In the shadow of Vancouver Island’s mountain spine, this tiny village was first settled by Duncan McMillan, who named this new settlement after Errington, a small village in England’s Northumberland county.
Now home to an eclectic assortment of farmers, artists and craftspeople, Errington is also the gateway to the Englishman River Falls in the magnificent Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.
Visit the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association, located on an 8-acre plot of land in Errington, where injured birds and mammals are nursed back to health and visitors are educated on wildlife issues. The centre is open from the March Spring break through to December, offering a beautiful park and non-releasable animals and birds such as eagles, owls, turkey vulture, falcons, hawks, and black bears. Adopt a heron, a fawn, an otter or an eagle!
Stop by the Errington Farmers Market at the Errington Hall on Errington Road, a community based market specializing in agricultural products, arts, crafts and live entertainment. Saturday mornings from 10 am to 1 pm, mid-May to mid-September.
Meet the animals at Tiger Lily Farm, a children’s farm featuring a hands-on experience with typical BC farm animals, pony rides, birthday parties and more. Hug the little lambs, learn how to milk a goat, count the chickens, or bottle-feed a calf!
Golf: There are no fewer than 6 world-class golf courses in the nearby Parksville and Qualicum Bay area, and the pleasant, sunny climate means play continues year-round. Select from the Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville, or Arrowsmith Golf & Country Club, Eaglecrest Golf Club, Pheasant Glen Golf Resort, and Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course in Qualicum Beach. Vancouver Island Golf Vacations.
The Little Qualicum Spawning Channel on the Little Qualicum River is accessed via Melrose Road. Turn north off Highway 4, 3.5 miles (6 km) west of Coombs, and follow the signs to the hatchery. Over 4 million chinook salmon are raised annually, with the best visiting times being February to June and October to November. This hatchery is not to be confused with the big Qualicum Falls Hatchery, located on the Qualicum River north of Horne Lake.
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is situated along the Englishman River, featuring a spectacular canyon between two beautiful waterfalls that cascade along the descending riverbed. The 97-hectare Englishman River Falls Park offers several walking trails that meander along the Englishman River through lush old-growth forests of cedar, arbutus, fir, maple and hemlock.
Gaze up among the tall timbers where fingers of sunlight slant down to the ferns below. You’ll find vehicle and tent campsites, and there’s great picnicking, summer swimming, and a 2-mile walking trail that passes through a stand of maple trees to an impressive waterfall and gorge. One hiking trial in the park leads to centuries-old petroglyphs depicting a bear and two whales. Located 3.5 miles (6 km) south of Errington.
Fishing: There’s excellent bank casting for rainbow and cutthroat trout on the Englishman River, either near the river mouth on the Strait of Georgia near Parksville or in Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. There’s a steelhead run as well in the river. Unfortunately, a decline in salmon stocks in British Columbia has forced closures on fishing for a number of species, so be sure to check in advance. Over the past century, brown trout have been successfully introduced to a number of Vancouver Island rivers, such as the Little Qualicum. The best access to the river for bank casting is at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. You’ll also find good trolling and boat casting in Cameron Lake, part of which also lies within the park. There’s a boat launch at the picnic grounds on Cameron Lake.
Hiking: Both Englishman River Falls and Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Parks have rambling trails that lead beside the clear waters of these pristine rivers. A walk to the falls is a big part of a visit to either park.
MacMillan Provincial Park is famous for Cathedral Grove, one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas-fir trees in British Columbia. Some of these trees are 800 years old, and walking the trails through this virgin coastal forest can be quite an inspirational experience. Loop trails on either side of the highway lead awe-struck visitors through the mighty forest stands. The south loop showcases the largest Douglas-fir trees, with the biggest one measuring over 9 metres in circumference. The trail on the northern side of the road winds through groves of ancient Western Red Cedar to the shores of Cameron Lake. The 136-hectare park is located on Highway 4 on the shores of Cameron Lake, 11 miles (18 km) west of Errington.
Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park straddles the scenic Little Qualicum River, where impressive waterfalls cascade and plummet down a rocky gorge in a beautiful forest setting. This magnificent 440-hectare park is a popular family recreation area, and is perhaps the most magnificent park on Vancouver Island, Little Qualicum Falls incorporates the entire southern shore of Cameron Lake, adjacent to MacMillan Provincial Park and the awesome Cathedral Grove Rainforest.
Cameron Lake: Spend an afternoon lazing on the beach at the Cameron Lake Recreation Site, surrounded by mountains and forests in the Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park on Highway 4, 11 miles (18 km) west of Errington. Facilities at the lake include picnic sites, a boat Launch (private), and campsites (private and provincial). Cameron Lake is stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout, and offers good fishing through summer. Anglers can test their fly fishing skills on the lake’s brown trout, often the most difficult of trout to catch in B.C. Strong winds blow here in the afternoon, which attracts windsurfers but definitely deters those in small boats. Boaters and paddlers should take note of the strong and sudden gusts of wind often experienced on Cameron Lake.
At the west end of Cameron Lake is the Beaufort Picnic Site, another fine location for picnicking and swimming adjacent to the campground in the Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Picnic tables are arranged beside the beach. Cameron Lake is bordered by steep mountains: Mt. Wesley to the north and Mt. Arrowsmith to the south.
The Kulth Music Fest is held in nearby Coombs in mid July. The Kulth is a festival created for people of all ages, with both local and international artists performing folk music, electronic music, and Reggae music. The festival is located at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds on the Alberni Highway.
Directly north of Errington is the seaside resort town of Parksville. Bordered by ocean and sheltered by mountains, Parksville boasts some of the finest beaches in Canada, including those at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. When the tide goes out in Parksville, it leaves hundreds of metres of firm golden sand that is internationally acclaimed as the best building material for sandcastles!
To the northwest of Errington is Qualicum Beach, another Vancouver Island seaside pleasureland. Steeped in a quaint British heritage, modern day Qualicum Beach offers visitors the same gentle countryside and golden, seemingly endless sandy beaches as Parksville, plus 4 top golf courses.