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Cumberland China Bowls: Hiking and Photographing the Potholes

Looking for a quick and easy photo adventure? Why not plan to spend the morning photographing the magical Cumberland China Bowls? It is an easy 30-minute walk (2.1 km) to Perseverance Creek down Davis lake Main.

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What is the Cumberland China Bowls?

The Cumberland China Bowls is a popular hiking and photo destination for many reasons. The scenery is beautiful, the trail which is a logging road is well-maintained, and it a fun spot to photograph and dip your feet on a hot summer day.

Each pothole is like it’s own waterfall and they flow from one pothole to the next. The waterfalls are to shallw to swim in, and there are cold but refreshing to dip you feet in on that hot summer day.

How were the Cumberland China Bowls formed?

How were China Bowls formed? Well, the water essentially eroded the sandstone.

Erosion is still happening today, slowly shaping and reshaping the potholes. Hiking to the Cumberland China Bowls is a great way to see this process in action. They are a beautiful sight, and offer a chance to see how nature is constantly changing.

Cumberland China Bowls Sandstone

What are the dangers in the Cumberland China Bowls?

Be sure to wear proper hiking gear, including long pants and closed-toe shoes. Stay on the trails and be aware of your surroundings. Remember the rocks can be slippery, there is a danger of falling.

What should you take with you when hiking in the Cumberland China Bowls?

Hiking to the Potholes is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

Hiking boots: A good pair of hiking boots is essential for any hike, especially in the Cumberland China Bowls. Make sure your boots are comfortable and provide good support.

Clothes: Dress in layers so you can adjust to the changing weather conditions. Wear a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

Pack: Bring a backpack with plenty of room for all your camera gear, and a few snacks

It’s important to stay hydrated when hiking, so bring plenty of water. Pack some snacks to keep your energy up. Choose foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates for sustained energy.

Getting There to the Cumberland China Bowls Vancouver island

Cumberland China Bowls Down stream view

How do I get to the Cumberland China Bowls?

The Cumberland China Bowls are located where else but Cumberland on Vancouver Island BC, Canada. The closest major city is Courtenay, which is about a 30-minute drive.

There are a few different ways to get to the Cumberland China Bowls depending on your location and mode of transportation. I found the best place to park is at the Cumberland Recreation Center and walk down Sutton Rd to the Cumberland Forest Area gate. Walk around the gate and at the 1st intersection go right. Head up the hill on Davis lake Main, and continue on the main till the 1st bridge. You can access Perseverance Creek potholes from either side of the bridge.

Keep an eye out for mountain bikers and the odd logging truck.

map of the china bowls in Cumberland on Vancouver Island

What to Expect at Cumberland Vancouver island

Cumberland was once a thriving coal mining town, and you can still see evidence of this history all around town. The Cumberland Museum is a great place to start your exploration of the town’s past, and the nearby Coal Creek Historic Park is an excellent spot to learn more about the area’s coal mining heritage.

There are plenty of things to see in Cumberland, from historic buildings to beautiful natural scenery. Be sure to check out the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. .

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Cumberland. In addition to exploring the town’s history and sights, you can go hiking or mountain biking in one of the nearby parks, go fishing or canoeing on Comox Lake.

While you are in Cumberland

There are plenty of things to do in Cumberland, from hiking and biking to exploring the local history. But Cumberland is a quite little town why not wonder the main street and try you hand a photographing the old building, or stop in for lunch at one of the quaint restaurants.

Similar Photo Opportunities to Cumberland China Bowls

Some of my other favorite places in and around the Comox Valley are

China Bowls Cumberland


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes you can swim at the Cumberland potholes. A number of little pools of water are present, and they are encircled by smooth rock. You don’t have to walk very far to see all of the potholes because they are all close together. As the creek moves from one location to the next, each pothole is fed by a miniature waterfall.

This 3.9-kilometer out-and-back trail  starts at Comox Lake road, and is considered an easy walk. Starting at the Cumberland community forest entrance. Follow Davis Lake main till you cross the bridge. Once at the bridge, you are at the potholes. 

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