Puntledge - Black Creek (Area 'C')

Puntledge-Black Creek, (Area 'C') PHOTO GALLERY includes Merville, Black Creek, Dove Creek, Saratoga Beach, Arden (west of Cumberland Road), Powerhouse, Lake Trail, Marsden, Plateau Road. The northern boundary of  "C" is the Oyster River.

Bear Creek Nature Park  --  The park contains approximately 1350 metres of frontage along the Oyster River, 4 km from it's the junction with the Georgia Strait.  Within the wetland/riparian habitat, big-leaf maple, black cottonwood, western hemlock, sitka spruce and western red cedar dominate the overstory and shade common shrubs namely salmonberry, snowberry, sword fern, elerberry and oregon grape. The Oyster River Enhancement Society (ORES) operates a fish hatchery for coho, chum, pink and chinook salmon along the river floodplain.  The upland forest is dominated by douglas-fir and red alder which shade vanilla leaf, sword fern and red huckleberry.  (Map [PDF - 706 KB])

Bracken Park - Fishermen, hikers and rafting enthusiasts make this compact seven-acre park a favourite destination for those looking to find a quick and easy walk to the beautiful and beckoning Oyster River. The welcoming park hugs the Oyster River and the easy and pleasant main trail winds its way from Bracken Rd. to the river through a thick patch of the park's namesake plant along with towering Maples, Firs and Cedars. It's a 10-minute easy walk to the river with several smaller ungroomed trails branching off the main trail.
• How to get there: Turn west on Hamm Road of Island Highway 19A north of Black Creek. Take an immediate right on McCaulay Rd. Follow McCaulay approximately 7.5 km, turn right on Robin Rd. left on Heather Rd. and right on Bracken Rd. Park entrance is near the end of Bracken Rd. (Map [PDF - 144 KB])

Eagle Drive Park - One-acre Eagle Drive Park includes a quick but steep 250-metre walk down to the beach. An impressive 85 steps wind down to a lookout protected by large Maple and Fir trees on the quiet, secluded beach near Merville. The oceanscape is stunning so bring binoculars for the viewing stand and to spot the birdlife within this quiet sanctuary.
• How to get there: Take Coleman Rd. east off Island Highway 19A in Merville, north of Courtenay. Turn left on Left Rd. to Eagles Dr. The park is on the right about a 0.5 km up the road. (Map [PDF - 95 KB])

Headquarters Townsite Park – The park name reflects the fact that the land was once the base of Comox Logging between 1911 and the late 1950s.Few signs remain of this former model town that featured a roundabout for repairing locomotives, a water tower, store, post office, school, cook house, dormitory for the single men and a series of houses for the married workers. The only remaining building is a sawmill dating back to 1913. Visitors to the park can follow the banks of the Tsolum River along a wide trail that extends from Headquarters Road to Fitzgerald Road. Round trip distance is approximately 2.1km. The trail can be quite wet during the winter. TimberWest owns the land within the park but allows public use under an agreement with the regional district.
• How to get there: Follow Headquarters Rd. from Courtenay northwest to the three way stop at Fitzgerald Road. Continue west along Headquarters Road.  The entrance to the park is on the left approximately 725m from the stop sign and 125m past Railway Ave. Enter the park through the three larger boulders. (map [PDF - 309 KB])

Masters Greenway - A few steps inside the trailhead to Masters Greenway and it becomes obvious why Ruth Masters, well-known Comox Valley nature enthusiast, would have donated the property that makes up this stunning 15-acre park. The deciduous trees along the well-groomed trail are majestic and create an unexpected silence within this rural oasis. This quiet is quickly overpowered by the raging Puntledge River as the trail winds eastward. Beautifully crafted bridges and steps lead the hiker through ravines to a bird's eye view of the river. The entire walk can take just a half-hour for the average hiker but the reward will last much longer.
• How to get there: Take 1st St. southwest from downtown Courtenay. Turn right on Powerhouse Road. Follow Powerhouse north. The signposted entrance is past 1st street on the right. (Map [PDF - 158 KB])

