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The little village of Coombs, approximately ten kilometres west of Parksville on Vancouver Island, is a lovely place to explore heritage buildings, small gift and craft shops and antique stores. Famous for the Old Country Market, which features a family of goats living on the roof, Coombs is home to just over a thousand people.

Coombs was established at the turn of the twentieth century by families who arrived as part of the Salvation Army's humanitarian immigration program, which brought nearly a quarter of a million impoverished English and Welsh to Canada. 

Arts and Culture

Since 1910, the Coombs General Store has been serving the community and it is well worth a visit. You can also visit the nearby Emerald Forest Bird Garden. Walk with hundreds of exotic butterflies in an indoor tropical rainforest surrounded by beautiful flowering plants and foliage, fascinating birds, waterfalls and streams.

If you are in Coombs in July, you might catch the Old West activities at the Coombs Rodeo Ground—an old time fiddlers jamboree, a bluegrass festival, and the Annual Coombs Rodeo. You may also be in time for the annual Country Arts & Crafts Fair, held in mid-July at the Coombs Rodeo Ground.

Outdoor Adventure

Coombs is close to many parks, including Hamilton Marsh, Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, MacMillan Provincial Park, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park and Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park.

  • Hamilton Marsh, a natural habitat for marsh birds like duck and geese, is most active during spring and fall migrations. The parks’ woodland will lead you to and around the marsh. Hamilton Marsh is approximately 4km north of Coombs on South Hilliers Road, just off the Alberni Highway 4.

Getting to Coombs

  • By Vehicle: The four-lane Island Highway (Highway 19) gets you north from Victoria or Nanaimo quickly. Before you reach Parksville, you turn onto Highway 4. Coombs is a bit less than a two hour drive from Victoria or a 30-minute drive from the ferry terminals of Departure Bay and Duke Point near Nanaimo.
  • Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park is located alongside the Little Qualicum River, where waterfalls plummet down a rocky gorge into forest. The park also incorporates the entire southern shore of Cameron Lake. Cameron Lake is a great place to windsurf, swim, fly fish for brown trout or have a picnic. A magnificent area, this 440-hectare park is quite popular with families. 
  • MacMillan Provincial Park, famous for Cathedral Grove, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas-fir trees in BC. Some of these trees are 800 years old, and walking the loop trails through this virgin coastal is awe-inspiring. The 136-hectare park is located on Highway 4, 20km west of Coombs. 
  • Englishman River Falls Provincial Park features a spectacular canyon between two beautiful waterfalls. There's great picnicking, swimming and walking in this 97-hectare park, which is 6km south of nearby Errington. 
  • Mount Arrowsmith offers good hiking and rock climbing. The trailhead for the Arrowsmith Trail is at the Cameron Lake picnic site, and the strenuous hike winds up to the 6,000-foot summit in the Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park. The area is located 12km west of Coombs on the Alberni Highway 4.

General Enquiries    Toll Free: 1-855-595-8989 Tel: 1-250-595-8989
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British Columbia, Canada

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