Outdoor Adventure - Tourism Nanaimo

Outdoor Adventures

Nanaimo’s outdoor playground is unparalleled. Located in the heart of Vancouver Island, this harbour city opens the door on 360 degrees of adventure: paddle the calm waters of more than 18 lakes in and around Nanaimo, then set your nautical compass for Newcastle Island (Saysutshun), traditional land of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Stand tall after climbing 1,000 meters to the peak of Mount Benson, and feel the immensity of the full circle view. The thrill-seeking travellers surmount heart-pounding challenges with adventure courses, bungee jumping and zip-lining through the tree-tops.

Your Nanaimo Adventure 360°

With something to do at every turn, travellers to Nanaimo can tick off outdoor adventure bucket lists. Try biking down lakeside trails, gain altitude as you trek up paths to panoramic views, and even tee-off with friends at one of our golf courses.

Read more about the outdoor adventure possibilities and see related stakeholders in Nanaimo below.

Biking Hiking Golfing

Biking in Nanaimo

Tear up single track at Westwood Lake or on the Fine China Trail, located on Weigles Road off Doumont Road. Find smooth pavement on the E & N Trail or Parkway Trail.
Stop by our Visitor Centres to pick up a map of local cycling trails, or visit one of our local bike shops.

Nanaimo Hiking Trails

Trails in Nanaimo go everywhere, from the oceanside to mountain summits. No matter what part of the city you’re in, you’ll find a walking trail or park close by, offering hours of quiet outdoor recreation.

Follow the loop trails to scenic viewpoints around Newcastle Island, Biggs & Jack Point Park, Westwood Lake, Neck Point Park, and many more of Nanaimo’s scenic parks and trails. For a more adventurous trek, hike to the summit of Mt Benson. The ultimate Nanaimo hike, Mt Benson offers spectacular views of Nanaimo, the Strait of Georgia, and the surrounding region.
There are over 200 trails and parks in Nanaimo and Region.

For more information about hiking trails, biking trails, or guided tours, stop by our Visitor Centre and pick up Parks & Trails brochure which features a map and details of all parks and trails in the area. Don’t forget – our Visitor Centre is dog-friendly! We are located next to an off-leash dog park so pop in for a doggie treat after your furry friend has a play

City of Nanaimo – Parks & Trails Brochure
City of Nanaimo – City of Nanaimo Off-Leash Dog Parks
City of Nanaimo – Cycling Map for Nanaimo
City of Nanaimo – Transit & Bus Routes Map for Nanaimo

Golf in Nanaimo & Region

One of the main advantages of being in Nanaimo, which enjoys Canada’s most comfortable climate, is that you can play golf almost any day of the year. Along with fair weather, you’ll find impressive fairways, well-groomed greens, and magnificent scenery. There are several stand-out courses within the city limits. In all, you’ll find many excellent courses all within an hour’s drive of the city

Tee times in the central Island area are typically easy to get, even in the high season. However, an added plus in the off season is that green fees drop while the weather is often still holding beautifully. The social aspect of golf is well-recognized with most of the local golf clubs featuring casual dining, relaxing lounges, and an array of welcoming special events.

Adventure 360°

Nothing beats local knowledge when it comes to finding all the best places for adventure. Four Nanaimo locals talk about their passions, their favourite places and where they go for the best adventures.


For Free Spirits

#Explore Nanaimo Adventures

Adrenaline pumping to scenic serenity, these adventures should top your “Must Do” list.
Read More
For Cultural Explorers

Hannah’s Nanaimo 360°

Tourism Nanaimo's Hannah shares her Harbour City favourites
Read More
For Authentic Experiencers

Hikers Paradise – Find Yourself in Our Woods

Walk the beaches and groves of Nanaimo, while experiencing food and fun west coast style.
Read More

