Colliery Dam Park, Nanaimo

4.6
#7 of 17 in Parks in Nanaimo
This park is one of Nanaimo's larger destination parks popular especially in the summer as a fresh water swimming spot (no lifeguards on duty). It is also a dog walking destination as the trail around the upper dam is a designated dog off leash area.

There are some steep trails and narrow bridge crossings along the upper dam trail. The walking trail around the upper dam is a dog off leash area between 6am-10am and from 4pm to park closing.

There are two parking lots one along Nanaimo Lakes road which will lead you directly out to a bridge between the two dams. The second is at bend in the road where Wakesiah becomes Sixth Street. The lot at Sixth and Wakesiah is the best location to park for those with mobility issues.

The Colliery Dams are a rare link with Nanaimo’s industrial heritage. Built in 1910-11 by the Western Fuel Company to supply water for coal washing and for use by miners, mules and horses in the mines, the water system quickly developed an important secondary use. Homes near the pipeline were allowed to tap the line for domestic uses and eventually this water was carried to most of the homes in South Harewood.
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Colliery Dam Park Reviews
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53 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • September 14, 2017
    Great place for an afternoon walk &/or swim. The original dams were used to back water up to clean coal in the long ago closed coalmines in the area. Wonderfully saved as a park. A nice walk through o...  more »
  • July 21, 2017
    Highly recommend. Great park for swimming. There is an area for older kids and adults to jump into the water and swim to a floating dock as well as a beach area for younger kids to swim and dip into t...  more »
  • July 6, 2017
    So pretty and relaxing, great for dogs too! We used to live right beside here and would come here all the time!  more »
Google
  • June 24, 2017
    Spectacular sampling of old growth trees right in the heart of Nanaimo. Perfect spot to cool of on a hot day because the trees & the lakes cool the air. Paths are paved & dirt with roots helping to make steps on the hills so it's easy for pretty much any ability. A large part of the park had off leash dog walking area but they do warn you on the signs that dogs should be wearing a current licence tag. There's plenty of parking from access off Harewood Mines Rd, 6th or 7th st or pretty close by bus access from Harewood Ave.
  • October 24, 2016
    This park is awesome. It's a lot of fun in all the seasons. Summer is especially busy with tons of people swimming at both the upper and lower dams. The upper dam is complete with a dog off leash area, with lots of trails and board walks for the little fur babies, this area will keep you in natures entrance for hours. Lots of access points to approach from and the main entrance usually had lots of parking room.
  • May 2, 2017
    Imagine a wilderness paradise hideaway in the city. Even has a beautiful waterfall.
  • May 8, 2017
    Such a great park I'm so glad they're fixing up the pond
  • March 27, 2017
    An opportunity to walk through a west coast forest, along the waters of the colliery dam. A piece of Nanaimo history.

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Where to stay in Nanaimo

Stay at one of the guesthouses and inns lining Front Street if you want to be in the heart of the city, while also enjoying the waterfront at your doorstep. For a more natural ambiance, head north of the center along the coastal highway, where you can choose from a selection of inns and resorts boasting views over Newcastle Island. If you have a car and prefer an easy route out of town, stay at one of the motels lining Island Highway to the northwest of the center.
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