Planning a New Year’s walk? Here are some ideas!
2020 was quite the year. It started off with meme’s about how all the holidays were going to land on Fridays, which brought excitement about socializing with our friends and families, to being confined behind a mask and no social gatherings.
The New Year for so many symbolizes a time to reflect, prioritize, set goals, spend time with loved ones and much more. Let’s put 2020 aside and ring in 2021 outside, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Nanaimo! It's okay if it is a walk on our own or with our immediate family. There is so much to be thankful for and sometimes, getting outside to unplug is all we need to remind ourselves how fortunate we really are.
Here are a few Nanaimo treasures:
1. Colliery Dam Park
What is now a family favorite, was once the main source of water for miners - built in the early 1900’s by the Western Fuel Company. Furry friends are always welcome as the upper dam is a designated off-leash dog area. In the summer months you will find people swimming, picnicking and trout fishing – make sure to bring a rod! Winter brings a special treat for those who love waterfalls. Take a walk through the culvert that leads to the cascading "granny falls". Make sure to bring a pair of boots as winter can bring some muddy terrain. Children love exploring Colliery Dam Park with the abundance of stairs, tunnels, bridges and the many wonders that this park has to offer!
2. Neck Point Park
Thirty six acres of waterfront, a well-known park to local photographers and a divers dream. These are many things to look for when walking through Neck Point - some find fairy houses. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a pod of Orca Whales! From pebble filled beaches, Arbutus and Garry Oak trees to rocky coves and wildlife, this walk is a true gem in Nanaimo. It can be quite chilly near the ocean so make sure to bring a coat and pack some warm mittens.
3. Westwood Lake Park
The 5.51km loop is a very popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you are walking leisurely, pushing a stroller, riding a bike or running on foot, people tend to do it all here. Make note if you're bringing little ones, there are a couple large hills and tree roots to be expected. In the summer months, this man-made lake is one of Nanaimo’s most popular swimming locations nestled near the bottom of Mount Benson. With sandy beaches, docks to dive off and bluffs to look over the lake, this makes for a truly special spot.
Here is a list of more great walking trails to get you started: Linley Valley Cottle Lake Park, Buttertubs Marsh Park, Cable Bay Trail, Jack Point and Biggs Park and Pipers Lagoon Park - just to name a few. You can use the Parks and Trails Brochure or the Parks Search on the website to find park information, directions and inspiration to explore.
If you do bring your phone and get some photos, make sure to include #mynanaimo on Instagram as we would love to see your adventures! And, most importantly, please remember to follow COVID-19 protocols as set out by the province.
Happy New Year Nanaimo!
Written by City Employee, Adrianna W