Arrowsmith Coombs Country
Coombs is a small community provincial highway 4A approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Parksville. Coombs is home to approximately 1,300 people. The history of Coombs goes back many years. The Ford House which is the old log house on the old Island Highway was built in early 1900. The house was completed in 1911. Next to the Ford House is the old General Store which also houses the General Post Office. The Fair Grounds is an active place in the summer when the Fall Fair rolls around. The Rodeo Grounds just up the highway heading towards Port Alberni is a successful and active place during the summer months. The railway is also a huge part of the history of Coombs as is the United Church. Just over the French Creek Bridge is the French Creek School which is now closed as a public school was a huge asset to the community for over 100 years.
By carThe main way in is by Highway 4A (the Alberni Highway). It is a 5-10 minute drive from Parksville and about 1 km east of the Junction of Hwy 4 and 4A.
By busTofino Bus has a couple of bus stops along the Alberni Highway as part of its Tofino-Nanaimo service. There are stops up to three times a day during the summer and once or twice daily in winter. The bus stops are located at:
- at Ford & the Alberni Highway
- at Errington Rd & the Alberni Highway
address: 1080 Winchester Rd, CoombsIndoor gardens with a number of exotic butterfly species. There’s also a small orchid garden and turtle pond. Often a hit with young children.
address: Hwy 4, in MacMillan Provincial ParkSmall park that preserves old growth forest with hiking trails on both sides of the highway. On the south side of the road are some giant Douglas fir trees, some of which are 800 years old, and up to 75 m tall and 9 m in circumference. The north side has a number of old growth Western Red Cedars, which were the trees carved by the First Nations to construct totem poles.
Englishman River Fallsaddress: Englishman River Falls Provincial ParkThe upper falls are a 5-10 minute walk from the day use area parking lot on a wide well-graded trail. The trail continues on through old growth and second generation forest along the river to the lower falls. Round trip is about 2 km. There is a swimming area in the pools below the lower falls.
phone: +1 250 248-8534address: 1240 Leffler Rd, ErringtonTreatment and recovery facility for injured or abandoned wildlife. There are is a learning center with exhibits and a number of eagles, owls, ferrets and Knut the Bear. The facility also looks after bear cubs with the aim to release them back into the wild (the cubs can only be viewed on camera, no interaction with visitors).
phone: +1 250 248-2408address: 1692 Errington Rd, ErringtonFamily-run farm that offers trail rides and horse riding lessons. There is also a barnyard with some of the usual small farm animals that the kids can get close to. The trail rides vary from short and easy for beginners to longer excursions for more experienced riders. Trail rides should be booked in advance.
address: 2601 Alberni HighwayCamping (no hookups) $15 per night per unit
address: 1014 Ford Road
Mount ArrowsmithArt 1,819 m (5,968 ft), it is the largest mountain on southern Vancouver Island. Its dominant rock is basalt. The mountain is contained within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is designated part of 1,300 hectare Mt. Arrowsmith Massif Regional Park.
phone: +1 250-248-6272address: 2326 Alberni Hwy, CoombsA wooden market house in Coombs, slightly West of Qualicum Beach. Its known for the lawn on its roof, and the goats that move in (to the roof) each spring to keep it trimmed. The market has a variety of food (some locally made) and knick-knack kind of stuff.
address: 2310 Alberni Hwy, CoombsItalian restaurant and pizzeria. The villa-style house gives a European ambience and there’s a patio for enjoying the nice summer days. Can be very busy in the summer tourist season.
phone: +1 250-248-9371address: 2619 Alberni Hwy, CoombsTent and RV sites. Amenities include showers, laundromat, electrical hookup, volleyball, playground and a man-made lake. Open mid-May to end of Sept.
address: at the end of Errington RdJust over 100 campsites set in the forest near the Englishman River. Flush toilets available but no showers or electrical hookups. Camping only allowed May - Sept.
More lodging is available in Parksville-Qualicum Beach.