Nymph Falls Nature Park  - Drop by this 55-hectare park on the north side of the Puntledge River during one of our many west coast rainforest downpours and enjoy the surging power of Nymph Falls in full force. Trails vary from the leisurely Short Loop stroll to single track bike-only trails with intermediate to advanced technical features not suitable for beginner riders. Park trails connect to the BC Hydro trail system to Comox Lake. The bike trail Cog the Logs connects to Stotan (Stokum) Falls via Twister Trail located on private land. Nymph Falls is a popular summer swimming spot but is unsupervised and subject to quick changes in water levels, strong currents and underwater debris such as branches.
• How to get there: Take the Piercy Rd. connector north of Courtenay towards Inland Island Highway 19, turn left at Forbidden Plateau Rd. just before the highway. The entrance and parking is opposite 4478 Forbidden Plateau Road., approximately 16 km from Courtenay. The park entrance is well marked on the east side of the road. (Map [PDF - 1 MB])

One Spot Trail - It's easy to drift back in time on this historic Dove Creek path that follows the former railway grade of the Comox Logging and Railroad Co. The flat well groomed trail follows a thin strip of land which winds its way through eight kms of history from Condensory Rd. to the Tsolum River. One Spot Trail was opened in 2005 with the help of the Comox Valley naturalists and Backcountry Horsemen of B.C. Named after the first Baldwin engine locomotive used on the line in 1909, One Spot includes informative historical signposting with markers for the former Dove Creek School originally built in 1924.
• How to get there: Take Headquarters Rd. north off Island Highway 19A to Dove Creek Rd. in northwest Courtenay. Turn left on Piercy Rd. turn left on Condensory Rd. The trail begins at Condensory Rd. near Cessford. Rd. but can also be accessed at Burns, Brazier and Fair roads. (Map [PDF - 607 KB] )

Pinecrest Park - Five-acre Pinecrest Park is every young BMX bikers dream.  Jumps carved out of the red dirt make this a great spot to spend a few hours perfecting those impressive moves. Local residents are dedicated to the upkeep of this site which contains about a quarter-acre of unsupervised dirt jumps.
• How to get there: Turn west of Island Highway 19A north of Black Creek on Hamm Rd. and take an immediate right on McCaulay Rd.  Follow McCaulay approximately 4 km to Doyle Rd. Turn right and follow Doyle Rd., turn left at Pinecrest Rd. The park is located on the north side of the Rd. but is not signposted. (Map [PDF - 644 KB])

Tsolum Spirit Park - This seven-acre riverfront park was once referred to as‘A Beer and a Pizza Park' because, as the story goes, during the referendum held to determine if the regional district should buy the land for a park, the area director at the time, Harold Macy, told voters it would cost them no more than – the price of a beer and a pizza. The main 550-metre trail in Tsolum Park follows the old Comox Logging Railway grade past pockets of trillium flowers over a quaint bridge that straddles a marshy tributary. The trail ends at a welcoming picnic area overlooking the Tsolum River - a great place to picnic or swim. Other smaller trails in this seven-acre park wind down a fairly easy grade to the Tsolum River, popular with swimmers, horseback riders and mountain bikers.
•  How to get there: Follow Headquarters Rd. from Courtenay northwest to Tsolum River Rd. Turn left on Tsolum and follow the mostly straight road with three bends, approximately three kms. (Map [PDF - 106 KB])

Wildwood Marsh - This 36-acre winter staging area for Trumpeter Swans and Canada Geese is also a haven for bears, deer and beaver. A short walk is rewarded with the stunning vista of this expansive and tranquil marsh. The site is surrounded by a 15 m Land Conservancy covenant protecting this important habitat that drains from Smith Creek into the Tsolum River. The Comox Valley Naturalists conduct a swan count each winter on the marsh which is alive all year round with waterfowl and native marsh plant life.
• How to get there: Take Headquarters Rd. north off Island Highway 19A to Dove Creek Rd. Turn left on Piercy Rd., turn right on Condensory Rd., left on Burns Rd. and left on Wildwood Rd. There is a short path in from the 5500 block of Wildwood Rd. to view the marsh. Entrance marked with pink flagging. (Map [PDF - 536 KB])

Wildwood Interpretive Forest - The Wildwood Interpretive Forest is a massive 276-hectares of provincial forest that borders the smaller Wildwood Marsh and nearby rural subdivision. Large mature Douglas Fir abound throughout the forest which provides considerable roaming grounds for bears and, cougars that inhabit the area. The trails are popular with horseback riders.
• How to get there: Take Headquarters Rd. north off Island Highway 19A to Dove Creek Rd. Turn left on Piercy Rd., turn right on Condensory Rd., left on Burns Rd. The park entrance is 700 metres past Wildwood Rd. Limited parking on the right. (Map [PDF - 881 KB])