Top Bridge Park in Parksville is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts as there are many things to do while there.

Quick Facts

  • Trail / Park Features: Suspension bridge; hiking and mountain biking trails through an old second-growth forest; swimming; fishing
  • Trail Length: Several trails with varying lengths
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Hazards: The Englishman River can have strong currents
  • Facilities: Pit toilets
The suspension bridge spans the Englishman River at Top Bridge Park on Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island View

Since its inauguration in 1999, Top Bridge Park has been a popular spot for visitors to enjoy the Englishman River. While the beautiful suspension bridge is a big draw for many, so are the many walking trails, the unique rock formations, the opportunity to fish for salmon, and the refreshing swimming holes.

Top Bridge is considered a junction of parks and nature conservation areas, as it connects via trails systems Rathtrevor Provincial Park with Englishman River Regional Park. And those searching for more extreme recreation will love the specialized trail system exclusively created for mountain biking.

The Trails at Top Bridge Park


The area has several trails, ranging from easy to challenging.

As mentioned above, Top Bridge Park connects to Rathtrevor Provincial Park via an easy 5 km trail. Watch for signs near the entrance to Rathtrevor and/or along Resort Drive.

Once you cross the suspension bridge, you are technically in Englishman River Regional Park. You can follow the trails along the river all the way to Middlegate Road in Errington (approximately 10km). If you’ve never been to the far side of Englishman River Regional Park, I highly suggest it. Park one vehicle at Top Bridge and one at Englishman River Regional Park for an easier route.

For more details, check out the Top Bridge Regional Trail map and the Englishman River Regional Park map.

If you are a geocacher, the trails surrounding Top Bridge are full of hidden treasures!

Mountain Biking

The Top Bridge Mountain Bike Park is a popular destination for mountain bikers. It offers a range of trails for riders of all skill levels, including easy, intermediate, and advanced. The bike park is located in the trail system on the Chattel Road side of Top Bridge Park. Hikers can also enjoy these trails; just watch out for speedy mountain bikers.

Mountain bikers are allowed on most Top Bridge and Englishman River Regional Park trails. However, there are stairs to contend with on the other side of the bridge.

The Nose at Top Bridge Park. Vancouver Island View


The Englishman River offers several swimming spots, including swimming holes and shallow pools. A popular spot is the ‘Nose’ at Top Bridge. When the river is high, people like to jump off the nose into the river below. Please be mindful of jutting rocks. Over the years, there have been several terrible instances where a jump has gone wrong, and the person required medical help.

It’s a cold river but a great way to cool off on a hot day.


The Englishman River is home to several species of fish, including salmon and trout. Fishing is allowed in certain areas of the river, and a fishing license is required. During the salmon run in the fall, the area attracts many onlookers.


The large flat rocks surrounding the river provide a great spot to enjoy a meal while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Walking through the trails at Top Bridge Park. Vancouver Island View

Wildlife & Photography at Top Bridge Park

The area around Top Bridge is incredibly scenic, with beautiful views of the river, forests, and mountains. It’s a great spot for photography enthusiasts. The beautiful suspension bridge is also a highlight.

The Englishman River attracts and is home to various wildlife, including eagles, black bears, cougars, and deer. Keep your eyes peeled and your distance respectful. It’s also a great birding spot.


According to local historians, there are petroglyphs that you can find while exploring down by the river. There are apparently at least three distinct First Nation carvings on the rocks. However, it’s Top Bridge’s best-kept secret, for even though I’ve tried to find them several times, they’ve alluded me. Maybe you will have better luck!

Top Bridge Park. Vancouver Island View

Getting There

The official address for Top Bridge Park is found at the end of Chattell Road, which can be found near the weigh scales at the first Parksville exit.

You can also access a second parking lot at the end of Allsbrook Road.

And as I said above, you can park at Rathtrevor Provincial Park and walk 5km to Top Bridge. And/or park at Englishman River Regional Park on Middlegate Road and walk in from there.

Overall, Top Bridge Park in Parksville offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

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For a suspension bridge, walking and biking trails and swimming and fishing opportunities, head to Top Bridge Park in Parksville. Vancouver Island View

1 Comment

  1. Margo & Peter Markl Reply

    Keep the news coming…..unfotunately this is our year to catch up on some medical issues so travel may be limited BUT reading and planning will active.

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