Chase River Falls in Colliery Dam Park

Chase River Falls in Colliery Dam Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

chase river falls in colliery dam park in nanaimo british columbia canada

Chase River Falls in Nanaimo (Purchase)

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   I had already walked around Colliery Dam Park in Nanaimo on two separate occasions before someone asked me if I had seen the waterfall. I had thought they meant the two spillway waterfalls from each of the two dams in the park, but apparently there was a natural waterfall just a minute or two walk from where I stood. I am rather fortunate that this was pointed out to me, as research of the area and my own exploration had failed to discover Chase River Falls.

   Another reason I feel I was fortunate to be pointed to these falls at that time is that Colliery Dam Park itself will largely cease to exist due to removal of the two small dams. This will create large holes where the two small lakes now sit. I do not know if access to the Chase River Falls will change, but either way, strolling through a nice forest next to a lake is certainly more picturesque when compared to a construction site or open pit.

See more of my Waterfall Pictures.

Cathedral Grove Fallen Trees

Fallen trees at Cathedral Grove in Macmillan Provincial Park near Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

fallen trees in cathedral grove at macmillan provincial park near port alberni, british columbia

Cathedral Grove Rainforest (Purchase)

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   Macmillan Provincial Park lies to the east of Port Alberni on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. This photo was made in the Cathedral Grove area of the park, and a shows two fallen, large trees (windstorm casualties) along the trail. While there are many large trees there, it was a challenge to show any of the larger ones in the context of their natural environment (this photo does not fulfill that challenge, obviously). First it is often difficult to give a sense of scale with trees, especially those not surrounded by recognizable foreground elements (or people hugging the trunk). Second, many of the larger trees were rather highly visited by the tourists in the area and were not longer really sitting in a natural setting.

   That said, Cathedral Grove is a great place to stop and stretch your legs (or photograph for 2 hours like I did). It is not the best example of an “old growth” forest that many purport it to be, however. Still, this park receives a lot of visitors each year, indicating that at least some people do have some manner of interest in this kind of nature. Even though this is a bit of a pseudo forest in a way, high interest from the public is a good thing. Genuine old growth forest would likely cease to be as diverse as it should be upon becoming a highly visited tourist destination, so with Cathedral Grove I think a decent balance is found.

Sunset from Biggs Park / Jack Point

Sunset over Nanaimo harbour and the Coast Mountain Range from Biggs Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

sunset over the coast mountain range and nanaimo harbour from biggs park at duke point in nanaimo british columbia

Sunset at Nanaimo’s Duke Point (Purchase)

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   I enjoyed the scenery and photographic possibilites at Biggs Park near Nanaimo so much that I shot there on back to back evenings. I remain a bit confused as to what to call the area. The very tip of the peninsula is “Jack Point”, the park is called “Biggs Park”, but the BC Ferries terminal that it is adjacent to is “Duke Point”. Regardless of what the area is called, I enjoyed the sunset I was able to witness – and the sandstone formations (tafoni) always make for interesting foregrounds.

   I also was reminded of what I thought was an already learned lesson in that walking back to the car along a trail in the dark is best done with a flashlight! 🙂

Nanaimo Harbourfront Walkway

The Harbourfront Walkway in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

boardwalk harbourfront walkway in nanaimo, british columbia

The Nanaimo Harbourfront Walkway (Purchase)

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   Earlier this month while visiting Nanaimo, British Columbia I walked along the Harbourfront Walkway past the shops, tourists, and marinas. I made this photo from the top of a stairwell made up to look like a ship’s mast – this provided a pretty good view of the area below. Just beyond the ramps to the boats you can see some of the seaplanes from the Harbour Water Airport.

