Situated along the pristine Englishman River, north of Nanaimo, Englishman River Falls Park features two stunning waterfalls cascading along the descending riverbed into a deep canyon.
This picturesque destination, set amid a lush old-growth and second-growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, and maple, is an ideal location from which to explore and appreciate the incredible diversity of south-central Vancouver Island, including nearby Cathedral Grove, the Pacific Rim, and the sandy shores of Parksville and Qualicum.
The park has a large day-use area and campground and contains hiking trails that meander through the forest and along the river. Visitors can expect spectacular views along the way, particularly from two bridges that cross the river where it plunges down the narrow rock canyon toward quieter waters below. The lower falls end in a deep crystal-clear pool, an ideal swimming hole in the summer when river levels are low, and a great place to view spawning salmon in the fall.
Campsite reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available. All reservations must be made through the BC Parks reservation service. For information on making a reservation, see the frontcountry camping page.
When reservations are not available, all campsites are available on a first come, first served basis. For information on when reservations are available, see dates of operation, above.
Englishman River Falls Park offers spacious, vehicle-accessible campsites nestled in the mature forest. Reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available. For information on making a reservation, see the frontcountry camping page.
|Vehicle-accessible camping fee||$23 per party per night|
|BC Senior Camping Discount rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only)||$11.50 per senior party per night|
Some facilities in the park are wheelchair-accessible.
Englishman River Falls Park has a large day-use and picnicking area, located past the campground next to the parking lot. This scenic location nestled in the forest provides a viewing platform overlooking the river, as well as access to park trails. Facilities include a parking area for approximately 105 vehicles, a picnic shelter, picnic tables, flush toilets, fresh water, and an information shelter.
Pit toilets are located in convenient locations throughout the park. There is one flush-toilet building, located near the day-use parking lot.
Cold-water taps are located at the campground and in the day-use area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
Campfire rings are provided at each campsite. Firewood can be purchased from the park operator.
We encourage visitors to help the environment by minimizing the use of fire, keeping campfires small, and using stoves for cooking. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented.
To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please do not gather firewood from the area around your campsite or anywhere else in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds valuable organic matter to the soil.
Three kilometres of well-maintained walking and hiking trails weave throughout Englishman River Park. From the day-use area and campground, trails lead through the lush second-growth and old-growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, arbutus, and maple.
These paths follow the river and lead to the upper and lower falls, providing views of the canyon and waterfalls along the way. The main trail crosses the river in two places, offering visitors a bird’s-eye view as the water plunges down the narrow rock canyon toward quieter waters below.
Detailed trail maps are posted at information shelters in the park. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Taking shortcuts destroys plant life and soil structure.
Swimming is allowed in the river below the lower falls. This deep, crystal-clear pool is an ideal swimming hole when river levels are low.
There are no lifeguards on duty at BC Parks.
A number of viewing stations in the park offer spectacular views of the forest and river canyon.
Pets must be leashed at all times and they are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets, due to the potential for problems with bears and other wildlife.
Cycling is permitted on roadways and designated trails. For information on designated trails, download the Multi-Use Trails Project map [PDF]. Please note that this is a work in progress.
Bicycle helmets are mandatory in B.C.
Bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are permitted on signed or designated trails within Englishman River Falls Park, provided they meet our criteria for e-bike use. For more information, see the cycling page.
Englishman River Falls Park is 13km southwest of Parksville on central Vancouver Island. Take Errington Road off Highway 4, toward Port Alberni. Follows signs posted on main highways. Nearby communities include Parksville, Qualicum, Coombs, Errington, and Nanaimo.
Any maps provided on this page are for information only. They may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
This park is operated by R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
According to an old legend, Indigenous People in the area found the skeleton of a white man along the river near the waterfall, thus giving the waterfall its name. Today, the park is noted for its natural beauty, which includes crystal-clear water and a small, rocky beach downstream from the base of the lower falls.
The park was established in 1940 to protect the old growth Douglas-fir forest and the associated plant communities as well as the area around the river and the waterfalls.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.