Piper's Lagoon Park, Nanaimo
Three of the park's smaller islands are only accessible by boat, except when the tide is far enough out to walk across the oyster beds. They are home to historic fishing cabins, pebble beaches, and bluffs (covered in moss, Garry oak trees and dried flora) with a beautiful view of the lagoon. Certain areas of the mainland and other nearby parks, like Neck Point, can be spotted from the top on a clear day. The bluffs are also an excellent lookout for bald eagles, hawks, sea lions and sometimes even pods of orca off in the distance.
Even with the smog from the forest fires blanketing the island earlier this month, Piper's Lagoon Park in Nanaimo B.C, was still a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and take in some uninterrupted nature.
An hour and forty minute ferry ride from the mainland, Nanaimo has some of the best parks on the island. Many of which are small and tucked in and around the corners of the city's coastline. Piper's Lagoon Park, where I spent my summer vacations when I was younger, is one of such still fairly unknown gems.
Alongside the isthmus at the park's entrance, there is a nice sandy beach for swimming. On the opposite side, is the lagoon itself that fills and empties with the tides. When the tide is all the way out the sand bar is littered with small shore crabs and periwinkles scurrying about.
The Bays and Lagoons in the park are usually calm and are perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing and wading in on a sweltering hot day. The natural beauty of Piper's Lagoon Park makes it easy to relax and lose track of time while exploring the vast amounts of nature and marine life around you.