Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
E-mail address: office@rlcparks.ca
Phone: (250) 474-1336

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

  • NOTICE PET OWNERS – To protect migratory Brant Geese, no pets are allowed within 100m of the beach in the park from February 15 to April 30.

About This Park

Majestic old growth trees, beautiful ocean sunsets and an inviting, wide sandy beach with campsites nestled amongst mature Douglas fir trees makes Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville one of the premier vacation destinations on Vancouver Island.

At low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometre, providing an ideal place for visitors of all ages to play in the sand and explore the shoreline. When the tide rolls in over the sun-baked sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and salt water fun.

Rathtrevor Beach is ideal for a relaxed family outing. Simply sit back and soak up the seaside atmosphere or take a walk through the wooded upland area of the park. All campsites are within a 5-minute walk to the 2 km stretch of sandy beach. The park also features a large day-use area, perfect for an afternoon picnic. For your convenience, the park has a concession managed by the Park Facility Operator.

Bird watching is also a popular activity at the park, particularly in the spring when large numbers of seabirds congregate for the annual herring spawn. During March and April, Rathtrevor Beach is also one of the best spots on the Island to view the migrating Brant geese.

Park Size: 347 hectares

Special Notes:
  • This is a very popular park all year round. During the summer months (between the last week of June and Labour Day in September), reservations are required. From May 15th to the last week of June, reservations are highly recommended. Although reservations are required in the summer season, unclaimed or unreserved sites may be available on a night to night basis. Please check with the park operator.
  • Alternative camping space may be available at nearby Englishman River Falls Provincial Park (13 km) or Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park (24 km). Both of these parks also accept reservations.
  • This park does not have a boat launch. The closest launch is at French Creek Marina, 8 km north of the park on Hwy 19a.
Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
Opening and Closing Campground Dates: (campground is accessible but may not offer full services such as water, security, etc.)
Year round
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: March 14 – October 15
Campground Reservable Dates: May 15 – August 31
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:
Drive-in sites 100% reservable
174 drive-in sites
25 park/walk-in sites
Number of Reservable Campsites: 100% Reservable
Note: The above information is for the campground only. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit. Check the "Attention Visitor Notice" above for park alerts.

Reservations

All campsite and group site reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.

Make A Reservation

Campsite Reservations:
Campsite reservations are accepted at this park. All campsites are reservable; there are no first-come, first-served sites.

Group Camp/Picnic Reservations:
Group campsite and/or group picnic site reservations are accepted at this park. Reserve both through Discover Camping, group camp sites from May 15 to September 30 and group picnic sites from March 15 to October 14.
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Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is located 3 km south of Parksville on Hwy 19a, on central Vancouver Island. Take exit #51 from the Inland Island Highway (Hwy #19) and follow signs to the park. The closest communities are Parksville, Qualicum and Nanaimo.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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Nature and Culture

  • History: Rathtrevor takes its name from the Irish family who homesteaded on this land. William Rath, a gold prospector, arrived in 1886 with his young wife and baby daughter. They built a log cabin, cleared the land and in 1895 built the barn. William died in 1903 leaving Elizabeth the farm and five children. She proved to be an industrious person, successfully running the farm and eventually operating it as a campground. The suffix “trevor” was added to give the campground a more lyrical name. Rathtrevor Campground became Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in 1967 and though much has changed since William and Elizabeth first arrived, its beauty and importance will be preserved for our continued enjoyment.
  • Wildlife: Several species of wildlife can be seen in the park including deer, raccoons, squirrels, otters, mink, eagles, osprey, hawks, vultures, owls and many shore and migratory birds that use the park area during their spring and fall migrations. The most famous migratory shore birds are the Brant geese (Branta bernicla) who use the beaches of Rathtrevor and Craig Bay as staging and feeding areas on their spring migration to northern Canada and Alaska.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
  • The approved management plan for Rathtrevor Provincial Park [PDF 1.96MB] is available in PDF format.
    DISCLAIMER:
    This is NOT the original management planning product. This document has been scanned from the original format of the plan. It may contain some formatting changes, however the content is consistent with the original.
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

