There’s definitely something special about Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, but be warned– it’s special to a whole lot of people, so don’t expect solitude in the summer months! Come winter, though, you may have the place to yourselves, save for some hardy campers, dog walkers and a plethora of shorebirds.
The park is just off the Island Highway to the south of the town of Parksville and a stone’s throw from Parksville’s resort row. Yet the beach, trails, campground and meadows give you the sense that you’re far more remote than you are. Families flock here to build sandcastles, swim or hike the more than 5 km of accessible trails through old growth forest. Low tide reveals a vast beach to explore.
Location: The east coast of Vancouver Island, about 3 km south of Parksville B.C. on Highway 19a. Take Exit 51 from the Inland Island Highway 19. map and directions
Contact: 800-663-7867 | campground reservations
Features: potable water, flush toilets, trails, playground, picnic area
Camping: year-round. 150 drive-in sites, 15 hike-in sites
Details: no day-use fee, camping reservations required from the last week of June through Labor Day.