Related blog posts

Exploring the Trails of Nanaimo, BC

February 28, 2018

Read time: 4 mins Hike or bike the trails of and around Nanaimo to connect with other adventurers, or spend some time with yourself – enjoying the tranquility and raw beauty, appreciating the natural harmony of the outdoors, and simply savouring the thrill of the trail. With over 170 kilometers of trails connecting our streets and parks, communities and businesses, the journey is as impressive as the destination. Hiking Nanaimo is the physical centre of Vancouver Island, nestled between the Salish Sea and Mount Benson, and home to some of the region’s best backcountry hiking. Search for geocaches, explore the […]

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Directions to Ammonite Falls

February 16, 2018

Ammonite Falls is an #ExploreNanaimo favourite, and many folks want to know how to safely reach the magnificent views of this waterfall gem. Hint: If you’d like to see just how impressive the waterfalls are in Nanaimo, check out our Waterfall Wanderings blog post. How To Get To Ammonite Falls To give you the best directions to Ammonite Falls, we reached out to the amazing local guides at Vancouver Island Expeditions. They even offer guided hikes to the falls, if that’s more up your alley. Here’s how to get to Ammonite Falls: Whether you’re a newbie hiker or the next […]

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The many colours of Nanaimo, through the lens of Jonah Ferguson

September 26, 2017

Hey travellers, @jonahswferguson here and I will be taking over the Tourism Nanaimo page for the next few days! I grew up in Nanaimo and chose to pursue photography as a way of sharing the beauty I was constantly coming across on my hikes around Nanaimo and Vancouver Island. This particular shot was captured as I was on my way out of town one morning, and caught this view out of the corner of my eye. Many of you will probably recognize this tree, and I have always thought it would make a great photo, but it wasn’t until this […]

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What’s Your Travel Type?

Have you ever wondered what type of traveller you are? Whether you’re more of a history buff, or perhaps a thrill-seeker? Destination Canada created this quiz to help you better understand exactly what type of traveller you are. If you’d like to see an itinerary that matches your traveller type, check out our custom itineraries.

Free Spirit

Free Spirits are most likely to be seen at a tourism hot spot, participating in a group tour, or dining out at a top restaurant.

Cultural Explorer

Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE's also love to interact with locals.

Authentic Experiencer

Authentic Experiencers are most likely to be seen in nature reserves, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, at a heritage site or a museum.

Related Stakeholders

Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park

Au' si:em siyeyu.
Welcome to Saysutshun/Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park in Snuneymuxw traditional territories. Come explore what we have to offer!

668 Centre Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 4Z4


Hub City Cycles

Hub City Cycles is a non-profit community service cooperative who’s purpose is to be a resource that nourishes the neighbourhoods of Nanaimo by providing affordable bicycle-centric services such as repairs, rentals, tool use instruction, and more!

12 Lois Lane
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5B8


Brackish Adventures

Brackish Adventures offer a mobile service for kayak & stand up paddleboard (SUP) tours and lessons in various location in the Nanaimo to Nanoose Bay region.

1430 Reef Rd.
Nanoose Bay, BC V9P 9B9


Vancouver Island Catamaran Sailing

Sailing, cruising rides, tours customized adventures! Come sail away with us!

1000 Stewart Ave
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9S 4C9


Sunshine Coast Air

The Plane is waiting to take you on a spectacular Flightseeing adventure. Soar over stunning coastline + islands. Explore glacier lakes, majestic waterfalls + snowcapped mountains.

Unit #7 - 90 Front Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5H7


Vancouver Island Expeditions

We create authentic, intimate and memorable visitor experiences while honouring the culture, heritage, and natural beauty of Vancouver Island. Let us show you our backyard and help you discover the places that will inspire stories that last a lifetime!

599 Sarum Rise Way
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 7E5


Ride the Glide Segway Tours & Events

Book a Guided Segway Tour of beautiful Bowen Park. Daily tours on a pre-booked basis. One and 1 1/2 hour tours. Our experienced guides will ensure you are prepared to safely glide through the varied trails of this West Coast Park in the Heart of Nanaimo.

500 Bowen Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 1Z7


Cottonwood Golf Course

An exceptional course with a fabulous restaurant and patio. Come join us at Cottonwood!

1975 Haslam Rd.
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9X 1T1


WildPlay Element Parks

Discover your own "tall tale"! Along the Nanaimo River, our 17-acre Park is home to an array of scenery and fun.

