Known as one of the most popular family destinations in all of British Columbia, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is a must for those looking for a beachside RV trip. Located at the east end of the city of Parksville, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is made up of 857 acres (3.47 sqkm) and features a two-kilometre long stretch of sandy beach, a stand of old-growth Douglas fir trees and numerous recreational activities for you to enjoy during your visit.
The modern history of the park dates back to when gold prospector William Rath arrived to the area in 1886, where he and his family cleared and developed some of the land. The park was officially opened in 1967 after disagreements with a timber company regarding logging in the area.
The long, sandy beach is the main hub for recreational activities during the summer months where visitors can swim, kayak and windsurf until your hearts content. The park also has an extensive trail network that allows you to explore over three miles within the park. Wildlife found at the park include deer, raccoons, squirrels, otters and mink. If you are visiting in the off-season you can also view the impressive Brant Geese migration from early February until May.
RV camping at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is provided in one campground that can accommodate up to 250 guests at a time. All sites at the campground are within a five minute walk to the beach and it is well equipped with amenities to handle the summer rush to the park. Peak season at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park runs from May until September.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is located just to the east of Parksville on the eastern side of Vancouver Island. The park has one entry and exit point that is easily accessible via Island Highway East.
Being so close to the highway and the city of Parksville means that Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is one of the easiest parks to get to on Vancouver Island. In Parksville you will find all the supplies and amenities you will need to enjoy your stay at the park, whether it be a short or long one. There are also other towns located nearby, including Nanoose Bay (around six and a half miles or 10.5kms away), Qualicum Beach (around 12 miles or 20kms away) and Lantzville (around 11 miles or 19kms away).
The road into the campground (which is located south to the west once you enter the park) is very well maintained and you will have no trouble accessing your chosen site.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is very busy during the summer months so parking can be hard if you arrive later in the day to the park.
There are plenty of bus routes leaving from neighboring towns that will take you to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.
Rathtrevor Beach Campground is the only RV-friendly campground available to visitors of Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. Located in wooded upland around a five minute walk from the beach, the campground is a very popular place during the summer and can accommodate 250 guests at any given time.
All of the sites at Rathtrevor Beach Campground are primitive and don't have any hookups. Since the campground is quite large there is however a wide range of amenities, including three hot shower blocks, flush toilets, an adventure playground, fresh water collection points and a dump station. The campground is also pet friendly and you should be able to get cell phone service on all of the major providers within the campground.
Since the campground is a popular destination due to the beach you must have a reservation to stay from the period of the last week of June and Labour Day in September. We recommend you get a reservation at any time of the year to guarantee that you will be able to have a spot for you to stay. The campground is in operational all year round.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park has some fantastic beachside swimming for visitors to enjoy during the warmer months. You will be able to swim until your hearts content in the fresh ocean and during the low tide the ocean recedes out extremely far, making it an ideal place for the little ones of all ages to play. Please note that there are no lifeguards on duty at the park and be wary of the ocean current if you decide to go and take a dip.
While the ocean is a great place for those who love to swim, it can also be a lot of fun if you want to explore via watercraft. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is suitable for paddlers who want to get out and experience what the warm waters have on offer. There is no marked boat ramp at the park but the waters are calm enough to launch your watercraft at the beach. If you are looking to rent a canoe or kayak there are plenty of places to do so in and around the city of Parksville.
If you want to have a nice relaxing afternoon picnic you will be pleased to know that there is a a large day-use/picnic area available near the beach for you to enjoy. The picnic area contains 75 picnic tables, two reservable picnic shelters, pit toilets, two flush toilet/change buildings, walking trails, an adventure playground and three parking lots. If you have a larger group we recommend that you reserve one of the shelters in advance so that you don't miss out.
Looking to learn more about the local nature that calls the park home? If so you must visit the Nature House. Open seven days a week and suitable for people of all ages, the Nature House gives visitors the chance to participate in an interactive nature display, pick up any camping supplies you may need, check out a live bee-hive and have park staff answer and questions that you have about the park and its history.
For the hiking lovers, there is plenty to keep you occupied if you want to explore the park. There is a total of around three and a half miles of easy walking trails, most of which are also wheelchair accessible. The trails will take you along the beach, weave through mature forests and there are also a variety of short trails that link the walk-in, group and main campsites to the beach. Detailed trail maps are posted at information shelters in the park, or you can also ask park staff.
Visitors to the park can also partake in some fishing. However, due to the low tide length, you may have to walk out very far to reach the water if you choose to fish during this time. There are many places near the park where you can pick up some fishing gear if you don't have some and the park may also have some available for you to purchase or to rent. If you do decide to cast a line out you are in with the chance of landing some great saltwater fish, including salmon. Remember that if you do plan on fishing you will need a British Columbia fishing license.