Make sure you pack a good pair of walking shoes or hiking boots for your visit Cumberland—the area boasts some of the best trails on Vancouver Island. Whether you’re looking for a casual stroll or you’re planning a major expedition into wilderness, Cumberland is the perfect jumping off point for hikers of every age and ability.
Cruise the streets and alleys of Cumberland where sturdy mine workers’ cabins stand next to charming turn-of-the-century heritage homes. Visit Cumberland’s Perseverance Creek Heritage Site and follow the trails along the historic Chinatown Marsh. Climb higher and check out a breathtaking view of the Valley from Forbidden Plateau Recreation Area
Nothing beats a cool, refreshing swim on a hot day. Take a dip in the glacial fed waters waters of Comox Lake or paddle out in a canoe or kayak and see amazing views of the Comox Glacier. And you don’t have to go far to see wildlife. Deer are frequent visitors to gardens, and black bears are spotted from spring through to fall. Although they tend to be very shy, the area is also home to cougars and Roosevelt Elk. Bird life is prolific in the Valley, so don’t forget to bring your binoculars and camera. Bald eagles, Great Blue herons, hawks, Trumpeter swans, and countless song and marine birds inhabit or visit the area’s marshes, fields, forests, estuaries and waterways.
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN CUMBERLAND
In Cumberland there is year-round access to some of the best off-road riding in the world. Known as one of Canada’s top riding sites, an active mountain biking community builds and maintains a wide network of trails for riders of all levels and experience. The extensive mountain biking trail system around Comox Lake and along the Puntledge River is one of the largest on Vancouver Island. The Comox Valley is famous for its gnarly rainforest single-track trails, which take advantage of the distinctive characteristics of this geographic area. These amazing trail systems have been the location for a number of international level competitions such as BC Bike Race and Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race, and also for more local events such as the Perseverance Trail Run , the 12 Hours of Cumberland XC mountain bike endurance competition, and other races in the Vancouver Island Mountain Bike Race Series.
SUMMER AT MT WASHINGTON:
Summer Chairlift Rides: From late June through September summer scenic chairlift rides are a perfect afternoon adventure for hikers.
Paradise Meadows trail-head located at Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre is an entry point to Strathcona Park’s alpine day hike and back-country camping circuit. Be sure to visit this LINK to check on trail conditions and camping regulations before heading out.
WINTER AT MT WASHINGTON:
Cumberland is the perfect base camp for winter or summer adventures at Mount Washington Alpine Resort and the base of the mountain is a short 10 minute drive away. Once ‘up the hill’ you’ll find world class nordic and alpine skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. The winter season typically runs from the first week of December through mid-April, conditions permitting.
Visit their website for current info.
Winter photos courtesy of Mt Washington Alpine Resort
HIKING & BIKING TRAILS:
Explore the extensive trail systems around Cumberland on foot or by bike…..
Comox Valley Mountain Bike Trail Maps (Including Cumberland and Forbidden Plateau bike trail systems). Pick up a copy of these maps at Riding Fool Hostel, Dodge City Cycles or Cumberland Visitor Centre for $4.
Arrange a guided mountain bike adventure : Island Mountain Rides
Rent a mountain bike at Dodge City Cycles
Experienced climbers can tackle a number of crags at Comox Lake
Those prepared for backcountry camping and equipped with a 4WD vehicle can consider the Comox Glacier Trail .
Arrange a guided alpine climb, hike or ski tour with Island Alpine Guides.
WEATHER & ROAD REPORTS:
Cumberland Recreational Institute: Fitness Studio, Racket Courts, Fitness Classes, Climbing Wall, Hall & Municipal Park rental information. 2665 Dunsmuir Ave. Call 250 336-2231 for programming information. Click HERE for hours of operation.
Whether you want to scale a glacier, or descend deep into the silence of the lush forest on your mountain bike touch base with a local adventure guide and get the inside scoop to make your Vancouver Island outdoor dream a reality. Many world re-known adventure tours along the rugged coast of British Columbia are accessible from the Comox Valley.