|Looking out at the Winchelsea Islands|
Where are we going again? That was the question I kept on asking Joel. I had never heard of the Lantzville Foothills before. I knew where Lantzville was, a community just north of Nanaimo proper, but was unclear as to where the foothills were. Where are we going again? The Lantzville Foothills are numerous rocky knolls west of the Trans Canada Highway (around Aulds Road.) When driving north on the highway, they can be seen to the left just before Aulds Road. I like to call them the mini mountains.
Currently there is a plan to develop the 730 hectares of land for homes. The project will be preserving half of the land as a green space equalling the size of Stanley Park. When we were last there (Feb 2011) roads and bridges for the subdivision were completed. Rough roads further up we went but the roads were there. Seeing how much road was cleared one could only imagine the money spent on blasting and ploughing the rock. It comes as no surprise that the project is an economic catastrophe for those involved. Adding to the cost of developing is an ongoing dispute about whose responsibility it is to provide water to the development. The District of Lantzville can not grant any new water connections due to the current aquifer and supply of the community.
All the problems and ongoing concerns about this development made no difference to us. The area is full of trails, geocaches, and views that are worth seeking out. There are conflicting reports as to whether the land is open for trail users. On our visit we did not see any “do not trespass” signs or gates. We did come across others on the roads and trails so I presume exploring was OK. Of course if there were signs we would have respected them. Parking is available at the south end of Harwood Dr. From here we walked across the bridge and headed up the old logging road. We spent hours exploring the roads, trails and bluffs.
|Yahoo, we made it!|
|View of Mt. Benson, half hidden by clouds|
|Little boys doing what little boys do|
Despite the cloudy cool day, exploring the Lantzville Foothills was perfect. These rocky knolls provided some stunning views south and north of Nanaimo. The hike up is well worth the reward plus it's all downhill back to the vehicle. Every time we travel on the highway near the foothills, the kids always point out the mini mountains.
Where we were
From the Nanaimo Parkway, head west on Aulds Road (or Ware road) and park at the south end of Harwood Dr.