Posted on November 8, 2016
Hiking at Paradise Meadows
As its name implies, Paradise Meadows is a picture-perfect spot to enjoy the best of nature for a day or a weekend.
Hiking is one of my absolute favourite things to do with my husband! We’re talking top three activities here. I’ll never turn down the chance to lace up my shoes, fill a few water bottles, and get out into nature with him. Having grown up in the Comox Valley, you’d think I’d have hiked at Paradise Meadows countless times. But until last year, I had yet to cross it off my list of local hikes.
We decided to bring my brother and niece along because they’re both big fans of the great outdoors too. Sienna definitely inherited her love of nature from my Opa, and it’s always so amazing for me to see how much she relishes being out in nature like he did.
Choosing which path to take at Paradise Meadows can seem daunting because there are so many areas to explore! Because we were only geared up for a few hours’ worth of hiking, the four of us made our way to Lake Helen Mackenzie. The day was overcast and chilly enough to make long sleeves necessary.
Overlooking the calm waters of Lake Helen Mackenzie, we quietly noshed on a picnic lunch packed by yours truly: cherries, sandwiches, granola bars, potato chips, and homemade cookies.
After lunch and a bit of exploring the lake’s edge, we completed the 6.6-kilometre loop in plenty of time to enjoy a hot chocolate at the lodge at Mount Washington. As we made our way back to the trailhead, we encountered a number of whiskey jacks who were only more than happy to perch on our hands!
J and I quickly decided that, next time, we’d bring a tent, sleeping bags, and enough food to allow us to do some backcountry camping for a night or two. With endless trails to explore, Paradise Meadows is well worth putting on your list of must-hike spots in the Comox Valley.
Disclaimer: Always adequately prepare for a hike. Leave an itinerary. Take into account the weather, hydration and food requirements, and your own physical fitness. Research the trail conditions beforehand and bring enough supplies and equipment in the event that you got lost or in danger.
Map courtesy of Mount Washington Alpine Resort.