Introducing Harewood Colliery Dam Park–officially recognized as one of Canada’s Historic Places. This blog post is dedicated to explaining some of Harewood Colliery Dam’s historical significance while illustrating the beauty and features related to my theme of Hiking trails around Nanaimo, Vancouver Island.
The Colliery Dam Park, at 635 Wakesiah Avenue, is a popular destination in Nanaimo for a multitude of reasons. Parking is available in several locations around the park. There is wheelchair access to the first lake which is a popular picnic spot during summer. Fresh water swimming (no lifeguards) and fishing is permitted in the lakes. Although dogs must be on leash on the majority of the trails, there is an off leash area with lake access on the upper dam. The trails offer a variety of fitness options from easy to fairly steep climbs.
In addition, Colliery Dam has historical significance to the Nanaimo area. The Dams were built in 1910-11 by the Western Fuel Company. Originally the water was necessary in coal mining to wash coal, and be utilized by miners, mules and horses. Many of the homes in the historic area of South Harewood eventually gained access to, and benefitted from, this fresh water supply.
While researching about Harewood Colliery Dam, one of the most informative websites I discovered was from Vancouver Island View. vancouverislandview.com Colliery Dam Park In Nanaimo
The photos I am sharing of Colliery Dam Park were taken on several walks and hikes in the park during mid May, September, and October. We avoided the summer months, as this popular park gets too busy for our Covid safety comfort level.
The following photos were taken during autumn (September and October) on some more challenging trails around the park and surrounding areas.
The deciduous trees are dropping their leaves — particularly the giant Maples. It’s a harvest feast of colour and lush undergrowth. Note the cedar stripped off the trunk of the cedar tree. Aboriginal People traditionally used cedar to create art, baskets, regale, and hats. Cedar bark is stripped in a lengthy narrow section, then the chosen tree will be left to heal and continue growing.
Feeling the richness of the woods around us…
Time for our photo shoot beside Granny Falls (also known as Chase River Falls).
Compare Granny Falls a month later…
Another interesting site to explore is the tunnel of graffiti! It’s a fun art experience for all.
Since Covid 19 surfaced, a covid face mask mysteriously appeared inside the tunnel protecting Marilyn Monroe’s stunning face.
There are many trails to explore around the Colliery Dam Park. I will return again soon! In the meantime, there are other hiking locations to explore and Sophia’s (our cat) antics to share.
Keep Safe and Keep Optimistic! S
What a beautiful spot with such an interesting history.
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