Super Natural British Columbia: Nanaimo

Piper's Lagoon, Nanaimo

Nanaimo may have been my least favorite stop on our BC road trip. (Sorry, Nanaimo! I know that’s not fair to you. Read on for why…)

It was my least favorite primarily because we camping in the city on someone’s front lawn with no washroom facilities available to us. After a night camping by the river in Squamish it took more mental gymnastics to adjust to city camping than I was prepared for.

Maybe it was also because Nanaimo and I got off on the wrong foot. We almost didn’t make our ferry from Squamish to the island despite being in line for an hour and a half. (Note to self: always make a reservation for BC Ferries.) We squeaked onto the boat and arrived at the Nanaimo ferry terminal half an hour late. By the time we scarfed a late dinner and set up our tents, it was past midnight. I lay awake listening to a dog bark in the distance.

All that said, our group did get the chance to visit a few fantastic spots in Nanaimo:

Bowen Park

Take a meander through Bowen Park, in the heart of Nanaimo. Enjoy the interpretive signage along the trails which tell you about the fish life of the Millstone River. Admire the totems that are slowly returning back to Mother Earth.

Bowen Park Nanaimo

Petroglyph Provincial Park

Storytelling at its finest, circa over 1,000 years ago. Petroglyph Provincial Park is a day-use park south of Nanaimo with loads of interpretive signage surrounding these First Nations’ rock carvings of wolves, fish, and humans.

Petroglyphs Provincial Park Nanaimo

Petroglyph Provincial Park Nanaimo

Pipers Lagoon

Nanaimo has a series of waterfront parks and Pipers Lagoon was the perfect spot for one member of our group to get his first look at an ocean. And his first swim…at the end of October. Hey! When in Rome…or Nanaimo, right? It’s a lovely spot for beach combing and bird watching.

Pipers Lagoon Nanaimo


Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you been to Nanaimo? Let me know in the comments where your must-see sights are. And if you missed it, heead on over to Squamish for the first post in this series.

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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