June 2021 — Short but super sweet!
RATHTREVOR BAY TO PARKSVILLE BAY : 9.6 Km only. 54 metre climb. Maybe an hour if you stop to take lots of photos.
1 - Taking off from Resort Drive, or out behind Serious Coffee, (1209 East Island Hwy) head towards Parksville. On that last bump before the orange bridge turn right, to Rathtrevor Campground.
2 - Zip on down the hill, and turn into the parking area on your right. Scoot over to the paths before the beach, and head left.
3 - There’s a beautiful path along the shore, winding in and out of big trees, great place for camping. A few benches along the shoreline invite you for quiet contemplation and beautiful photo opportunities.
4 - Eventually, the trail ends, and curves left; you will spot a frost fence gate to your right, take it and slip into San Pareil neighbourhood.
Follow Shorewood Drive, which turns into Mariner Way. As soon as you spot San Malo, at the edge of The Englishman River estuary, ahead and to your left, sneak between the park bench and the postal boxes then slip down towards the shore for a few hundred feet.
5 - The trail then bounces back up along the river, some nice viewing platforms for birdwatching and photo shoots.
The trail winds back to a paved road, Plummer road, and after about a kilometre it reaches the orange bridge. Nice detour eh? I like that one too.
6 - Take that berm ramp up right onto the bridge, power-off on the bridge is a good idea.
7 - Keep on the sidewalk just a short distance, to the next road and turn right onto Martindale road. You can either take Pioneer all the way to the end or follow Turner on the left then Shelley on your right. Head down the slope and turn left onto the grass path, another little detour.
8 - Either way, you end up at the corner of Corfield and the main drag, the 19a, aka Island Highway. Turn right and head down the slope, the Parkville Community Beach sign will be on your left. I’m sure you will easily find the boardwalk.
9 - Make sure to slow down on the boardwalk and turn off your pedal-assist. Take lots of photos! Tag #BarkechoeBikes on Instagram.