the early part of the twentieth century, nearly a quarter of a
English and Welsh families
immigrated to Canada as
part of the Salvation Army's immigration program. A few of these
families settled in the Coombs area around 1910 under the
leadership of the Salvation Army. The community they built was
named after the Army's Canadian Commissioner, Captain Thomas
The Coombs of today is full of great people who live a more laid
back way of life that can only be provided in a place like
coombs. Coombs is an artist mecca with more galleries, studios
and artists per capita than anywhere else in BC.
Coombs is located along Highway 4, about 9 km west of Parksville
on Vancouver Island. Highway 4 is the main highway across the
Island that connects the east and west coast. I lived in Coombs
for a year back in the early 80's and have many great memories of
this area. I leased 10 acres along with 5 other friends and we
created a little farm. This old farm house only had wood heat
and a wood kitchen stove for cooking. But the meals we created
on and in that old stove are memories that will never leave me.
Things to do and see in Coombs
Come see the goats grazing on the grass rooftop at the
Coombs Old Country Market and pick up some fresh local
or a gift for some one you love or maybe for yourself and then
have a meal at the deli.
The Coombs General Store was built in 1912, the Store still has
the original wood floors and shelves of memorabilia and old
photos that add to its historic charm. There is also a huge
selection of delicious penny candy.
Located next to the Old Country Market is the Coombs Emporium,
this is built to resembles an old western town and is filled
with tiny shops, these shops have such wonderful things in them,
when we visit there, my wife can get lost in here for hours.
You can visit Butterfly world in Coombs and see wonderful types
of butterflies from around the world, you can walk along paths that lead through tropical gardens
filled with trees, plants flowers, and butterflies.
The World Parrot Refuge is an educational facility that looks
after previously owned pet parrots. The Refuge has over 600
parrots, a dedicated team of staff and volunteer bird
Marsh is a great place to view birds, in the spring and fall you
can view many types of ducks and geese, in the summer months you
can see marsh birds like herons and red wing blackbirds. Forest
trails lead you around the marsh and a viewing platform is
provided for closer observation of the marsh inhabitants.
Over 4 million Chinook salmon are raised annually at the Little
Qualicum Spawning Channel, with the best visiting times being
February to June and October to November.
Qualicum Falls Provincial Park is on the Little Qualicum River just west of
Parksville, the park has one waterfall
after another as the Little Qualicum river rushes from Cameron lake and heads to
the sea. The river runs through some incredible canyons surrounded by a
beautiful west coast forest setting.
This is one of the most magnificent parks on Vancouver Island, Little Qualicum
Falls starts on the southern shore of Cameron Lake which is right next to the
awesome Cathedral Grove Rainforest. This magnificent 440-hectare
park is a popular family recreation area. Surrounded by riverside trails and
picnic areas, make Little Qualicum a favored destination.
There are many walking and hiking trails in and around the park for
you to enjoy. Loop trails on both sides of the Little Qualicum River provide
access to many swimming holes and to the upper and lower falls.
Swimming and fishing in the
river and in Cameron Lake are both quite special, and sail boarding is excellent
in the lake.
The Little Qualicum River
is one of the few rivers on Vancouver Island to have brown trout.
in the park include an adventure playground, a 105-campsite campground and
scenic hiking trails.
Parking fees will be in effect at the Little Qualicum Falls, Cameron Lake and
Beaufort day use areas. Fees are collected for services from April 15 to October
Little Qualicum Falls day use area provides picnic tables, a picnic shelter,
flush toilets and fresh water.
Cameron Lake day use area has the best swimming opportunities in the park. There
are picnic tables and pit toilets provided off a small parking lot at the
southern end of the lake. Fires are prohibited in the day use area and
animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed on beach areas.
Beaufort day-use area is a small site located along Highway 4, approximately 6
km past Little Qualicum Falls Park. It provides swimming and fishing
opportunities. This small area has 2 picnic tables, 1 pit toilet and limited
east of Parksville near Errington, just outside Coombs is the
Englishman River Falls, l have spent many an afternoon walking
the trails around these falls and in the fall, its a great place
for viewing spawning salmon.
Cathedral Grove is located in MacMillan Provincial Park, the
park is an easy place for viewing giant first growth trees. You
can hike many trails that run through the park and you can some
very large Douglas firs, one of them measures more than 9 m in
circumference. On the northern side of the road you'll find
groves of ancient Western red cedar growing along Cameron lake.