A couple of weeks ago I stayed at the Tigh-Na-Mara Resort and Spa in Parksville, B.C. (Post on the resort coming in a couple of weeks!) Rathtrevor Beach is right in front of the resort, and I can’t decide which has the bigger draw… the beach or Tigh-Na-Mara’s Grotto Spa. I’ll call it a draw!
I have friends who come here with their kids every summer, but somehow I’ve never been. I have other friends who got married at Tigh-Na-Mara right here on Rathtrevor Beach, but it was a super small wedding party of four, so I didn’t have the chance to come then either.
Better late than never, right?
Rathtrevor Beach is what I’d call the “anti-Long Beach.” Long Beach is on the other side of Vancouver Island and it’s B.C.s wild coast. People go there to surf and storm watch. Rathtrevor is the complete opposite, with warm ocean waters to swim in and tides that go out so far that you can walk for an hour and feel like you’re in the middle of the strait. With the coastal mountains constantly in your sight line, the vista is both soothing and awe inspiring.
Rathtrevor Beach got its name from an Irish family (William and Elizabeth Rath)who came here to homestead in 1886. He was a gold prospector with a young wife and baby daughter, and when he saw this beach it was love at first sight. They cleared the land and built a log cabin. Unfortunately William died in 1905 and left his wife with 5 children to take care of. She was a strong pioneering lady with a good head on her shoulders, so she continued to run the farm on her own and started a campground on her land. The “trevor” was added later on.
I’m a HUGE lover of beach combing. I love pebbles, shells, crabs and seaweed. The red sea urchin was a first for me. I’ve seen the small brown ones before, but this was a special find. I was tempted to pick it up (since I’d picked one up at the Marine Research Centre the day before) but I must admit, I was too freaked out to do it! Rathtrevor Beach is known for its abundance of sand dollars too.
As a self proclaimed bird nerd, I (of course) had to find out when was the best time to bird watch. FYI for any other birder out there – it’s in the spring. This is when the herring spawn takes place, and that means sea birds of all types come To Rathtrevor Beach for the “all you can eat herring buffet.”
The Brant Geese stop here on their annual migration to Northern Canada and Alaska. All I got to see were Canada Geese, but I like them just the same!