Discover the local favourite Nanaimo hiking trails this March as the city welcomes spring with Festival Nanaimo. From coastal vistas, dog parks, waterfalls and urban adventures these trails offer something for any outdoor explorer.

Favourite Nanaimo Hiking Trails to Visit During Festival Nanaimo

Every March a collection of passionate organizers come together to host a “multi-dimensional” community based event throughout the entire month called Festival Nanaimo. From Arts, Concerts, and Live Performance Theatre to Beer Tasting events with dogs and the popular Piratefest for kids it has something for everyone.

With events like this the best part is that it brings new people to town often looking for the best local parks and trails to visit. Swing over to the FestivalSeekers website and read the recent article I wrote to learn more about the event and why you should attend. Welcome Spring on Vancouver Island with a Visit to Festival Nanaimo

Now that your attention is hopefully intrigued with the festival we can look at what other outdoor opportunities deserve your attention. I have picked a few of my favourite Nanaimo Hiking Trails that give a taste of what this beautiful city has to offer. Wether you are an urban adventurer or seasoned backwoods hiker I am confident that one of these trails is for you.

Ammonite Falls

Out of all the hikes I have on my list, the trails leading to Ammonite Falls are the most adventurous. Starting at the parking lot in Creekside Community Park you make your way through the forested trails managed by the Regional District of Nanaimo. Eventually you arrive at Benson Creek Falls Regional Park. The park is home of one of the most popular waterfalls on Vancouver Island, Ammonite Falls.

Follow the imbedded map link below to my ViewRanger GPS track and navigate on your smartphone to the falls. For more information read a detailed previous post I published, Hike To Ammonite Falls .

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Ammonite Falls

Wander through 2nd growth forest on the way to the Falls

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Ammonite Falls

Ammonite Falls are a beautiful place to visit year round

Pipers Lagoon

Stunning coastal views and oceanside trails make Pipers Lagoon a must do for any visit to Nanaimo. Everywhere you look amazing views await with sunrise and sunset being extremely popular amongst photographers. Within the inner lagoon area you can also see the historic old whaling shacks that still stand today. Wildlife is always active in the area from sea lions to herons and eagles. On a clear day views across to the mainland and the coastal mountain ranges are some of the best to be found in the city.

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Pipers Lagoon

Clear day the views across the Salish Sea to the mainland coast mountains are stunning

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Pipers Lagoon

Stunning sunsets make this a must visit for photographers

Westwood Lake

As the largest park in the city, Westwood Lake is one of the regions most popular parks. The near 6km loop around the lake is popular for runners, walkers, cyclists and dog walkers. The lake has a beach and playground area and offers several fishing piers as well as canoeing and kayaking. Enjoy views of the nearby mountains and forest to help you forget you are right in the city.

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Westwood Lake

Challenge yourself to a forest immersed run around the lake

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Westwood Lake

With views like this it is easy to forget you are in the city

Colliery Dam and Dog Park

Dog Owners should put the off-leash area of Colliery Dam on their radar as a fun inner city escape. The off-leash dog area of the park which is run by the City of Nanaimo circumnavigates the upper dam area. The park is highlighted by bridges, waterfalls, forest, swimming areas and even some fishing.

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Colliery Dam

Dogs and their owners will love the off-leash area of the park

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Colliery Dam

The park is enjoyed by all types of dogs year round

Harbourfront Walkway

For a more relaxed way to explore Nanaimo without leaving the downtown core simply follow along on the Harbourfront Walkway. This urban pathway system weaves it’s way along the inner harbourside area and marina. From beautiful Maffeo Sutton Park, Sway-a-lana lagoon and fishing piers. To Cafes, boutique shops, pubs, Spirit Square and art exhibits plus so much more. Don’t forget to check out the Foot Ferry to Newcastle Island as well and check out the Dingy Dock Pub.

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Maffeo Sutton Park Harbourfront Walkway

Frank Ney statue in Maffeo Sutton Park. Newcastle Island in the distance

Nanaimo hiking trails vancouver island Chris Istace Harbourfront Walkway

Bridge over the Swy-a-lana Lagoon on Harbourfront walkway

More Info on Favourite Nanaimo Hiking Trails

I really found this brochure from the City of Nanaimo as a great resource City of Nanaimo Parks and Trails Brochure  for self-guided trips. As well the Regional District of Nanaimo has an extensive parks and trail system if looking to challenge yourself at places like Mt Benson.

If you are looking for other fun activities or to learn more about the region check out the Tourism Nanaimo website. Looking for more great Festivals to attend on Vancouver Island and explore outdoors elsewhere? If so be sure to book the FestivalSeekers website. Check out my article over there if you didn’t already , Welcome Spring on Vancouver Island with a Visit to Festival Nanaimo . Don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes and now get out there to #ExploreBeyondTheUsual

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