Berwick’s Favourite Day Trips

Not only are our Berwick community’s beautiful inside and out, but they are also located in and amongst some of the most spectacular cities for exciting outdoor day trips. Exploring new places and visiting old favourites are some of Berwick’s most popular summer events. From across Vancouver Island to the magnificent Okanagan, you will find the Berwick buses in search of their next big adventure. Here is a list of Berwick’s favourite day trips.

Spectacle Lake Provincial Park is located in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, a short 32 minutes from Berwick House in Victoria, BC. Of the most recent trip with 18 residents, none of the people have visited this special place before. It was the first time for everyone at the popular hiking, swimming and fishing area. Spectacle lake is a spring-fed freshwater lake with several sensitive ecosystems. Although it wasn’t quite warm enough that day for a swim, they plan is to head back in the summer to experience the lake itself. The visitors that day all agreed that they couldn’t believe just how tranquil the setting was. The calmness of the forest, lake and wetlands created a great opportunity for some mindfulness where people stopped to really take in the experience and the beauty that surrounded them.

Tsútswecw Provincial Park is a network of trails along Adams River. Located northeast of Kamloops, between Adams Lake and Shuswap Lake, this is Berwick on the Parks favourite spring, summer and fall day trip.  There are amazing river views, forest, wildflowers, mosses, ferns, wildlife and if you time it right (early October) it is home to one of the largest salmon runs in North America.  Reflecting the name of the area used by First Nations People, the park’s name, pronounced “choo-chwek”, means “many rivers”.  Not only does the salmon run make this park unique it is also the location of the very first story trail in British Columbia, built on the traditional territory of the Secwépemc  people. Be sure to bring your cell phone along if you visit, not only for taking great photos but to scan the QR codes along the trail to hear Chase Secondary School students tell stories about the native plants and learn about the rich history of the land. This is a resident favourite because of the accessible hiking trails, the scenery and the educational component as they feel they learn something new on each visit.

Home to the Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino is known for its year-round surfing, endless sandy beaches, relaxed town and delicious west coast food. Berwick Qualicum Beach staff and residents recently explored the beach’s of Tofino, enjoyed lunch at the long beach lodge resort, visited local art galleries, swam, did yoga on the beach and of course had ice cream! It was a true one-day mini vacation. Although there are many beaches to choose from, Berwick Qualicum beach spent their time at Long Beach, which along with Florencia Bay, Wickaninnish, Combers and Schooner Cove beaches, creates the longest beach on Vancouver Island. Combined they stretch out over 16 kms. Tofino is located within the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, and is at the heart of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region. Did you know there are 738 biosphere reserves in 134 countries? Biosphere reserves are meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. Everyone agreed that the two-hour road trip was worth every minute. If you are looking for a true west coast adventure, Tofino is the place to go!

Relatively new to Vancouver Island is the magnificent Malahat Skywalk.  Self described as the  “ultimate Island experience” this stop is well worth it on your travels up or down island. People of all ages can enjoy the accessible walk through the treetops, to the amazing spiral ramp which leads you 250m above sea level. The scenery is beautiful and the there is some great interpretive information to take in along the way. The tower offers some of the best views on Vancouver Island, including a sweeping panorama of Mt. Baker, Finlayson Arm, the Saanich Peninsula, and islands in two countries.  But the reason this stands out as Berwick Parksville’s favourite day trip is the 20 meter spiral slide. An exhilarating experience for people of all ages, its worth walking the spiral at least ones to enjoy the ride! Be sure to linger at the bottom of the slide to enjoy the screams and laughter of those coming down the slide behind you! This day trip is always capped off with lunch at the lovely picnic area.

Just 10 minutes from Berwick by the Sea is one of Vancouver Island’s most popular provincial parks, Elk Falls. Elk Falls is named after the thundering 25-meter waterfall that is a site to be seen and has an extensive network of trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Two reasons this a favourite day trip for the residents of Berwick by the Sea is the suspension bridge and the amazing photography opportunities. The natural beauty every where you look has created some wonderful photographs over the years, especially during the fall as the leaves become yellow, red and orange. Residents at Berwick by the Sea don’t take for granted that they can be fully emersed in BC’s natural beauty just minutes from home. Elk falls is true Vancouver Island treasure, if you have the chance don’t miss the chance to explore the park and everything has to offer- camping, hiking, biking and fishing.

All aboard the BC Ferries to Fulford Harbor on Salt Spring island! Berwick Royal Oak recently had what was described as “a perfect day from start to finish” on their day trip to Salt Spring, which is named after the salt springs found in the northern part of the island. Located between the mainland BC and Vancouver Island, Salt Spring is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia and the most frequently visited of all the Gulf Islands. Always on the hunt to try new things, the Berwick royal Oak residents encourage everyone who visits to stop for the goat milk gelato at Salt Spring Island Cheese. It was unique and delicious.  One of the residents said “I had been trying to get to Salt Spring Island for years and I finally had the opportunity. It could not have been a better day! I absolutely love it and can’t wait to go back to explore more of that beautiful island.”

