Nymph Falls Nature Park protects 61 hectares (151 acres) of second-growth forest located on the north side of the Puntledge River. The river and falls rage over series of exposed bedrock ledges, from fall to spring, to the delight of white water enthusiasts. In summer, the glacial waters run calm, clear and cool, making the park and nearby Barber’s Hole popular spots for a refreshing dip on hot days.
The spectacular Nymph Falls cascade over fish ladders blasted out in 1977 to help spawning salmon swim upstream. Watch fish returning in October and November to leap their way up the falls. A rock outcrop at the shore provides a good location to view the river, the falls and fish ladder, as well as a sunny site to picnic, sunbathe and swim. American dippers, small bird species that loves the water, are often seen along the river. The falls are a leisurely 600 metre stroll from the parking lot.
Comox Valley residents use hydroelectric power generated by BC Hydro from the river and dam at Comox Lake. A siren indicates the river is about to become faster and higher. When you hear the siren, evacuate the river and riverside area immediately.
Trails are maintained in large part through the efforts of volunteers from the Plateau Road Residents Association.
Flora - Douglas fir, western hemlock and red cedar are the primary species of this second-growth forest, as well as a few black cottonwoods, Sitka spruce, big-leaf maple, red alder and Pacific yew. In the summer, unusual plants may be seen along edge of the trail, such as gnome plant and Indian pipe.
The birds most commonly seen along the trails and river include osprey, Cooper's hawk, bald eagle, Glaucous-winged gull, American dipper, northern flicker, red-breasted sapsucker, varied thrush, brown creeper, Pacific wren, red-breasted nuthatch, chestnut-backed chickadee, golden-crowned kinglet, belted kingfisher and dark-eyed junco.
- 4481 Forbidden Plateau Road
- Puntledge -- Black Creek (Electoral Area C)
Trails within Nymph Falls Nature Park connect with a larger system up and down the river. For a more extensive trail map and information on the BC Hydro Puntledge Recreation Area to the west of the park, visit the BC Hydro Puntledge Recreation Area.
- Size: 61 ha (151 acres)
- 17 car parking lot - carpooling recommended especially in summer
- Scenic views
- Picnic tables
- Forested trails
- Pit toilets
- Mountain biking
- Horseback riding
- Leashing is optional
- Closed to cyclists
- Bears and cougars pass through the forest regularly, although they’re seldom seen
- Always keep children and pets in sight
- Use the park at appropriate times – predatory animals are more active at night, so always use park between dawn and dusk
- Make noise while on trails to avoid surprising wildlife and triggering an attack
- Swimming is unsupervised and at your own risk – changing currents and water depths can present a drowning hazard, as can branches and trees in the river
- The river rocks are often slippery with green algae
- Nymph Falls Nature Park has hike-only, bike-only and multi-use trails
- More advanced mountain bike trails are noted in red on the map
- Cog The Log and Tree Bender – these trails included technical features and obstacles which serve to challenge more experienced riders (not all features have ride-arounds)
- Purple trails on the map are multi-use trails suitable for hikers and beginner bikers, so be prepared to share with bikes and horses
- Trails marked in green on the map (long loop and short loop) are pedestrian-only and are not open for biking
- Carpooling recommended especially in summer
- No parking on north side of Plateau Road
This park was originally a recreation reserve. In 1992, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) received a 20-year lease over this piece of Crown Land for park purposes. This lease was renewed for another 30 years in 2012. In November 2012, the CVRD purchased a 5.5 ha property located on the Puntledge River northeast of Crown-owned portion Nymph Falls Park from 0768816 BC Ltd., Inc. (also operating as 3L Development). The cost of the property was $379,000.
Members of the Plateau Road Residents Association have improved and maintained the trails for many years. The picnic table clearing close to the river at the base of the Nymph Falls Nature Park main entrance was once the site of a labour camp for conscientious objectors (eg Mennonites) during World War II.