Wonderful though the oceanfront may be, the beaches found at our many rivers and lakes are perfect for cooling off on a hot day or for a quiet hike. Lakes are where you'll find many locals in the summer months.
Cameron Lake (Hwy. #4 about ten minutes past Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park and on the road to Cathedral Grove) shouldn?t be missed by the splash around set. Forested slopes surround the lake, and the pea-gravel beach is a lovely spot to warm up after an afternoon dip. Watch for signs reading 'Cameron Lake Day Use Area'.
Englishman River offers a number of fun options to cool off in the summer or watch the river roar in the winter. Top Bridge is a local favourite as it's just a couple minutes from downtown Parksville and the beach resorts as well as being right beside the dedicated mountain bike park. Englishman River Falls Provincial Park has great swimming just a short hike down to the lower falls. This spot is well-shaded and the water temperature is known for being cooler than others in the area - perfect for those who are 'air conditioning challenged'.
The crystal clear waters of Horne Lake make for a great place to go swimming, paddling, or just hang out on the beach! Horne Lake Regional Park offers a multitude of rentals so you don't have to lug everything yourself. Choose from canoes, single and double kayaks, wakeboards, tubes, and lifejackets. You can even take an evening paddling trip with a certified instructor who can teach you proper technique.
Spider Lake is known for its warm water and is ideal for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. Powerboats are not allowed on the serene lake peppered with little islands. Horne Lake Regional Park has canoe and kayak rentals and is a beautiful place for hiking.
Both Spider and Horne Lakes are located about 15 minutes inland from Qualicum Beach.