Vancouver Island – Nymph Falls

Nymph Falls is a nature park that is a part of the Comox Valley Regional District. A friend works for the CVRD and recommended we visit a few of the regional district parks. He had joined us this day for the quick drive out to Nymph Falls.

I did a Google Maps search and could not find Nymph Falls. A Google search itself turns up the CVRD’s website for the park. I pretty surprised that it’s not on Google Maps’ radar.

nymph falls directions

To get to Nymph Falls from Courtenay, you have to find Condensory Road just outside of downtown. You follow Condensory Road up to Piercy Road, then turn onto Piercy. Travel until you reach the Forbidden Plateau Road. Then follow the signs to the Nymph Falls Nature Park parking lot. If you’re coming from Highway 19 (the Inland Island Highway), then take the Piercy Road exit, then turn onto Forbidden Plateaur Road from there.

It’s a short walk into the falls from the parking lot, but it can be steep at some points where you want to access the river.

Nymph Falls may not be on Google Maps, but it sure is on the locals’ map. Lots of people were here on the summer-like Sunday that we visited. A few families had taken over the rocks and were hanging out enjoying the sun. A few big dogs were exploring the rocks as well. Nobody was in the river, though, except for a guy running his ATV up some of the rocks where it was much shallower.  You can kind of see the ATV in the left part of the photo above.  The water was fast with the spring runoff.

At first, I thought this ladder like portion of the bedrock was a really natural feature.  However, I just read on the CVRD website that it was purposely blasted into this ladder like formation to make it easier for salmon to swim upriver when spawning.  All the same, it’s a pretty neat ladder formation in the bedrock.

This was the view down the Puntledge River.  Nymph Falls is definitely the rough part of the Puntledge River.  The eventually makes its way down to Courtenay where it joins the Tsolum River to form the Courtenay River.  The Courtenay River is the shortest navigable river in the world (so the claim goes).

A lot of these little water pools are in the bedrock along the river near Nymph Falls.  These pools are serene and still compared to all the rushing water around the bedrock.  My friend accidentally dropped his water bottle.  Luckily, it didn’t get washed straight down the river.  It swirled around in the eddies surrounding the bedrock and we were able to retrieve the bottle.  Do not litter!

This is the closest I could get to rushing water along the falls.  It’s not much, but it’s my attempt at blurring the flow of the water over the rocks.  I can’t do that much without a neutral density filter in the middle of the day. At least I had my polarizer.

Lastly, we stumbled upon somebody’s little artwork.  They had sketched the shape of their foot into the rock.  They even added toenails.  No time for doing a pair of feet, I guess.  This is definitely one of my favourite photos of my Vancouver Island trip.

So Nymph Falls is definitely worth a visit.  It may look prettier in less glaring midday sunlight.  The CVRD website recommends a visit in October and November to watch salmon go upstream.  The autumn light would also be more favourable for nature photographers.

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