If you’re craving a little escape that doesn’t require a full-on expedition, let me introduce you to the Abyss in Nanaimo. It’s this super cool, kinda mysterious crack in the earth that you can easily hike to.
There is no need for fancy gear or expert-level hiking skills—just a good pair of shoes and a sense of curiosity. Scroll down for a quick rundown on how to get there and what you can expect. So, if you’re up for a chill afternoon of exploring something a bit different, stick around. The Abyss is calling!
Realistically, it’s just a big crack in the rock. However, the Abyss is still a fascinating geological feature located in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, that offers a glimpse into the Earth’s dynamic processes. It’s essentially a long, narrow fracture in the ground, 16″ wide, stretching about 40 meters, surrounded by arbutus trees that add to its allure.
But what really sets the Abyss apart is its easy access and the fact that it’s located on a smooth, exposed surface. This natural crack wasn’t formed by erosion or human activity, but most likely due to seismic shifts that occurred thousands of years ago.
So, when you’re walking alongside this intriguing crevice, you’re essentially walking alongside a piece of Earth’s history. It’s a simple yet captivating experience that allows you to connect with nature in a way that’s different from your typical forest hike.
You can complete the whole adventure in about 45 to 60 minutes, making it a perfect choice for a morning or afternoon outing.
The trail itself is a dirt path that’s fairly exposed to the sun, so don’t forget your sunscreen.
As you make your way, you’ll be treated to scenic views of Gabriola Island and Nanaimo that add a picturesque backdrop to your journey. And if you’re up for more exploring, the trail seamlessly continues as part of the Extension Ridge Trail, offering even more opportunities for adventure.
Just so you know, the Abyss Trailhead ain’t exactly a remote spot. It’s right on the edge of Nanaimo, and a lot of people go there for dirt biking, mountain biking, and hiking. Oh, and the Military rifle range is only about 1km away, so be aware of that.
The trailhead starts off Harewood Mines Road, which is easily accessible by car. Once you arrive, you’ll find a small parking area along the road located at the trail entrance. The parking is free but can get busy during weekends and holidays.
If the parking area is full, there’s additional street parking available along Harewood Mines Road. Just make sure to check for any parking restrictions to avoid any surprises.
The Abyss offers a unique and accessible outdoor experience right on the edge of Nanaimo. With its easy-to-moderate 3 km trail, you can enjoy a quick yet fulfilling adventure that takes under an hour to complete.
The trail not only leads you to a geological feature but also offers stunning views of Gabriola Island and Nanaimo along the way. Getting there is a breeze, with ample parking options and a trailhead conveniently located off Harewood Mines Road.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, anyone can enjoy the unique fissure and the views, making the Abyss in Nanaimo a great hike to try at least once.
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