Central Vancouver Island BC Parks and More
Explore 18 BC Parks & Regional Parks
BC Parks so Spectacular they've been recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere ReserveAqua blue may be Oceanside’s natural colour, but its heartland is vibrantly green. The wealth of BC Parks and Regional Parks in the region is both remarkable and spectacular. The United Nations underlined that point in 2000 when it recognized Mount Arrowsmith and its surrounding terrain as a “Biosphere Reserve,” one of only 13 such environmental jewels in Canada and some 500 around the world. Diversity is also a major element in nature’s panorama here. Embracing five distinct climatic zones, the local habitat spans the extremes between alpine meadows and lush, sea-level gardens.
Home of Popular Rathtrevor Beach,
All told, Oceanside is home to eight BC Provincial Parks and five regional district parks. Many other green spaces have been set aside to protect cascading waterfalls, networks of caves, historic homesteads, unique gardens and, in the case of Cathedral Grove, a rare stand of old-growth Douglas Fir, several of which date back 800 years.
Cathedral Grove BC Parks
Some of the above are among the region’s most popular attractions, including Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park - the most popular BC Provincial Park. Others are well off-the-beaten path, which is just fine in the opinion of those who treasure these special, sacred and largely private refuges.
Explore deep underground with a professional guide at the Horne Lake Caves or travel with a professional biologist on eco-hiking tours into the wild rainforest. Cheer the return of up to 20,000 Brant geese on their long journey north from wintering grounds in Mexico. Stand in the massive shadow of trees that soar 75-meters into the air, their trunks twice as wide as you are tall, mosses and ferns taking root in the ancient bark. Like everything else in this natural wonderland, such a sight is both awesome and humbling.