Bridge at upper part of Colliery Dams ParkThis park has two small pretty lakes, ringed by a figure-8 of trails which also link to a broader trail system. There are very old trees here, good fishing, bridges, waterfalls, a swimming area, and other interesting features like bridges and dam spillways.

There is great topography at "the dams", and while the trail system is smaller in circumference than Westwood Lake's, it still presents a bit of elevation gain to get your heart rate going - and the views are pretty. There are dramatic waterfalls at the highest and lowest points of the park.

This place should not be confused with "Morden Colliery Park" to the south.

Aerial view of the lower lake at Colliery Dams Park, Nanaimo

Nearby Neighbourhoods

A Culvert under the Parkway

There's an interesting tunnel connected to the park, and I think some people don't know about it. It's the huge culvert which allows the Chase River underneath the Parkway. There's a wide concrete walkway above the water line, so it's comfortable to walk through.

A lot of graffiti art, good and bad, is covering the wall of this tunnel. It's very interesting by day or night. You can also continue past the tunnel and see another dam, as well as a 4+ meter waterfall (which is more or less dramatic depending on the season).

Chase River CulvertDirections to the Tunnel

Go to the Colliery Dams (Harewood Dams) and find your way to the wooden pedestrian bridge at the highest point of the river within the park (above the higher lake). You should be able to hear the Parkway just upstream.

Near the south end of the bridge is a trail leading down to the water (upstream from the bridge). Depending on the season you may already see the tunnel. Follow the trail upstream and you'll soon find yourself facing the big culvert. Check it out!

Walking in the Chase River culvert

Where to Park

Back to the list of Nanaimo parks and places

Bonus Extended Edition!

Did you know that there is another big piece of walkable greenspace adjacent to the dams? You can cross over to it by going under the Parkway at Harewood Mines Rd – or you can walk upstream through the culvert mentioned above, then go left before the waterfall and dam. Or, head up 7th St, which becomes Harewood Mines Rd, and look for trails on your right AFTER you pass under the Parkway. See below for an overhead view.

Overhead view of Colliery Dams Park showing adjacent greenspaces