Hello! Welcome to the second in our beach series – top 12 beaches in British Columbia. Today, we’re exploring Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville on Vancouver Island. Rathtrevor takes its name from the Irish family headed by William Rath who homesteaded on the land in the late 1800s.
Rathtrevor Beach boasts:
- 5 kilometres of beachfront
- forest, complete with a circular, oceanfront trail, and
- parkland, including shaded picnic grounds and lots of space to knock a ball around (or fly a kite).
Rathtrevor beach is the kind of beach where you can set up your beach chair, beach umbrella and cooler, and settle down to read a good book or a whole bunch of trashy magazines (whatever you prefer) while the kids play in the sand and explore the shoreline. Why? Because at low tide, the ocean recedes almost a full kilometer.
When the tide rolls in over the sun-baked sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and salt water fun. Little ones can play in the tide pools; bigger ones can venture out into the water for a mile and still be up to their waist. No surprise under-water drop off on this beach! Simply sit back and soak up the seaside atmosphere!
Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?
If you ever tire of the sand, sea and sun, take a walk through the wooded upland area of the park. The hiking trail in the park is a good way to explore the wilderness. There are over 5 kilometers of trails in the park. Many are wheelchair and baby stroller friendly. The trails explore along a sandy beach and through a forest – a forest full of Douglas Fir, Hemlock, Balsam, Western Red Cedar, Spruce, Arbutus and Maple trees. There are information shelters with trail maps at strategic locations in the park.
Throughout the park are picnic shelters for large gatherings, sitting benches and many, many picnic tables. The campground includes pit and flush toilets, an adventure playground, an outdoor Amphitheater and a Nature House.
There is no boat launch in Rathtrevor Provincial Park and all pets must be leashed. Speaking of which, dogs are not allowed on the main beach, but they are allowed on the beach adjacent to the campground. Very important for me as we love to take our dogs when we go on holiday
Birdwatching is also a popular activity at the park, particularly in the spring when large numbers of seabirds congregate for the annual herring spawn. During February, March and April, Rathtrevor Beach is also one of the best spots on the Island to view the migrating Brant geese.
Where to Stay
There are many Parksville accommodation options including hotels, resorts, and motels
or you can stay at the Rathtrevor Beach Camping Ground