Bowen Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia

Waterfall along the Millstone River at Bowen Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

waterfall on millstone river at bowen park in nanaimo, british columbia

Waterfall on the Millstone River (Purchase)

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   When researching an area I am in or a place I plan to visit, I’ve often just skipped the green squares and rectangles on the google map indicating a city park. Usually what I am going to find there is a playing field or some trees and a picnic table. A better place to eat lunch than the strip mall, but not the kind of photography subjects I am usually after. Bowen Park in Nanaimo is not one of these parks. Yes, it is in the city, but just like Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, Washington this park has some great waterfalls and subjects for photography despite being right in the middle of civilization.

millstone river waterfall at bowen park in nanaimo, british columbia

Waterfall along the Millstone River (Purchase)

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   During my trip to Nanaimo I was not able to get as much cloud cover as I wanted for these sorts of waterfall and river photos, so I did the majority of my photography in Bowen Park in the evenings. For the most part this allowed me to have even light across my compositions with only the odd brighter spot in the sky. This worked quite well due to the density of the surrounding forest. Evening was also a nice time to be in the park with cooler temperatures, though the mosquitoes felt the same way. There is an extensive trail system in Bowen Park, and you are able to walk along the Millstone River for much of its run through the park. Just remember to bring some bug repellant!

Englishman River Fall Colors

Fall Color and Englishman River Falls in Englishman River Falls Provincial Park near Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

fall color englishman river falls in the englishman river falls provincial park in the nanaimo regional district british columbia canada

Englishman River Falls (Purchase)

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   My trip to Vancouver Island was successful in many ways. I not only discovered some great Provincial Parks to explore, I managed some photos of these places that I quite like. I was also pretty lucky with the weather. The 3 photos here are all from Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. I should point out this park differs quite a bit from Englishman River Regional Park if someone uhm, confused the signs on the way in. Not that I would do this of course.

fall color englishman river falls in the englishman river falls provincial park in the nanaimo regional district british columbia canada

Lower Englishman
River Falls

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   The first photo here shows the main Englishman River Falls. This is a much different sort of waterfall from what I am used to seeing. The drop from top to bottom is approximately 100 feet (31 meters) but this is pretty hard to tell from the bridge vantage point. The Falls flows into the side of a slot canyon (only about 10 feet wide), not directly in the end of it. The sideways slant to this falls makes it a bit difficult to photograph as well as determine exactly how deep the canyon is.

   The second photo here shows the Lower Englishman River Falls. Not quite what I was expecting, but there were some nice fall leaves above the falls and some interesting swirling patterns made by the bubbles in the water. During higher water levels the lower falls flows over top of the rock you see here which probably makes it a big more exciting, and look a bit more like a waterfall from this perspective.

symmetrical grove of trees at englishman river falls provincial park in the nanaimo regional district british columbia canada

Symmetrical Grove

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   The last photo here is one just outside of the parking lot. I would be surprised if these were a natural occurrence, but I still liked the symmetry of these tree trunks. Not sure what species of tree this is, however.

   I hope to go back to photograph this park in the Spring!

For more photographs of this park vist my Englishman River Falls Provincial Park Gallery.

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park Fall Colour

Little Qualicum Falls at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park near Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada.

little qualicum falls at little qualicum falls provincial park near qualicum beach parksville british columbia

Little Qualicum Falls (Purchase)

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   A few weeks ago I made a weekend trip to Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. One of the parks on my list to visit was Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park – and it did not disappoint. The main falls (top photo) – officially named Little Qualicum Falls is certainly much more spectacular than the Lower Falls (bottom) but both are nice.

fall colours and the little qualicum river below the lower falls in little qualicum falls provincial near qualicum beach parksville

Little Qualicum River below Lower Little Qualicum Falls (Purchase)

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    I had initially thought that the best Fall colours might have already faded on Vancouver Island – at least judging from what I’d been seeing around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. The colours turned out to be perfect. There wasn’t much in the way of Vine Maple colour, but the Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) had great colour – yellow and even some orange. It didn’t look like any of them had turned slightly then gone straight to brown which was common this year in some places.

   I was also extremely fortunate with the weather. The entire weekend was forecast for rain, at times heavy. In the three Provincial Parks that I visited there was absolutely no rain. All the plastic bags and camera/lens coverings I had prepared were not necessary. While I’d intended on photographing mostly rivers and waterfalls – great subjects in the rain, I was still happy to not have to deal with the possibility of wet equipment and clothing.

fall colours little qualicum falls at little qualicum falls provincial park near qualicum beach parksville british columbia

Lower Little Qualicum Falls (Purchase)

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More photos from this area can be found in my Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park Gallery