Mount Arrowsmith is an iconic hike and climb in mid Vancouver Island. It can be seen from the water, the highway driving by or any of the surrounding peaks. It's steap ridges turn into snowy and icy climbs during the winter.
Morrell Sanctuary is a nature sanctuary off Nanaimo Lakes road in Nanaimo. The area is maintained and owned by the Morrell Sanctuary Society for Environmental Education. The trails in Morrell connect with the power lines and other trails that lead into Westwood Lake park.
Cable Bay is a short trail just south of Nanaimo from the roads in Cedar out to the beach by Dodds Narrows and Mudge Island. The well-maintained double-track trail down to the water is a relatively easy decline down to the water. At low tide there is some beach to explore. The official trail is under 2km long but you can add another another 1 km to Joan Point if you feel like going longer.
Mount De Cosmos is an interesting place to go but tough to get access to. Most of Nanaimo has seen Mount De Cosmos from afar but haven't realized it. From north Nanaimo the mountain just behind Mount Benson is Mount De Cosmos. It often has snow on it a short time sooner and longer than Mount Benson does, being slightly taller.
This route follows Deadhorse Creek Canyon up the west side of Mount De Cosmos and along the ridge to the summit.
Access is difficult to the Nanaimo Lakes area because of TimberWest gates.
This section of the Trans Canada trail runs along a pipeline access road from Extension Road to Nanaimo River Road.
You can hike the other section of this trail over to the Abyss trails and Harewood Mines Road or hike this direction to Nanaimo River Road. Hiking towards the river ends at the river as there isn't a bridge yet.
This short trail from Nanaimo River Road to the Nanaimo River is part of the Trans Canada Trail. It's a small part of the trails that run from the Departure Bay Ferry in Nanaimo to Kilometer 0 in Victoria. Not all the sections are complete.
This great little trail winds it's way from Nanaimo River Road through double- and single-track trail down to the Nanaimo River. The trail should cross the river with a proposed bridge eventually.
Heart Lake is a small area just behind Ladysmith and Holland Creek Park. The trails around Holland Creek are easy hiking but the section up to Heart Lake is quite steep. The trail is well maintained double- and single-track.
Just south of Nanaimo, Haslem Creek is one of the only suspension bridges in the area. The suspension bridge is a short hike from the trailhead but continue further to find the White Pine Trail and Timberland Lake. Haslem Creek is part of the Trans Canada Trail.