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The Charming Northfield Falls in the Heart of Beach Estate Park

Looking to kill off an hour while in Nanaimo, BC? Just a short hop-skip and jump from downtown, you’ll find Beach Estate Park. Why do we care? Well! Hidden in the park is another great photo opportunity. What could that be?  Nestled amidst the forest trail you’ll find Northfield Falls.
The park is uniquely enclosed by an urban area of Nanaimo. Visible from the Departure Bay ferry terminal, the creek gently flows into Departure Bay, along a rocky beach during low tide. 
Beach Estates Park, although small, is often overlooked as a photographic location. Many photo-buffs from Nanaimo tend to travel up-island rather than exploring their own local neighbourhoods. This is understandable, as most suburbs are not worth discovering. However, Nanaimo has numerous hidden treasures within its small city parks.

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Details of the Hike to Northfield Falls

Distance: 0.1 kilometres (328 feet)
Gain in Elevation: 13 meters or 42 feet
Time to hike: 10 minutes
Parking:  Available at the church except for Sundays. There is ample park across the street at Tims

Journey to Northfield Falls on foot

The path leading to Northfield Falls is a brief and effortless stroll down the stairs; however, it is not mobility-friendly. I can honestly state that you will spend most of your time photographing the falls and not walking to and from them.

You begin your descent by hiking the trail, or, should I say, stairs, through the trees. The path runs alongside the creek, ensuring a scenic experience as you walk down the stairs and across the boardwalk. The staircase is both easily traversable and highly convenient, eliminating any risk of slipping and sliding in wet conditions.

As you embark on this short journey, be prepared to be captivated by the colour of the rocks within the falls. 

Once at the falls, there is a bridge that spans across the creek, offering an ideal spot to photograph the falls. If you want to get closer, there is no need to hop the railing, as there is a break before rounding the corner to the bridge. Don’t be an idiot like me!

If you wish to continue on the path, the creek pops out at Departure Bay. Where you can watch the birds and the boats. The complete round trip is 1.8 km and should take about 30 minutes to complete. 

Ideal Times to Visit Northfield Falls in Beach Estate Park

The ideal time to visit any waterfall on Vancouver Island is during the winter months or early spring. These months experience the highest amount of rainfall, ensuring a powerful and impressive flow of water. To tell you the truth, Northfield Falls sits below a storm drain and is affected by rain, resulting in a dramatic increase in water flow compared to other waterfalls on Vancouver Island.

It is worth noting that some waterfalls, such as Northfield Falls, go dry during the summer. Therefore, if planning a visit in the summer, it would be beneficial to visit after a rainfall.

Northfield Falls in Beach Estate Park in Nanaimo

Final Thoughts about Northfield Falls 

Intrigued by the photo opportunity at Northfield Falls? Nanaimo boasts a surprising number of hidden falls, like this one. For more adventures, why not explore our other blog posts and unearth the island’s best-kept secrets? From hidden hiking trails to unique waterfalls, we’ll guide you to some of Vancouver Island’s best destinations, leaving you breathless. So lace up your walking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to explore Vancouver Island!

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