long flat rocks for a spectacular view of the falls (watch out for slippery rocks due to algae deposits). Don’t forget your swimming suit for a refreshing dip in the Puntledge River.

 

Barber’s Hole


After you have your fill of the gorgeous Nib and Nymph Falls, be sure to head upstream to Barber’s hole. This blue-green gem is another must-stop spot within the park. You can choose a parking lot close by, (a small gravel lot on the left just after the main Nymph Falls Parking lot) or hike your way over from the falls on a scenic 2.6 km trail. Many locals aren’t aware this swimming hole exists – a summer oasis, the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and a cool and calm doggie-paddle on a hot summer day.   

A true Vancouver Island paradise, Nymph Falls Nature Park is not to be missed on your summer to-do list! And just a few minute drive out of the busy Courtenay/Comox city core – it’s the perfect plan to round up your friends and enjoy everything nature has to offer!

Although great for swimming in summer, If you’re looking for sandy beaches to spread out and enjoy the sun, Air Force Beach and Kye Beach are some of the nicest Beaches on Vancouver Island. 

 

Helpful Tips

 

  • Leashing optional trails – expect unleashed dogs in certain areas of the park
  • Please keep your pets near and under control. Always have a leash, collar, dog bag and valid license for your pet.
  • Not all technical features on bike trails have ride-a-rounds. 
  • No alcohol, loud music, camping, fires or ATVs.
  • No parking after 11 pm or before 5 am.
  • Always park vehicles fully off the pavement if parking on the road shoulder.


Comox Valley residents use hydroelectric power generated by BC Hydro from the river and dam at Comox Lake. A siren indicates the river is about to become faster and higher.
When you hear the siren, evacuate the river and riverside area immediately.

 

 

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When you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure on Vancouver Island, the key is to dress in layers, no matter the season. The island’s weather can throw curveballs, with conditions varying significantly from the sheltered forests to the breezy coastlines.

For those cool winter escapades, your go-to should include quality rain gear, topped off with a cozy beanie or toque, and a pair of light gloves to keep the chill at bay.

Summer explorers, don’t be fooled by the warmer temps; that same waterproof shell that kept you dry in the winter will be your best friend against the cool ocean breezes.

Remember, the right clothing and gear can make or break your outdoor experience on Vancouver Island, ensuring you enjoy every moment, come rain or shine.

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Original Author:

Modified: April 17, 2024
Last Visit: July 13, 2022

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Vancouver Island is a land of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Please be aware of your surroundings and take the usual precautions for personal and wildlife safety.
Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here 

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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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We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .

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