Chemainus River Estuary
Chemainus River Estuary

Chemainus River Estuary Hike

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Chemainus River Estuary

Chemainus River Estuary Hike

Distance: 1.7mi
Elevation: 49ft
Time: 0.5h

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The Chemainus River Estuary Trail is a 1.7mi out-and-back hiking route south of Nanaimo, BC, that traverses the wetland terrain where the Chemainus River meets the east coast of Vancouver Island. Along the trail, you will pass by scenic farmland, beautiful forests, and of course, the wetlands that are home to countless wildlife species in the area. With flat and easy-to-navigate trails, this route is perfect for hikers of all skill levels to relax and explore this unique coastal environment.

Chemainus River Estuary Hike Map

Getting there

To reach the Chemainus River Estuary trailhead from Duncan, head north on BC-1 for 6.8mi and turn right onto Mount Sticker Road, following it for 2133ft. Turn left onto Chemainus Road and continue on for 1.1mi before turning right on Swallowfield Road. You will arrive at the trailhead in 722ft.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites


Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Chemainus River Estuary Hike
Elevation Graph

Chemainus River Estuary Hike Description

With such a unique variation in terrain for an area right on the coast, the Chemainus River Estuary is the perfect place for a fun, family-friendly adventure near Nanaimo. Setting out from the parking area, make your way along the trail to the northeast and take in the views of the farmland on your left and the forests on your right. From here, you will pass by countless blackberry bushes, as well as massive maple, fir, and cottonwood trees. Continue further along the trail as it begins to run alongside the Chemainus River at a spot that is popular with fisherman and birdwatchers. Once you have reached the end of the trail, turn back and retrace your steps through this lovely landscape to return to the parking area where you began your hike.



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