Spread over 10 hectares, and located on the south side of the Strait of Georgia, Kitty Coleman Provincial Park is a popular beachside location for swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking and camping. The hemlock, cedar, and fir forests combined with oceanic views of the Pacific make this Provincial Park a truly majestic place to be. Visitors can hike along the nature trails and enjoy the diverse flora and fauna that is found in the region. The 900 meters of shoreline allows the campers to enjoy some solitary time on the beach even during the in-season months.
This provincial park is managed by the local community board and is recognized as a class “C” park. Originally, the park was donated to the Merville settlers in 1900 and the same community operated it for 40 more years. However, when they begin to struggle financially, the management of the park was taken over by the province. It was declared a class “C” park in 1944.
The park is named after the local First Nation member, Kitty Coleman who left her tribe in order to wed a white man. Since the park is class “C” there aren’t many facilities and and campers have to make do with bare necessities for a truly primitive style camping experience.
Kitty Coleman Provincial Park is situated 6 km northwest of Courtenay on central Vancouver Island. Campers driving there can take the Coleman Road off Highway 19A, towards the north of Courtenay. At the Coleman Road, turn left and the right on the Whittaker Road and keep driving straight until you reach your destination. Communities nearest to the park include Comox Valley, Courtenay, Merville, and Campbell River.
The park has 65 vehicle accessible campsites directly across the beachfront that provide magnificent views of the surrounding forests and the sapphire blue waters of the Pacific ocean.
Drinking water hand pumps can be found all over the campground and even beyond the campground. However, “Boil Water Advisory” is in effect at this park. Campfire rings are also provided at most camping sites, however collecting deadwood from the park is a ticketable offense under the Park Act. Pit toilets are also provided at the picnic day-use area.
Pets are allowed at the campsites yet they need to be on a leash at all times. Beach areas and park building are out of bounds for the pets. If you bring your pet, make sure they are quiet and do not disturb others.
There’s a day-use area near the campsites that comes with a picnic shelter, tables, pit toilets, and freshwater. Campers usually access this area, to get closer to the beach.
Camping reservations can be made via phone for the one group site or sheltered picnic area at the park. Individual campsites are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Kitty Coleman Provincial Park is known for its beachside activities, and the water bodies around the park offer many secluded fishing spots for keen anglers. If fishing from the pier or the shoreline, anglers can expect to catch salmon and rockfish along with many other kinds of smaller fish. A large variety of shellfish is also found in the area for those who enjoy a bit of crabbing.
There are fishing piers in the park, and even a boat launch for anglers who want to fish in peace, far away from the crowd. Just make sure to bring your fishing license and you’re good to go.
If you are a fan of kayaking and canoeing, then Kitty Coleman Provincial Park is the place to be as it has all the necessary arrangements for you to enjoy your boating experience. There are two boat launches located in the park, near the campsites. Kayak, paddle board or canoe your way through the connecting estuary and backwaters or take to the ocean with your sea kayaks.
While you cannot have a firsthand cruising experience in this park, you can enjoy the magnificent view as the cruise ships pass by through their usual route and offer some spectacular sights to campers relaxing at the beach front.
The park boasts 900 meters of shoreline and campers can swim whenever and wherever they want. The summers become a hub of activity and locals rush to the area to enjoy the summer festivities.
There isn’t any designated swimming area and neither are there lifeguards. If you plan on swimming, make sure you have a volunteer keeping an eye out.
On the side of the winding roads, under the glorious looming trees, on the beachside of the Kitty Coleman Provincial Park, and in the river, live the furry animals of the wild.
Seals and sea lions are abundant and during your camping trip there, you’ll surely come across many of them. Lift your head up and you’ll catch sight of bald eagles and sea birds. Peer across the ocean and you just might see the endangered Dall’s porpoise bow-riding in all their glory.
There are not one but many nature walking trails in Kitty Coleman Park that run through Comox Valley. These nature walks loop around mature hemlock, cedar and fir forests and past streams, offering a truly surreal hiking experience. Trekking through the nature trails, you truly feel one with nature and can rejoice at all its marvels. The signs are clearly posted and all the designated walking trails are marked. Do not take shortcuts to trails as they destroy plant life.
Who could have thought that tree-viewing could be a recreational activity, but in this park it is! The reason being the eastern portion of the park which is home to the 500 years old, solitary and stately old-growth Douglas fir. The upland portion is also home to mature forest and Western red cedar trees. In the same area, campers might also find an extensive growth of wild onions and wildflowers. A mature forest is home to abundant wildlife and you can spot many animals and birds taking refuge in the shadows of these towering giants.