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Capturing the Stunning Scenery of Seal Bay Park

We’re off on another photographic journey. Have you heard of Seal Bay Park? It’s a diverse wildlife and breathtaking scenery. This park offers opportunities to use your camera for nature and macro photos. With a little luck, I’m sure you will come away with stunning images.
From the lush forests to the rocky beaches, we will explore the various trails that make up this stunning park and guide you in capturing it through your camera lens. So grab your camera and let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What About Seal Bay Nature Park

Seal Bay Nature Park is a 1,600-acre park in the heart of the Comox Valley. With its 24 km of trails winding through forests, wetlands, and meadows, hikers, bikers and horseback riders will find the perfect route for their adventure. It’s not unusual to spot bald eagles, great blue herons, and other birds while out exploring. If you are lucky, you might catch the seals sunning on the rocks.

Photographers will love the stunning views of the ocean and surrounding landscape, offering ample opportunities for capturing amazing shots of nature. So grab your camera and hiking boots and head to Seal Bay Nature Park for an unforgettable experience.

Did you know this about Seal Bay Regional Nature Park?

Logging at Seal Bay Nature Park began in 1913 and continued through the early 1920s. Keep your eyes peeled for the old-growth stumps still bear springboard marks. Several routes, like the Mitchell grade (Red Alder/piay, pronounced pee-hi), follow former logging or rail grades that were originally used to transport logs. As the Eagle/qaykw (pronounced ky-kw) trail meets the ocean, there was a small Japanese camp with a sawmill on the beach.

The marshy region on the inland (west) side of Bates Road and the waterside (east) portion were first given to WW I troops as settlement sites. This region is now Crown territory as the troops decided not to lay claim to the area.

Comox-Strathcona Natural History Society began advocating for the park and the provincial government in 1971. 335 acres (135 hectares) were leased to the CVRD in 1975 for a 20-year period to be used as a park.

Seal Bay Park is known for its second-growth forest and wildlife.

Where is Seal Bay Park?

Where is Seal Bay Park? Located just 14 minutes outside of Courtenay BC on Bates Road.

  • Follow 19A to Hubard Road
  • Hubbard Rd to Quenville Rd
  • Drive on Bates Rd for 2 KLM
  • Parking is on the right-hand side.

Map to Seal Bay Nature Park

What to consider when planning your visit to Seal Bay Nature Park

2. Seal Bay Park: Accessibility

Seal Bay Nature Park offers a variety of accessible activities for visitors of all abilities. The park has a 2 kilometre wheelchair accessible loop, allowing visitors to explore the beachside of the park from the comfort of their own wheelchair. In addition, trails throughout the park have been designed with wheelchair/walker access in mind, allowing visitors to explore the vast 714 hectare park. These trails wind through forests, deep ravines and past a marsh teeming with birds, giving visitors the opportunity to take in the beauty of the park.

Wildlife viewing is also made easier with accessible wildlife viewing opportunities. The forests at Seal Bay Nature Park provide visitors with the chance to hear or see many different species. The beach is home to many different kinds of seabirds.

3. Seal Bay Park: Activities

Seal Bay Nature Park offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, including:

  • Hiking: Seal Bay Nature Park has over 24 km of trails that wind through a variety of ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and meadows. These trials are suitable for hikers at all skill levels.
  • Mountain Biking: The park has a network of mountain biking trails that offer challenging terrain for riders of all levels.
  • Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is permitted in the park on designated trails. Visitors can bring their own horses or arrange for guided rides through local outfitters.
  • Bird watching: Seal Bay Nature Park is home to a wide variety of bird species, including bald eagles, great blue herons, and many species of songbirds. Birdwatchers can take advantage of the park’s viewing platforms and trails to spot these feathered friends.
  • Beach combing: The park has over 3 km of shoreline, offering visitors the opportunity to explore tidal pools and collect shells and other treasures washed up on the beach.
  • Photography: With its stunning views of the ocean and surrounding landscape, Seal Bay Nature Park is a popular spot for photographers looking to capture the natural beauty of the area.

Overall, Seal Bay Nature Park is a great destination for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty of the Comox Valley.

