By Ross Collicut
you’re out hiking at all these great places around Parksville like
Cathedral Grove, Top Bridge and Hamilton Marsh, you’re bound to
work up an appetite. It’s a good thing Parksville and Qualicum have
some great places to eat.
you want to stay close to Pacific Shores, The Landing West Coast
Grill has all you need plus an incredible fish tank. You can watch
the native west coast sea creatures cruise around underwater while
perusing the menu. The Landing offers delicious food but most of it
is cooked. Well that’s pretty normal, right? Not if you’re
looking for a new way of eating entirely that’s gaining momentum
around the world: the raw diet!
idea with raw food is that nothing is heated above 40 degrees
Celsius, in other words it’s raw. Advocates of the diet say not
cooking the food retains important nutrients in the food that would
otherwise be cooked out. They use a ton of vegetables, seeds and nuts
to make everything from lasagna and stir-fry, to cheesecake and
Continue reading "Raw Food: A New Experience" »
By Ross Collicut
took a wrong turn. There were only 2 directions in the fork and I
took the wrong one. 50% chance and I got it wrong. But wrong wasn’t
a bad thing. Wrong was almost a good thing in fact.
would call a beautiful meandering path in the forest with glistening
droplets of light rain resting on the bright green leaves a good
thing. It wasn’t bad that I’d taken this path. Though longer,
some would say the left fork on the way to Hamilton Marsh the better
way to go.
parked in the second parking lot 1.1 kilometers down Hillier Road
just off Highway 4. Only one other car sat in the parking lot and
they packed up their tired muddy dog and left just as I arrived. The
trail begins to the right of the parking lot. A wide trail to begin,
it quickly narrows and forks. Which fork to take? It was my first
time there so I took the left. Not wrong per se, but it does take
longer to get to the well-maintained dock on Hamilton Marsh.
Continue reading "Hamilton Marsh" »
By Ross Collicut
few short steps from the parking lot on the side of Highway #4, I’m
enveloped in a lush green forest. Sword ferns reach up from the
ground,in a tiny attempt to reach the height of the giant trees
around me. Douglas firs and western red cedars, hundreds of years
old, reach so far into the sky it hurts my neck to look all the way
to the top. That’s what this area, the MacMillan Provincial Park,
is famous for.
known as Cathedral Grove, the park is home to some of the biggest
douglas firs in BC. They’re found in the easily accessible woods
beside Cameron Lake on Highway #4 to Port Alberni. Some of them are
over 800 years old.
with age comes size. One of the behemoths has a circumference of over
9 metres. No wonder CBC voted the Cathedral Grove as one of the Seven
Wonders of Canada in 2007.
not alone as I stare awestruck at tree trunks I could drive my car
through. The trees have been a popular tourist destination since the
20s and the 30s. The area eventually became a park in 1947 after the
land was generously donated by forester H.R. MacMillan 3 years
Continue reading "Island Giants: The Cathedral Grove Douglas Firs " »
By Ross Collicut
sunny Saturday morning I found myself rolling into the parking lot at
Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. I had heard so much about the farm and
their fantastic fresh cheese. It was finally time for me to make the
trip out to see the farm, the animals and really try out these
cheeses I had heard about.
the corner from the parking lot, the main courtyard opens up
surrounded by farm buildings. The first building is the Farmgate
Store, I wanted to save for last as that’s where the cheese is for
sale. Next to the store is the big glass windows of the cheeseworks.
If you’re lucky to catch them making their daily batches of cheese
in the early morning, you can see a lot of the process right through
the store there is a box of self-guided tour maps was tacked to the
wall and I helped myself to one while checking out the information
board that covered the rest of the wall. I’ll come back for the
store. Now, off to find some animals.
Continue reading "A Picnic Must-Have: Fresh Cheese from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks" »
By Ross Collicutt
The weather was supposed to be wet and chilly a couple weekends ago when I was itching to get on the trails for a hike. I broke open my go-to book for trail ideas and perused the Parksville and Nanaimo areas. I was in search of a trail that was new to me, with good photo opportunities, and a short drive away. What ensued was a close debate between Top Bridge Regional Park in Parksville and the Cowichan River Footpath, which is further south. Top Bridge’s closer proximity was the deciding factor in the end.
Top Bridge is very easy to reach. If you’ve driven along the highway near the south exit into Parksville, you’ll probably have seen one of the entrances to the park.
Continue reading "Top Bridge is Parksville's adventure hub " »
By Ross Collicutt>
Running gets the endorphins flowing, but it can also get a bit monotonous. Luckily for us, Vancouver Island is a particularly great place for runners because it combines varied, challenging terrain and gorgeous scenery.
That said, maintaining a running routine can still be difficult on the Island. Training for races is a great way to stay on track. I've been on a new training plan since January as I work my way up to participating in the Comox Valley Half Marathon. I already feel more confident because the plan has removed some of the guesswork out of training. Still, successfully running a half marathon does not start and end with following a personal training regime.
Continue reading "Vancouver Island Half Marathons" »