This is worth a stop if you are interested in First Nations history or like to imagine the people who carved such things. The signage is poor and the access from the road isn’t great; I completely missed it and had to GPS my way out of a subdivision behind the area to get turned around. The interpretive panels are quite interesting — about the petroglyphs, the history, and the trees in the area. The reproduction slabs are the best look you’ll get. There’s a short trail through beautiful woods with cool mossy rocks and big trees including a lovely multi-trunked arbutus — nice setting for nature photographers, so I did spend quite a while here.
Quick walk in and free. The displays/signage are actually better than the actual real petroglyphs. The issue is they don’t want people walking on these so the fence keeps you back from most of the petroglyphs which are moss covered. Not complaining since i have seen a petroglyph at another location that has lots of traffic and that one is hard to see now.
About a 10-20 minute stop.
Access is from the east side of the highway when driving into Nanaimo from the south.
Petroglyph Park is a small 2-hectare park located just off Highway 1 in Nanaimo. It’s quite unassuming and can be easily missed if you’re not paying attention to the signage on the side of the road. Once you do stop here, though, you’ll be treated to some truly magnificent petroglyphs carved into the soft sandstone. Figures include land animals, sea life, human forms and mythical beings – the whole gamut of ancient North Coast Indigenous life. It’s awe-inspiring to know you’re observing something created over 1,000 years ago.
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