This coming fall, Richard and I will embark on our fifth Camino (sixth, if we include the one we did last year in PEI). This time, we will walk the way to the sea to Fatima, Portugal. We will start walking from Lisbon instead of Estoril, thus adding 26 km (total walk 230+ km). In preparation, last month I’ve been testing my gear (not to mention my legs) and participated in 14 local walks (plus a variety of shorter walks). Vancouver Island is full of trail options. What is your favorite hike next?

1. From Parksville to Qualicum Beach, 16 km, flat hike, mixed terrain. We had lunch at the newly renamed French Creek Clubroom. To make this hike more interesting, we walked to Qualicum Beach and caught the bus back home.

2. Enos Lake (Nanoose Bay), 8 km, (659 ft) elevation gain. Impressive sights.

3. westwood lake (Nanaimo), 7 km, mostly flat, with some beautiful wildlife and a cool little bistro along the way. Just before we saw this lovely juvenile owl, we saw a beautiful old tortoise basking in the sun. This ride never disappoints.

4. From Rathtrevor Beach to the Upper Bridge (to join our walking group) and then back to Rathtrevor, 10km.

5. greenway loop (Campbell River), 22 km (was supposed to be 28 km, but somehow we accidentally took a shortcut, honest)! This long but easy FROG trail (forest, rivers, ocean, greenway) can be hiked or biked (and shortened if desired).

6. Hill of Notch (Nanoose Bay), 3.25 km, 203 m of positive elevation gain.
Me: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I made breakfast.
Richard: What’s the bad news?
Me: You have to climb to the top of Notch Hill to get it.
Richard: He sighs, rolls over, and tries to go back to sleep.

7. Linley Valley – Cottle Lake Trail (Nanaimo), 10 km. A multi-length hike that was super easy…until we decided to veer off the trail and started going uphill. Other than that, Cottle Lake is a wonderful place for an easy, leisurely walk or to walk a dog off-leash. tons of shade

8. Park charge (Nanaimo). 4 km. Short sweet with loads of great exercise stations to explore including push ups, sit ups, ropes course and pole climbing (the last activity was flatly rejected by Richard and me)!

9. Qualicum Beach FOCS Walk (Forest, Ocean, Creekside, Stairs). 10 kilometers We started with the Farmer’s Market pancake breakfast…just to fuel us of course!

10 Kinsol easel. Shawnigan Lake, 4.5 km. What was once a ‘blogger meetup’ has now simply become a ‘friends meetup’. I highly recommend this relatively easy. pathas well as lunch at Merridale Cider House. I walked with bloggers, the rude widow and Erica from Behind the scenes.

11. Muttley Crew Dog Walking Group. In addition to our other walks, Richard and I often join our friends on Thursday and Sunday mornings for a 5K dog walk (usually at pheasant glen, Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery, upper bridge either Shelley Creek). This hike was from Shelley Creek to Top Bridge and back. It is my favorite Parksville hike.

12. Parksville-Coombs Trail,
Fulfilling my Father’s Day gift to Richard, I changed into my Camino hiking dress and we walked from our house to Cuckoo Restaurant in Coombs. It was 20 km round trip and a delicious way to spend a summer afternoon!

13. Bowser’s Secret Trail.
Cassidy, BC. 4.5 km (I forgot to turn on All Trails when we started). In the “lucky 13” spot, Bowser walks through this area five days a week (with his Own). They both find something new to watch every time.

14. Englishman River Regional Park via Middlegate Road entrance, Errington. This is a beautiful place to walk all year round. It is especially cool and shady during the hot summer days. With endless intersecting trails (well marked), your hike can be as long or as short as you like.

Other than putting it on every morning and taking it off every night, I don’t usually pay much attention to my Fitbit. Apparently, you have noticed the extra walk!

Have you been hiking recently? Share your favorite trails, no matter where in the world they are. I look forward to the inspiration!

We invite you to join us in the comments, or at the link below, in telling us what’s been on your calendar lately. To stay true to the purpose of this link, make sure your linked post focuses on what’s been going on for you in the past month. We look forward to you. lady, Debutante, Jo & to sue.

published by retirement reflections

Before retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (high school principal/Deputy Principal of Beijing Western Academy). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope you enjoy reading these reflections and that you are willing to share your own.
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