The Bear Creek Nature Park lies half way between Campbell River and Courtenay, BC and near the Miracle Beach turnoff. It's kind of funny that I've never heard of this park until fairly recently so I decided to check the place out for the first time. I read about this park on the internet and saw some photos of the area which reminded me of a typical second growth forest which was probably logged years ago. I didn't think the forest was anything much but there's always a chance of seeing bears and other wildlife which I like to film.
The directions to the park is easy to follow even though there is no signs posted on the highway but there is a small sign from the secondary road telling you where to turn off down a gravel road; which is one-way and leads to a parking area near a yellow gate. There was only one car here early in the morning and the temperature wasn't much above zero. The sun hadn't come up yet so the open forest was a bit dark. From the parking area, there are views down to the open forested slopes and a creek which I presumed was Bear Creek even though it wasn't signed. A gated road heads down to a bridge over the creek and I was actually blown away by the multitude of moss covered trees everywhere. The area sure reminded me of a coastal forest dominated by mostly ferns, red alder and Douglas fir trees.
I headed off down into the open woods of tangled and slippery fallen branches, moss-covered rocks and tree roots but it was hard to get close enough to the creek to photograph because of the tangled bushes which are just beginning to sprout green leaves.
I spent my time photographing a tree with branches completely covered in moss then I went back up to the road and followed a gravel path which branched off and down to Oyster River. The sun was hitting the red alder trees on the opposite bank. I photographed a tree which was leaning precariously over the river; the result of erosion along the banks of the river. I took a loop back up and connected with the road then spent some time in the bush near the creek where I took photographs of it before heading back to the parking lot.
I drove to Courtenay, BC and on my way back home I stopped in at the park again to see if the sunlight made any difference in photographing the landscape. There were more cars parked since this is Good Friday holiday and parents with kids are walking the trails.
My best shot of the day.
The Oyster River Enhancement Society has restored the fish habitat along a section of Oyster River by creating side channels for spawning fish. I didn't bother walking that far to see them as I will leave it for another time. Besides, I was more interested in taking pictures of the moss-covered trees. Fall would be a nice time to come back and catch the salmon spawning.