Royston Seaside Trail


The turf has been rolled out at the Royston Seaside Trail picnic area at Marine Drive. Take advantage of the new tables and scenic views with friends and family, rain or shine.

Park Features

Chinook to Lince roads

  • 1.1km of 2.5m wide recreational trail
  • beach access
  • parking
  • toilet
  • dog bag dispensers

Marine Drive

  • recreational trail
  • beach access
  • parking
  • picnic area
  • viewing platform
  • benches
  • dog bag dispensers

Accessibility

  • Royston Seaside Trail between the Hilton Road parking lot, heading north to Chinook Road is accessible.

    In January 2015, CVRD parks received a federal government grant as part of the Enabling Accessibility Fund [PDF - 273 KB] for Royston Seaside Trail (Marine Drive section). The project grant of $16,348 will help provide for a picnic facility accessible through the retrofitting of two tables, as well as constructing an accessible surface and an accessible trail from the parking area.

Trail Map

View the Royston Seaside Trail map [PDF - 172 KB]

Park Etiquette

  • Pet leashing required year round. For more details visit the dogs in parks page.

Location

Baynes Sound, (Area 'A')
Royston waterfront between Chinook Road (turn at 3650 Island Hwy) and Lince Road continuing along Marine Drive until Ronald Ave. Main parking area at end of Hilton Road.

How to Get There

View map [PDF - 276 KB] for directions

Natural Features

View the natural features of the Royston trail at the Comox Valley Naturalists Society nature viewing guide. (external link)  

History

The north half of the trail is a portion of the old ‘Comox Logging Railway Grade' known as ‘The Breakwater Esplanade'.

The southern half of the trail is a portion of the Marine Drive road right-of-way.

The trail between Chinook and Lince roads follows the former Comox Logging railway right-of-way. From 1911 to the early 1950’s steam locomotives hauled logs from logging camps throughout the Comox Valley to the Royston log dump. A mile long wharf extended from the end of Hilton Road. Logs were tipped off the wharf and sorted into booms and towed to more protected waters on the inside of Goose Spit. From there steam tugs towed the log booms to Fraser Mills in New Westminster.

Starting in 1937, large sailing ships and tugs were sunk off Hilton Road to protect the exposed log booming grounds. The wharf was taken down and replaced by a breakwater in the 1950’s. Logs were stored north of the breakwater until 2005. The rocks that can be seen within the intertidal area during low tides most likely originate from the fill material placed to construct the railway grade.

The railway grade eroded with time. Erosion accelerated in particular after the log storage in front of the breakwater was taken out in 2005.

The trail was re-constructed in fall and winter 2013/2014. The trail was moved inland, off the original grade, behind the Hilton slough and at Thomson Road. Between the slough and Thomson Road right-of-way, the CVRD installed greenshores shoreline protection with logs anchored with steel cable between large boulders. 

Shell and Imperial Oil took over the government wharf in 1940. The Royston wharf handled a heavy tonnage in oil products through the years. Initially barrels of oil were rolled to shore on the wharf. Fuel was later pumped from barges to tanks on the Royston waterfront. Oil tanks were located on the northwest corner of Royston Road and Marine Drive from 1916 until 1997. The wharf head was 12m x 30m (40 x 100ft) with an approach that was just 1.1m (3.6ft) wide but 400m (1,320ft) long.  The viewing stand at the end of Royston Road is built with timbers and decking from the wharf which was removed in 2003.