Parksville, BC is a city on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, 40 kilometers north of Nanaimo along the Inland Island Hwy 19, then taking Hwy 19 to go directly into town. Vancouver Island is accessed from the Lower Mainland via the BC Ferry Authority, with sailings from Tsawwassen, north of Vancouver to Duke Point, south of Nanaimo and to Swartz Bay, near Sidney, north of Victoria. An alternate port at Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver, arrives in Departure Bay, which is adjacent to Nanaimo Harbor. The Trans-Canada Highway on the Island runs from Victoria to Nanaimo, then turns into the Inland Island Hwy 19 to access points further north on the east side of the Island. Also, Hwy4a also begins in Parksville to access Port Alberni and destinations on the west coast such as Ucluelet and Tofino.
Founded in 1986, the city of Parksville is literally wrapped around the premiere provincial campground in the region, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, which is the only seaside provincial campground in the area. Looking from the shore across the Strait of Georgia from Parksville, the view includes Lasqueti Island and South Texada Island Provincial Park. Other inland campgrounds and private campgrounds are available to travelers, especially those requiring full services for their RVs or trailers.
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is a 347-ha campsite blessed with majestic old-growth forest on land, and a two-kilometer stretch of sandy beach on the Strait of Georgia where the tide can recede over a kilometer from the high water mark on every low tide. The shallow sea water coming back across the heated sand makes this one of the warmest places to enjoy swimming on the West Coast. Vacationers should always be mindful of the changing tides, however, since the incoming tide waters can come inland remarkably fast, and more than one snoozing sunbather has been caught unaware when the tide came rushing in! Activities listed include swimming, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing and interpretive programs, as well as hiking on their 5.5km network of trails.
At Rathtrevor, there are 174 vehicle-accessible sites for person with RVs, campers and trailers, and another 25 walk-in tenting sites – all of which are no more than five-minutes walk to the sandy beach and adjacent surf. There are also six group sites available for larger parties. Picnic tables and fire pits are included with each site, and are flush toilets as well as hot showers on site. Campsites are not powered, or outfitted with black water connections, but there is a sani-station available for use so that rental RVs and trailers can be returned in clean condition.
For travelers requiring more services, or less wilderness, the private campground operators in the area provide a number of options, both seaside and inland.
Surfside RV Resort is located at the north end of Parksville, and sits upon a peninsula surrounded by the ocean. This 55-ac property consists of several loops of sites, each averages 2300 sq ft, and comes with the full array of services, even Wifi, phone and cable! A common-area oceanfront clubhouse provides pool tables, darts and shuffleboard, to add to their ocean-front sundeck, pool and hot tub. If you’re feeling more active, play tennis, volleyball or horseshoes. And, the resort is open year round if you prefer to travel in the off-season.
In the same neighborhood is the Park Sands Beach Resort, a waterfront property set on the shores of a protected bay with 97 RV sites, 40 of which are pads with full and partial hookups. Full-equipped bathrooms with hot showers are on site, as well as coin-op laundromat. At your site, enjoy free Wifi and even Shaw cable services. A small convenience store sells the necessities you might need, but the campground is close enough to town to do a larger shopping run if needed.
Riverbend Cottage and RV Resort is an inland campground set against the Englishman River, off Hwy 19A, set between 6 golf courses, spas, restaurants and shopping. A great place to set up base camp for your daily excursions. They have over one hundred fully-equipped 30- and 50-amp RV sites that can accommodate even the largest Class A Rental RV. Swimming and fishing are the top activities listed, as well as hiking to the neighboring Englishman River Falls. For the kids, they also have a playground and a playing field while the adults enjoy the horseshoe pits. Hot showers, laundry facilities, and even a lending library are available. Or, if you need to stay connected, enjoy their internet access and Wifi.
The natural splendor of the area is everywhere you look in Parksville, but if you’re looking for something different, these are some other options:
Paradise Mini Golf and Fun Park is for the kids and kids at heart, with TWO 18-hole mini golf courses, Castle Amusement Center, and bumper boats set in a manicured garden replete with waterfalls and fountains. The property also has vista views overlooking Parksville Beach and their waterfront own RV Park, offering full hook-ups, shower, laundry and walk-out to the sand and surf. All this, and walking distance to downtown Parksville.
For nature lovers who would like to get up close to their favorite animals, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Center works with injured animals such as eagles, owls, hawks and even bears. Learn about these amazing creatures, and what the center does to heal them and prepare them for release back into the wild.
And for the fishermen, no trip to the coast would be complete without getting your boat in the water and the downrigger set to go. And there is no shortage of fishing charters ready to take you out to try your luck with the varieties of world-class salmon runs in the Strait of Georgia, not to mention various types of cod, and even giant halibut! And keep your eye out as minke, orca, humpback and grey whales call these waters home.
At the end of your stay in Parksville, be sure to drop by the sani-station at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park on the way home, or before returning your rental RV, and travel a little cleaner and lighter. All other sani-dump stations in the area are for the registered guests of specific campgrounds, only.
We LOVE helping our clients plan their perfect holiday. We can guide you to the best camping spots, whether its boating, fishing, golfing, quading or wine tours that makes your day we can help. Just call, chat or email us Monday to Friday 9am to 4 pm. We are available weekends thru email and direct chat. Let’s talk soon!
We deliver to most campsites and private residents, We do not allow them to be towed over gravel roads longer than approx 5 kilometers. Ask your guest services advisor whether your rental will fit where you need it setup. It is important to ensure you do not rent a unit that is larger than the site allows. This step will also ensure that we can park and setup if there are challenges on private property.
If your hours are not matching our open hours please take advantage of our 24/7 booking platform. There you can see all that is available and all the costs associated with your rental. Once completed your booking request will be forwarded to us, nothing will be charged until you ok it with one of our booking agents within 24 hours. If you want to complete the reservation you can also pay online with our secure eCommerce.
We also have U-Tows available for those that have towing experience. Please discuss U-Tows with our guest services agent so that we can properly match your tow vehicle with the proper weighted travel trailer that will work for your needs.