Two stunning waterfalls and a mature forest makes Englishman River Falls Provincial Park a sought after location for both day trips and camping.
Quick Park Facts
- Features: Waterfalls, footbridges, old-growth and mature second-growth forest; camping
- Park Size: 97 hectares
- Trails: 3 km of maintained trails
- Suitability: Some facilities at the day-use area are wheelchair accessible
- Hazards: Although the river pools look inviting, they are currently closed to swimming due to loose rock
- Bike Trails: Mountain biking is limited to certain trails
- Camping: Englishman River Falls Campground
- Washrooms: Pit toilets are available throughout the park; One washroom facility is located in the day-use area
- Pets: As this is a Provincial Park, dogs must remain on a leash at all times
A Bit of History
Legend has it, First Nations people of the area found the skeleton of a white man near the waterfall, hence the name Englishman River Falls.
I’ve also read that Spanish explorers originally named the river Rio de Grullas, which translated, means River of Cranes. It was said to be named for the may herons (cranes) spotted at the mouth of the river.
Established in 1940, the park protects an old-growth Douglas fir stand surrounding the river and waterfalls. Since then, the second-growth forest has become mature and provides an equal amount of beauty.
Camping at Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
The Englishman River Falls Campground has 104 spacious vehicle-accessible sites nestled in the mature forest. 72 of these sites are reservable, with the remaining set aside for a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during the busy summer season.
Camping is only available from late April until the end of September, which means winter camping isn’t permitted here.
The day-use area of the park has a large area designated for picnicking. Along with beautiful river views, picnic tables, shelter, flush toilets, and freshwater are all available.
The Trails and Waterfalls
Trails lead from both the day-use area and the campground, and both provide access to the waterfalls. The trails are well marked and maintained, making for an easy and enjoyable walk. Unfortunately, however, they aren’t fully wheelchair or stroller-friendly.
The Englishman River Falls loop is approximately 1.5 km in length and crosses the river twice, delighting walkers with stunning views of the canyon below. Viewing areas and platforms are provided at various key locations throughout the park.
Another great hiking option is to follow the trail upriver from the Upper Falls to more viewpoints.
As with all waterfalls, the best time to view them is during the spring when the river is highest. Englishman River Falls, however, is viewable all year. During the lower-level water months, the pools at the lower falls are cold and refreshing and a great spot to dip your toes. Swimming in the pools isn’t advisable at this time.
In partnership with BC Parks, the Arrowsmith Cycling Club is creating several multi-use beginner mountain biking trails in the area. This BC Parks map should help you with trailhead locations completed and currently open.
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is located near Parksville, in a small farming community called Errington. The official address is 2245 Errington Road.
- From the Inland Island Hwy (Hwy 19) take exit 51 towards Coombs
- Turn left onto Alberni Hwy (Hwy 4A)
- Take a left onto Errington Road and follow the signs to the park
Other Areas of Interest
While you are in the area, there are several other great locations to explore.
Have you been to Englishman River Falls Provincial Park? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.
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