|Vancouver Island Nature Viewing Region|
|Comox Valley Area|
|Oyster River Nature Park and Woodhus Slough|
Bill Heybroek drawing
|Seablush meadow: Terry Thormin photo||Chocolate lily: Krista Kaptein photo|
|Bordered by the Oyster River on one side and farm fields on the other, Oyster River Nature Park is full of natural wonders. A broad trail winds through a second growth forest of Douglas-fir, grand fir, western hemlock and bigleaf maple. A side channel, which can be crossed on a wooden footbridge, is evidence of the old riverbed. Along the riverbank, there are several giant black cottonwood trees, and a profusion of pink and white fawn lilies in the spring. Common Mergansers can be seen flying over the river, and looking out to the estuary there are large flocks of gulls and usually a few Bald Eagles. A small pond, ringed with cattails, provides habitat for Pacific Tree Frogs and Rough-skinned Newts. The river supports many fish species, including Coho, Pink, Chum and Chinook salmon. Hikers often continue beyond the park to complete the popular “Pub to Pub” walk from Fisherman’s Pub past Woodhus Slough to Salmon Point Pub. Though quite flat, the trail has lots of roots and a few stairs.|
|Geographical Description||Floodplain of Oyster River; Seashore from mouth of Oyster River north to Salmon Point. |
Woodhus Slough is a former saltwater marsh.
|Area/ Trail Length||Oyster River Nature Park (south end): 5 ha. , longest trail .6 km.|
Jack Hames Trail to Salmon Point (Pub-to-Pub Trail): 2.4 km one-way.
Oyster River Trails Park (north end): 5 ha.
|Habitat||Riparian 2nd growth forest; sandy beach meadow; sand & cobble beach; marsh; seasonally flooded farm fields adjacent.|
|Highlights||Large cottonwood trees; pink & white fawn lilies, seablush; dragonflies in marsh; waterbirds.|
|Best Season||Spring for flowers, summer for dragonflies, year-round for woods.|
|Main Access||East end of Regent Rd, Oyster River.|
|Cautions||Trails can be wet & may flood in winter; forest trails may be unsafe during strong winds. |
Trail to Salmon Point is partly on private property - respect all signage. Trails may close due to flooding.
|Jurisdiction||Oyster River Nature Park: Strathcona Regional District Park (Area D) |
Pub-to-Pub Trail crosses private property: limited public access allowed.
Oyster River Trails Park: Strathcona Regional District Park (Area D)
Intertidal zone: Provincial MOE;
Fish & fish habitat: Federal DFO.
|Birds||Harlequin Duck, Common Loon, Pacific Loon, Western Grebe, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Pintail, Mallard, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Murre,Glaucous-winged Gull, Mew Gull, Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Northwestern Crow, Cedar Waxwing, Rufous Hummingbird, Varied Thrush, American Robin, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Rock Pigeon, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Pacific Wren, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Spotted Towhee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Junco.|
|Fish||Chinook, coho, chum, pink salmon; cutthroat trout.|
|Other Species||Banana slug.|
|Trees||Large Sitka spruce, large black cottonwood, Douglas-fir, grand fir, western hemlock, bigleaf maple, red alder, redcedar, occasional arbutus.|
|Shrubs||Salmonberry, thimbleberry, red huckleberry, oceanspray, Oregon grape, Nootka rose, red elderberry, snowberry.|
|Flowering Plants||Pink & white fawn lilies, trillium, slender toothwort, Pacific bleeding heart, chocolate lily, Hooker's fairybells, tall fringecup, miner's lettuce, Siberian miner's lettuce, false lily-of-the-valley, stream violet, twistedstalk, pathfinder, skunk cabbage, little buttercup, ribwort plantain, gold star, big-leaved sandwort, seabeach sandwort , sea blush, death camas, Indian consumption plant.|
|Ferns, Lichens, Mosses||Ferns: lady fern, spiny wood fern, sword fern. |
Lichens: Ramelina sp., sunburst lichens (Xanthoria sp.), lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria),dust lichens (Lipraria sp.)
|Other Species||Scouring rush.|
|Invasive/Non- native species||Invasive species: Wall-lettuce, holly, Scotch broom, periwinkle, Himalayan blackberry.|
Introduced species: laurel tree.
|Geology||The Oyster River bed is known for flowerstone (porphyry) - feldspar crystals in dark matrix.|
|Regulations||Dogs on leash, no motorized vehicles, no smoking, no camping, no fires. Park closed 11 p.m.- 5 a.m. Horses & bikes permitted.|
|Facilities||Parking area; Pit toilets; Interpretive signs; occasional picnic tables & benches. Dog bags at Salmon Point trailhead.|
|Other Features||Two Regional District well sites & water pumping station. Bridge over side channel of Oyster River. Water level markers in marsh. Memorial plaque at marsh.|
|FMI||Strathcona Regional District Parks|
|Oyster River Enhancement Society|
|Comox Tide Tables|
|© 2018 Comox Valley Naturalists Society|