Drumbeg Provincial Park offers beautiful views of Gabriola Passage, the Strait of Georgia and the Coastal mountains. At low tide on the kilometre-long beach, one can view unique sandstone rock formations.
Quick Park Facts
- Features: This day-use park has a beautiful beach, unobstructed views, sandstone formations, grassy fields, and hiking trails
- Park Size: 56 hectares
- Trails: 2 km’s of easy walking trails
- Suitability: Everyone, however not wheelchair friendly
- Hazards: Visitors should use caution when swimming in the ocean at this park, as riptides and currents can be dangerous; This park also has Giant Hogweed (a dangerous plant).
- Bike Trails: No
- Camping: None
- Washrooms: Pit toilets
- Pets: Dogs are not allowed on the beach, and must remain on a leash while on the trails.
A Bit of History
The park was established in 1971 and is named for the Scottish home of the land’s former owner.
There is significant evidence that the area was used by the Snuneymuxw and Lyakson First Nations, as a midden runs along the shoreline. A midden is an archaeological site that marks the peoples’ continual inhabitation of the area and includes a variety of material, such as shells, bones, tools and other artifacts.
Drumbeg Provincial Park protects a Garry oak ecosystem and an undeveloped Douglas fir forest, as well as a diverse marine environment. Harbour seals, Bald eagles, Great Blue Herons and Oystercatchers can usually be spotted along the shoreline.
The area is a popular spot for diving. The parks foreshore protects the abundance of eelgrass as well as many species of sponges, molluscs, sea stars, crustaceans, algae, fish and a variety of marine mammals.
Things to Do at This Park
The park is frequently used for hiking, sunbathing, picnicking and nature viewing. The beach is a spectacular place to sit and watch for sea life.
The unique sandstone formations provide a rough walking terrain as well as a fascinating sight to see. If this is what you are after, make sure to watch the tide charts, as these rock formations are best seen when the tide is out, or at least heading out.
The approximate 2 km of easy, well-maintained walking trails meander along the shoreline of this park, as well as through Garry Oaks and open grassy fields.
As noted above, this park does contain dangerous Giant Hogweed. Touching any part of this plant, followed by exposure to sunlight produces painful blisters or burns that can last up to 48 hours after contact. If you happen to come in contact with this plant, wash the affected areas immediately, keep them out of direct sunlight, and seek medical advice.
It’s also not the greatest place to swim. While people do venture out, visitors should use caution, as riptides and currents can be extremely dangerous in this area.
Drumbeg Provincial Park is located at the south end of Gabriola Island, which is one of the Gulf Islands. A 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo via BC Ferries gives you access to Gabriola. Especially during the busy summer months, ferry reservations are highly recommended.
From the Gabriola ferry terminal, take South Road to Stalker Road and follow the signs to the park.
While on Gabriola
There are plenty of things to see and do while on Gabriola Island. For a great starting point, read this article: Natural Wonders of Gabriola.
Have you checked out this small Provincial Park? Let us know about your experience in the comment section below.
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