Checked out Nanaimo lakes for the first time today. Went to first lake and swam at a Timber West campground.
The campground was free and appeared to be monitored and secured by the campers themselves. We saw mostly families. The environment seemed well taken care off at first glance. Seems like everyone there was really respectful of the environment and of the other campers experience (no blazing stereos or generators).
The lake! Ohhhhohohoh... so heavenlly. The temperature was just right. Played for hours in the water.
Be cautious when going through the Timber West Gate, which is several kilometers before the lake itself. It is only open for a certain number of hours during the day. (it is posted) SOmething like m-f 8 am to 5 pm. And I believe till 8 or 9 on the weekends. We learned this the hard way by getting locked in today. Eventually someone found us and let us out.... but we were fearing we might have to stay the night.
I highly recommend this lake for swimming.