Berwick Comox Valley is home to many outdoor enthusiasts, which is not surprising given that  the Comox Valley is knows as Vancouver Islands’ greatest outdoor adventure destination.  Having a hard time narrowing down to their favourite day trip, Berwick Comox Valley decided on one that is a bit off the beaten track and that plays an important role in conservation in their community. Every year the residents are invited to spend the day on the dock at the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association’s picturesque property as part of the Forever Fishing program hosted by the BC Wildlife Association. The Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association’ is the Comox Valley’s leading conservation and Outdoors Facility, that is volunteer driven and is dedicated to wildlife management and conservation, outdoor education and recreation skills. During this annual visit, volunteers help the residents get set up and join them to fish for the day.  It is a wonderful day of picnicking, fishing, laughing, and being in the great outdoors all just 20 minutes from Berwick Comox Valley. A favorite memory of this annual day trip is when one resident, Olive, had the thrill of having her trout being taken by a bald egal that had been watching them fish all morning.  It flew over her head and as she was reeling in the fish the eagle grabbed the fish and took off with the fish, hook, and line.  The eagle broke the line and enjoyed a very nice meal.  To this day, Olive is still teased about the time she caught a bald eagle. Much more than just fishing the association has a huge variety of outdoor recreation opportunities and hosts many great events throughout the year for people of all ages. If you have the chance to join in, Berwick Comox Valley says, “do it!”

The final favourite Berwick Day trip is to Rathtrevor Provincial Park located in Parksville, BC.  This trip is a Berwick on the Lake favourite any time of year, but especially in the summer. Residents are eager to go rain or shine as it is a destination many can relate to. Berwick on the Lake, located in Nanaimo BC, residents love to share stories about the many camping trips they took with their children and the time spent beachcombing at low tide.  At low tide, it is often a one-kilometre walk to the waters edge, and after the sand spends a day in the sun, when the tide comes in the warm water is perfect for swimming. We often hear reminiscing stories about the park before the land was designated a Provincial Park in 1967. They like to talk about the old house that is still in the park and the wild apple tree orchard that belonged to the Rath family who owned the land. It is a park that stays in the hearts of our residents and one that has evolved over time. If you are planning a day trip to Rathtrevor beach, be sure to pack lots of snacks, water and lunch as it won’t be a quick visit and you will want to stay as long as possible to explore the shoreline and the many park trails.

We hope you enjoyed reading about Berwick’s Favourite Day trips. Be sure to stop and say hello if you see our buses out exploring and share with us your favourite day trips so we can add it our bucket list of destinations. We are on a mission to explore all the corners of our beautiful communities and love learning about local hidden hot spots. Wishing everyone a summer full of new experiences in the great outdoors!

People of Berwick – Catching up with Maintenance Assistant, Nathan.

#People of Berwick- “It is a wonderful feeling when a resident says ‘thank-you’ with a smile on their face.” Maintenance Assistant, Nathan, shares how his role is a perfect fit for his life today

As part of the team at Berwick’s newest community, Berwick Parksville, Nathan is known as the “Jack of all trades”. Nathan is a retired police officer who moved to Parksville in 2019 from the mainland. While looking for a part time role where he could positively impact the community, he was drawn to the Maintenance Assistance opportunity at Berwick Parksville.

In his 10 months with Berwick, Nathan has certainly left this mark. Nick Lynch, Berwick Parksville General Manager says “Nathan’s happy go lucky personality resonates very well with the entire community, and no task seems to be a problem. He is a true asset to the Berwick Parksville operation.” Nathan looks forward to the variety and doing something different each day at work. When asked what he is most proud of during his time with Berwick so far, he said “I don’t know if there is one particular situation that I am most proud. However, there have been countless instances where I have helped out a resident and put a smile on their face or eased their concerns about something.  This in turn, puts a smile on my face too!”

 

Being a part of the maintenance team means helping maintain Berwick Parksville’s state of the art amenities, which include pickle ball courts, a fire pit, pub, Zoom Room fitness centre, poker room, art studio and much more.  Of all the spaces at Berwick Parksville, Nathan says the Theatre is his favourite. As a lover of watching Netflix and playing the piano, which he is currently learning to do in his spare time, he describes the theatre as a “really neat space” for residents to enjoy all kinds of experiences. With the full exterior construction of the building almost complete, Nathan is looking forward to growing along with the Berwick Parksville team and the wonderful residents that continue to move in each month.

Nathan describes the team he works with as “very cohesive, approachable, friendly, and kind.” He has “an excellent manager who (he) really enjoys working with.” Berwick strives to ensure all team members have the opportunity to bring their personal passions to their roles and Nathan has embraced this. His personal passions of gardening, home renovations, woodworking and fixing things are easily seen in his day-to-day work at Berwick. He also describes himself as a compassionate and respectful person and says he “feels these values are very important as an employee at Berwick”.

Nathan says he is excited for his future at Berwick Parksville with his manager, Dylan, and the rest of the team. “I enjoy the work that I do, and just knowing that I am helping the residents enjoy their retirement is motivating.  It is a wonderful feeling when a resident says ‘thank-you’ with a smile on their face.”

Interested in exploring a career opportunity with Berwick Retirement Communities? Take a look at our careers page for more information and a list of our current openings.