|Vancouver Island Nature Viewing Region|
|Floating Wharf at Hamilton Marsh: photo by Krista Kaptein||Hamilton Creek: photo by Krista Kaptein|
|The largest wetland in the mid-Vancouver Island area, Hamilton Marsh is a peaty marsh which supports a great diversity of life , including red and blue-listed species, and is an important reservoir for the surrounding French Creek watershed.|
|Geographical Description||Large wetland in the French Creek watershed, between Inland Island Highway 19 and Alberni Highway 4 at Qualicum.|
|Area/ Trail Length||Wetland= 37 ha. Surrounding area of interest = 390 ha. 2 km trails.|
|Seasons to Visit||Year round. Winter & spring for waterbirds, summer for dragonflies.|
|Habitat||Second growth forest; riparian, marsh, fen, shallow water, creek.|
|Viewing Highlights||The marsh is home to over 120 species of birds, including Northern Pygmy Owl, American Bittern, Western Screech Owl, Band-tailed Pigeon, and Great Blue Heron. Sandhill Cranes have been seen in the marsh. Wood duck nesting boxes at marsh. |
Exceptional dragonfly habitat.
Resident Cutthroat, Coho Salmon, and Three Spine Stickleback.
Amphibians include Red-legged Frogs, Tree Frogs, Salamanders - Longtoe, Clouded, Northwest Redback, and others.
Large Douglas-fir, Sitka spruce. Culturally modified cedar trees near start of eastern trail.
|Other Features||Water level markers in marsh.|
|Main Access||From Inland Island Highway 19 at Qualicum, travel .9 km southwest on Alberni Highway 4, turn northwest on Hilliers Rd. South. Main parking area 1.2 km along Hilliers Rd. Right-hand-side trail leads directly to the marsh.|
|Secondary Accesses||Secondary parking area 160 m along Hillers Rd. from junction with Alberni Highway 4. Trail follows along Hamilton Creek.|
|Cautions||Some trails will be wet or even flooded in winter & spring. Use caution at floating dock. Evidence of sign vandalism at eastern trailhead parking.|
|Jurisdiction||Private forest company land (Island Timberlands) Trails may be used at your own risk.|
|Facilities||Parking areas. Floating dock at marsh.|
|Other Recreational Activities||Trail biking.|
|History||Hamilton Marsh history|
|Efforts to purchase the land by Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Regional District of Nanaimo & others have been unsuccessful to date.|
|Links||Friends of French Creek Conservation Society, Hamilton Marsh Committee|
|Visit Parksville/Qualicum Beach|
|VI Wilds- Hamilton Marsh|
|© 2014 BC Nature|