One of the reasons why I like Comox Valley so much is you can leave Calgary in January (amidst gale winds, snow and killing temperatures) and go to a place where everything is alive and green — and will be for the whole year.

I especially love the many rainforests and nature reserves on Vancouver Island — the biggest being Pacific Rim National Park on the West Coast (often mistakenly referred to many Canadians as Tofino). There are lots of little parks scattered throughout the island and the one we like to frequent is called the Mack Laing Interpretive Trail. It runs along the Brooklyn Creek from near Comox Centre down to the Spit (the Naval Cadet training base in Comox).

This particular reserve is a large tract of land preserved by private citizens — a growing trend in British Columbia. Development is occurring at an alarming rate and rather than see the lush land disappear many locals are re-mortgaging their houses, buying up pristine land, and willing their property to conservation agencies. This particular park was donated to Comox by Hamilton Mack Laing and has since become a popular retreat for nature lovers and animals alike.

At one of the park entrances you find a cement Salmon ladder that feeds into the Brooklyn Creek and is part of the Urban Salmon Habitat Program. There are approximately 50 salmon streams in the Comox area that all drain into the Georgia Strait and are part of the salmon’s natural run. However, with the tremendous amount of development in the Comox Valley (and other parts of the island) these runs are being threatened.

The timing of a salmon run depends on the type of salmon; it can start in August and can end as far out as January. However, most runs occur in October. Seeing the salmon work their way up stream really is a sight to behold.

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