Falling for the Island’s accessible waterfalls

Outdoor blogger lists 17 waterfalls worth a family-friendly walk in the woods on the central east coast of Vancouver Island

Joel Collins cools down under Stocking Creek Falls

Joel Collins cools down under Stocking Creek Falls

A silvery splash, a shimmering roar, or a cascading thunder in white — waterfalls come in many forms.

But few are those who fail to pause and drink in their wonder.

Some, like Jill Collins, will even walk many kilometres for a chance to experience one.

“From a distance they sparkle, are magical and tranquil. Up close waterfalls are deafening, powerful and spectacular,” she writes in her blog On the Beaten Path. “They captivate us, stimulate our senses and are a highlight of many hikes on Vancouver Island.”

Collins, who writes about family recreation opportunities on the Island, recently posted a guide to the best waterfall hikes on its central east coast.

If you are looking for a nice, family-friendly afternoon walk, you may want to start right here.

There are 17 waterfalls included, ranging from Cowichan to Fanny Bay. Most of them are a relatively easy trek for the novice hiker that can be completed within a few hours or less.

Collins’ criteria was pretty simple: include all the waterfalls she could think of that were worth seeing and easily reachable for families in the central Island area.

“I could have kept going but I ran out of energy,” she said with a laugh. “I needed to get this out.”

A resident of the rural Cedar area south of Nanaimo, Collins hasn’t been to every waterfall listed, but felt compelled to include those she hasn’t based on feedback she’s received from fellow hikers.

Her personal favourites are Ammonite Falls in Nanaimo and Stocking Creek Falls between Ladysmith and Chemainus — each for different reasons.

“Ammonite is very popular now; it never used to be as busy. It’s got the location and the wow factor,” she said. “Stocking Creek, it’s so easy to get there but you can get right down to the waterfall. Kids love it.”

Collins is a frequent reader of and contributor to various internet outdoor networks. She’s hasn’t seen a similar list posted anywhere and she is surprised by the amount of attention this one has generated.

“Not that I know of,” she said. “I can’t believe the amount of hits.”

Collins describes the hikes listed as mostly easy to moderate and usually within cell phone range. Wear the appropriate footwear, pack some water and a snack, and you should be fine.

The directions provided by the blog will get you to the right spot, but they aren’t so detailed they will spoil the joy of exploration.

She plans to experience every waterfall on the list and hopes she can inspire others to do the same.

“That’s what it’s all about: inspiring people to get out there and enjoy our natural beauty,” she said. “I’m just someone who is passionate about getting outside. This is my way to show others there is so much right here.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria’ Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

A property at 1224 Richardson St. in Victoria is the subject of a rezoning application that seeks permission to build three low-rise buildings with 24 units, including four that would rent for below market rate. (Google Streetview)
Victoria development in Fairfield features subsidized housing element

Public hearings this Thursday (Jan. 28) for proposals on Richardson Street and Heywood Avenue

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

Victoria police made 22 warrant enforcement arrests Jan. 27 as part of its #VicPDWarrantWednesday project. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Victoria police make 22 arrests during #WarrantWednesday

VicPD says arrests part of warrant enforcement project

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read