4. Seal Bay Park: Safety

Safety is a consideration when visiting Seal Bay Nature Park. From April 1st to June 30th, some areas of the park are off-limits to dogs. It’s important to check the regulations before bringing your pet. Trails can be narrow, uneven, and steep, so wear proper footwear and watch your footing. As the park is near the ocean, high winds and strong currents can occur. Be prepared for unexpected weather changes.

5. Seal Bay Park: Trailheads

Seal Bay Park, has a variety of trails. The main trail to the beach is located at the parking lot and is roughly 1km each way. Steps lead down to the beach. Opposite the beach side of the road, there are more level trails that wind around near a swamp. Bike and Horse friendly trails are also available, but visitors should be sure to stick to the appropriate paths.

Seal Bay Park

7. Seal Bay Park: Hiking Trails

Seal Bay Park in Comox Valley, British Columbia, offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Here are some of the best trails to check out:

  • Seal Bay Loop Trail: This 5 km trail offers a moderate hike through forested areas and wetlands, with beautiful views of the ocean.
  • Blue Heron Loop Trail: This 3.3 km trail offers a gentle hike through a mix of forest and meadow habitats, with the possibility of spotting blue herons and other wildlife.
  • Eaglecrest Trail: This 4 km trail offers a moderate hike with stunning views of the ocean and surrounding islands.
  • Seabank Trail: This 1.6 km trail is an easy walk along the beach, offering the opportunity to explore tidal pools and spot marine life.
  • Gartley Point Trail: This 2.5 km trail is a moderate hike that offers stunning views of the ocean and connects with the Seal Bay Loop Trail.

Overall, Seal Bay Nature Park offers a range of hiking trails that showcase the park’s diverse natural beauty

Where to take the best photos in Seal Bay Park

Seal Bay offers many opportunities for photographers to capture images of the park’s natural beauty. Here are some of the best places I found in the park:

  • Seal Bay Beach: The beach offers breathtaking views of the ocean, rocks, and surrounding mountains. It’s an excellent location for sunrise as well as long exposure of the waves.
  • Wetlands: The park’s wetlands are home to a variety of birds, including great blue herons and mallards. The area offers opportunities for wildlife photography. Keep an eye out for dragonflies.
  • Lookout Points: The park has several lookout points that offer panoramic views of the surrounding area, including views of the ocean, mountains, and forest. These spots are perfect for landscape photography.
  • Trails: The park’s trails wind through forests, meadows, and wetlands, providing excellent opportunities for capturing the park’s diverse flora and fauna.

photographing mushrooms a Seal Bay Park Comox Valley

Frequently Asked Questions

At Seal Bay Park, visitors can expect to see a variety of wildlife, including seals, sea lions, otters, bald eagles, and a variety of bird species. A variety of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians can also be seen in the park depending on the time of year. Other wildlife found in the park include red squirrels, deer, cougars, black bears, coyotes, and beavers..

Yes, dogs are allowed at Seal Bay Park provided they are on leash in the entire park from April 1 to June 30, as well as on the Melda Marsh Loop. The rest of the trails are off-leash or leash optional, so you and your pup can explore the park and its wildlife together. Be mindful of the wildlife and do your part to reduce park visitor impact by keeping your pet on leash.

Yes, Seal Bay Nature Park does have picnic tables and fire pits. The park has benches, dog bag dispensers, and outhouses available throughout the trails, making it a great spot for a picnic or a campfire. The park also has wheelchair facilities for those with mobility issues.

The hikes at Seal Bay Regional Nature Park range from easy to moderate in difficulty, with trails that have an elevation gain ranging from 57 to 291 meters. The Seal Bay Coupland Loop is the most popular trail.

Yes, there are wheelchair accessible trails at Seal Bay Regional Nature Park. The park features wheelchair facilities, such as benches and outhouses, which make it possible for those in wheelchairs to access the trails. Additionally, many of the trails are relatively level, making them more accessible to those who have mobility issues.

No, there are no camping or RV sites at Seal Bay Park. The park is a nature reserve and offers trails for wildlife viewing, hiking, and mountain biking and whale watching. However, there are several nearby campgrounds and RV park at 1901 Larch Road close to Seal bay

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