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Looking for somewhere to escape that's not too far away from the city?
Perhaps you're simply looking for a running route where you can breathe some fresh air and observe natural sceneries while getting fit? Look no further than Parksville's Top Bridge Regional Trail, a 5-kilometre multi-use trail connecting Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park with the Top Bridge Crossing and Englishman River Regional Park and is a great spot to enjoy nature without going far from home.
Trail Closure - Top Bridge Regional Trail
As of May 11, 2023, a section of the Top Bridge Regional Trail between the Inland Island Highway and Industrial Way that crosses private land has been closed to public access. The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is reviewing options to maintain public access from the resort area of Parksville to the Top Bridge suspension bridge crossing. In the meantime, Top Bridge Community Park, Top Bridge Suspension Bridge and Englishman River Regional Park can be accessed via Allsbrook Road or Chattel Road. For more details, check this map.
Top Bridge Regional Trail is a trail that surely deserves to be highlighted with its superb pedestrian-cyclist suspension bridge spanning the English River. Inaugurated in 1999, Top Bridge Trail is a lively junction of parks and nature conservation areas where visitors often stop to enjoy the view of Englishman River from the suspended bridge.
Top Bridge Park & Regional Trail is the local's favourite swimming hole where families and groups of friends tend to spend their sunny afternoons cooling down and enjoying the fresh water.
Top Bridge's best-kept secret is the petroglyphs that, according to local historian, you can find by opening your eyes a tiny bit wider while you're exploring down by the Englishman River. You could see at least three distinct First Nation carvings on the rocks, so get a little bit closer and pay attention to the amazing nature that surrounds you. And if you have kids and are looking to get them outside during the winter - the bridge and surrounding area make for a fun and adventurers outing!
Whether you are looking for a peaceful hike in nature, a stunning running route, a heart pumping mountain bike ride or a chill afternoon exploring Vancouver Island's historic treasures, Top Bridge Trail in Parksville is the go-to spot.
From Alberni Highway (Hwy 4) off of 19A and take the first left after going under the overpass. Take the first left again on to Allsbrook Road and follow it down to its end. The gated road (open during the day) will take you to a parking lot. From there, follow the main trail to the suspension bridge. Various short trails on either side will also lead you to diverse swimming hole.
For park map or more information: www.rdn.bc.ca
This is a guest article by Good Life Juice in Nanaimo.