Search for Sand Dollars at these Parksville Beaches!
Parksville is a peaceful coastal destination, with beaches that span for miles…. but these beaches in particular are Parksville’s best.
The beaches in Parksville are perfect for lounging, strolling and learning about aquatic life – especially when the tide is low. Check the local tide charts so you can hit the beach when the tide is out, revealing the dozens of critters that surface when the sandy beach is uncovered by the water.
Be sure to bring a bucket and shovel for collecting and inspecting sand dollars, shells, starfish and more, and for building sand castles like pros!
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Parksville Community Beach
This sandy beach stretches along the expansive ocean, offering views of the nearby islands and the Coast Mountains on British Columbia’s mainland.
Take a relaxing stroll along the boardwalk, or bask in the sun and swim in the warm ocean; the water here reaches almost 20 degrees celsius in the summer. This is the best spot for kids to play in the ocean, build sand castles and search for sand dollars, crabs and starfish in the tidal pools.
In the spring, you can come down to the Parksville Community Beach to view thousands of migrating Black Brant Geese and seabirds, which come here for the annual herring spawn. The Black Brant Geese migrate north from their winter residence in Mexico and stop on the beaches of Parksville to feed on the herring roe and rich sea lettuce. Their stay here is temporary before they fly north to Alaska, Russia and the Arctic. It’s an amazing experience to be hugely outnumbered by these beautiful birds that are visiting Parksville for a short period.
In the summer, Parksville Beach is home to the Parksville Beach Festival famous for its sand sculpting competition, which is a world championship qualifying event. This event’s competitors produce mind blowing sand sculptures! The final day of this festival is geared for kids. There is live entertainment, face painting and a kids’ sand castle competition.
Access to the beach is located from Parksville Community Park, which is just off the Island Highway onto Beachside Drive.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
Walk the 5 kilometres of sandy beach or take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk. Rathtrevor Beach is infinite and the birds here are plentiful.
When the tide is low, the water draws back and exposes shallow pools filled with starfish, sand dollars and crabs and is the perfect spot for beachcombing. The shallow water here can be as warm as 20 degrees celsius in the summer, making it perfect for swimming and playing.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, like the Parksville Community Beach, is a fabulous place to view thousands of migrating Black Brant Geese and seabirds, which come here for the annual herring spawn. You can also access 5 kilometres of walking trails through the old growth forest. For the most part, these trails are appropriate for baby strollers and wheelchairs.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is located 3km south of Parksville on Hwy 19a. Take exit #51 from the Inland Island Highway (Hwy #19) and follow signs to the park.
PLANNING A TRIP TO PARKSVILLE?
We have a great variety of Parksville accommodations that are beachfront or tucked away in the pristine seaside forest. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts who can answer any questions you may have about the hiking trails in Parksville, or our accommodations. They’re available 7 days a week!