35 Nanaimo River Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9X 1S5


Ocean Outfitters Ltd.

Whale Watching in Tofino, BC

368 Main Street
Tofino, British Columbia V0R 2Z0


Silva Bay Kayak Adventures

IT ALL STARTS HERE Your fun paddling adventure begins at the doorstep to the stunning natural beauty of the Gulf Islands. Silva Bay Kayak Adventures offers kayaking and stand up paddle-boarding tours - from a relaxing two hours - to multi-day expeditions.

3415 S. Road
Gabriola Island, British Columbia V0R 1X0


Sundown Diving

Rated as one of the best cold water destinations in the world, Vancouver Island diving is without question unlike any other on the planet.Based in Nanaimo, we are only minutes from the Ferry Landing and Local Airport.

22 Esplanade Road
Nanaimo, BC V9R 4Y7


Nanaimo Golf Club

Nanaimo Golf Club is a well renowned and highly respected semi-private golf course in the heart of Vancouver Island. We offer a variety of affordable membership options and welcome public players to our course and practice facilities.

2800 Highland Blvd.
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9S 3N8


City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation & Environment

Parks, Recreation and Environment's mission is to “enhance the quality of life and leisure in Nanaimo.” Join us for public swimming, public skating, a workout in one of our fitness gyms or visit one of our many parks and trails.

500 Bowen Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 1Z7


GERTIE – Gabriola’s Community Bus

GERTIE is Gabriola’s Community Bus, which enables visitors to make self-guided tours of the Island, sans car!

PO BOX 165
Gabriola Island, British Columbia V0R 1X0


Harbour Air Seaplanes

Experience an authentic west coast adventure with Harbour Air Seaplanes! Offering simple, fast and affordable service between downtown Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver or Richmond and YVR.

Unit 1A -90 Front Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5K4


McNabs Corn Maze & Produce Farm

We offer “Family Fun in the Country” from mid August-October. Come enjoy our 7 acre maze, farm animals and hayrides.

4613 Yellow Point Road
Ladysmith, British Columbia V9G 1G7


North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

A wildlife adventure for the whole family! Live raptors, black bears and more. Open 9–5 daily March through Dec 21.

1240 Leffler Rd
Errington, British Columbia V0R 1V0


Horne Lake Caves & Outdoor Centre

Experience the coolest adventures on Vancouver Island at Horne Lake. Daily guided tours for cave exploring, rock rappelling the Horne Lake Amazing Race, and sweet sunset paddles. Also spectacular lakefront camping, canoe and kayak rentals and summer camps.

3905 Horne Lake Caves Rd.
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia V9K 2L7


Tracks Outdoor Adventures INC

Tracks Outdoor Adventures INC, locally owned and operated tour company in Nanaimo since 2001. Offering authentic, personable tour experiences in Nanaimo &Vancouver Island. History & Cultural, Wine &Culinary, Nature Sightseeing. Group sizes from 4-400, Follow FB & IG

2130 Akenhead Rd Nanaimo BC V9X 1T9
250-754-TREC (8732)


Nanaimo Port Authority

Experience our lively downtown waterfront! Our picturesque marina sits amongst a variety of shops, eateries and view.

P.O. Box 131
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5K4


Prince of Whales

Prince of Whales is the largest and safest environmentally-friendly year-round whale watching company in Victoria and Vancouver.

812 Wharf Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1T3


Fairwinds Golf Club

Fairwinds Golf Club is one of Vancouver Island’s finest courses. The mild climate of Nanoose Bay allows you to play on lush fairways year-round. The well manicured course is known to be a challenging course, often referred to as a “Thinking Golfers” course.

3730 Fairwinds Drive
Nanoose Bay, British Columbia V9P 9J6


Morning Star Bison Ranch

Up in the pristine Cassidy Highlands just south of Nanaimo BC lies a home where the buffalo roam on beautifully sculpted fields which is the home of Bob Wilson's, Morning Star Bison Ranch.

965 Spruston Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia V9X 1S9