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Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
About This Park
A favourite destination on Vancouver Island is Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, which straddles the Little Qualicum River and incorporates the entire southern shore of Cameron Lake.
Impressive waterfalls cascade down a rocky gorge in a beautiful forested setting bordered by steep mountain peaks at this park, one of the most beautiful parks on central Vancouver Island. The falls, lake swimming, shaded riverside trails and picnic facilities make Little Qualicum Falls a very popular family recreation destination. A number of walking trails are available in and around the park, offering picturesque views of the river and providing access to the upper and lower falls.
Cameron Lake is an ideal spot for swimming and fishing, as well as sail boarding, due to a wind funnel created by the surrounding mountains. The Cameron Lake and Beaufort day-use areas are located 10 minutes west of the campground on Highway 4.
Know Before You Go
- 75 metres above the Middle Falls Bridge to the downstream park boundary below the Lower Falls Bridge is closed to swimming. Other areas in the park may be closed to swimming during high water periods. Check the park information shelters for swimming closure information. Those wanting to swim should visit the Cameron Lake day-use, located 10 minutes west on Hwy #14.
- Riverbanks can be very slippery. Stay away from cliff and riverbank edges. Sections of this river contain waterfalls, strong currents and other hazards. Boating is not recommended. Jumping from bridges or cliffs is prohibited.
The Little Qualicum Falls campground and day-use area is located 19 km west of Parksville on central Vancouver Island, on Highway 4. The Cameron Lake day-use area is located 23 km west of Parksville on Highway 4. The Beaufort day-use area is located 25 km west of Parksville on Hwy 4. Nearby communities include: Coombs, Parksville, Qualicum, Port Alberni.
Nature and Culture
- History: Established as a park 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.
- General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
- Management Planning Information
The approved Management Plan [PDF] for Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
This is not the original management planning product. This document has been scanned from the original format of the plan. It may contain some formatting changes, however the content is consistent with the original.
Activities Available at this Park
There are 6 km of walking trails throughout the park. Trails leave from the campground and Little Qualicum Falls day-use area, meandering though old-growth and second-growth forest along the Little Qualicum River. For an easy walk, hikers can leave from the day-use area and follow a loop trail to view the lower and upper waterfalls. A lookout point is located along this trail, offering spectacular views of the river and upper falls.
For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Pets on Leash
75 metres above the Middle Falls Bridge to the downstream park boundary below the Lower Falls Bridge is closed to swimming. Other areas in the park may be closed to swimming during high water periods. Check the park information shelters for swimming closure information. Those wanting to swim should visit the Cameron Lake day-use, located 10 minutes west on Hwy 4.
There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Facilities Available at this Park
Some facilities in the park are wheelchair-accessible.
While fires are allowed, we encourage visitors to conserve the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using stoves instead. Campfire rings are provided at each campsite. Firewood can be purchased from the Park Operator. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere 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 organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. Bring a portable stove for cooking.
Cold water taps are located at the Little Qualicum Falls day-use area and the campground. Taps are shut off during the off-season. There is no drinking water provided at the Cameron Lake and Beaufort day-use areas.
Annual Drinking Water System Reports:
This park has three day-use/picnic areas all located within a few kilometres of each other.
Little Qualicum Falls day-use area provides picnic tables, a picnic shelter, flush toilets and fresh water. Picnicking in the campground is not permitted.
Cameron Lake day-use area provides the best swimming opportunity in the park. There are picnic tables and pit toilets provided off a small parking lot at the southern end of the lake. Fires are prohibited in the day-use area and domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed on beach areas.
Beaufort day-use area is a small site located along Highway 4, approximately 6 km past Little Qualicum Falls Park. It provides swimming and fishing opportunities. This small area has 2 picnic tables, 1 pit toilet and limited parking. Fires are prohibited in the day-use area and domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed on beach areas.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit toilets are located throughout the park at all day-use areas, locations along the trails and in the campground. Flush toilet buildings are located in the Little Qualicum Falls day-use area and in the upper campground. Pit toilets are located throughout the park at all day-use areas, locations along the trails and in the campground. Flush toilet buildings are located in the Little Qualicum Falls day-use area and in the upper campground.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park has vehicle-accessible campsites in two separate campgrounds, the Upper campground and the Lower campground. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.