The park can be accessed by canoe or kayak from the beach. The tide can be very low; check the local tide guides for details.
Cycling

Cycling

Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia. Bicycles must keep to roadways and designated trails, cycling on the beach is not permitted.
Fishing

Fishing

This park offers limited opportunities for saltwater fishing. Fishing is permitted as per provincial and federal fishing regulations. All anglers should check the current regulations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to fishing. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

The park offers 5.5 km of easy walking trails, most of which are wheelchair accessible. Trails meander along the beach, weave through mature forests of Douglas fir, Western red cedar, hemlock, balsam, spruce and a variety of deciduous trees, including arbutus and maple. A variety of short trails link the walk-in, group and main campsites to the beach. Another trail loops from just before the main parking lot around a pretty heritage farm field. Detailed trail maps are posted at information shelters in the park. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Interpretive Programs

Interpretive Programs

This park has an outdoor amphitheatre and nature house.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash and under control all times. You are responsible for their behavior and must dispose of their excrement. Dogs are not permitted in the day-use beach areas of the park. Pets are allowed on the beach adjacent to the campground between May 1st and February 15th. Please observe posted signs. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Swimming

Swimming

This park offers excellent ocean swimming opportunities. On a low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometre, providing an ideal place for youngsters of all ages to play. When the tide rolls in over the hot sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and saltwater fun. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park offers spectacular panoramic views of the ocean. From March 1st to April 15, visitors can view the impressive Brant Geese migration.
Windsurfing

Windsurfing

Opportunities exist for ocean windsurfing in this park.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Campfires

Campfires

While fires are allowed, we encourage visitors to conserve the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using stoves instead. Campfire rings are provided at each campsite and communal rings in the day-use area. Firewood can be purchased from the Park Facility Operator. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Cold water taps are located throughout the park at the day-use area and campsites. Taps for filling reservoir tanks in vehicles are located at either end of the Sani Station. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
View the Annual Drinking Water System Report [pdf]: Rathtrevor
Group Camping

Group Camping

There are 6 group campsites at this park. Group Sites 1 – 4 are located off Rath Road just past the administration building, before you reach the day-use parking lots. These sites are situated in an open field, with picnic tables, fire rings, flush toilets/change building and a new wash station with fresh water. Group Sites 5 & 6 are located down the road from Group Sites 1 – 4 in the old parking lot 4 area. Click here for reservation information.

Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.

Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $100.00/group site/night, plus $4/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has a large day-use/picnic area near the beach and ocean with 3 parking lots, 75 picnic tables, 2 reservable picnic shelters, click here for reservation information, pit toilets, two 2 flush toilet/change buildings, walking trails and an adventure playground.
Group Picnicking Fee: $50.00 per group
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit toilets are located throughout the park. Flush toilets are located at the day-use area and throughout the campgrounds.
Playground

Playground

There are three playgrounds, one in the day-use area, a small one near campsite 149 and a large one with a bike track near campsite 75.
Sani-Station/Dump

Sani-Station/Dump

A sani-station/dump is available year round.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
Showers

Showers

There are 3 hot shower buildings at this park in the main campground and 1 in the Group Site area.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park offers vehicle accessible campsites, set in the wooded upland. All sites are within a 5-minute walk to the 2 km stretch of sandy beach. Facilities include 3 hot shower buildings, flush toilets, an adventure playground, fresh water and a sani-station. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are available in the shoulder season.

Rathtrevor Beach is very busy during the summer months and reservations are required between the last week of June and Labour Day in September.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $30.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $15.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

There are 25 walk-in campsites, located southeast of the Gatehouse. These sites are situated in a large open field. Pit toilets and two 2 picnic shelters are located nearby. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites also available. There are 5 communal fire pits and a wash up area with fresh water.
Walk/Cycle-in Frontcountry Camping Fee: $20.00 per party / night
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

The campground roads are paved for easy access. Campsites, shower stalls, flush toilets, beach access, many walking trails and parking stalls in the day-use area are all wheelchair accessible.
Winter Camping

Winter Camping

This park offers year round camping with limited facilities during the off-season.

Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night