Near Morden's spectacular 1913 structure, there is a 1.2 km walking trail that follows the route of part of the railway line that carried the company's coal from Morden and South Wellington down to the Nanaimo River. This beautiful wooded trail was developed and is maintained by the Regional District of Nanaimo and its Trail Committee. From 1909 to 1920 the line crossed the river on a wooden trestle bridge, continued across country and eventually arrived at Boat Harbour, where the coal was loaded onto steam or sailing ships. The bridge was long ago swept away by floods, but a further section of this railway route can be accessed from beside the Wheatsheaf Inn or from Hemer Park. www.rdn.bc.ca/cms.asp?wpID=848
From Morden, drivers, cyclists and ambitious walkers may wish to opt for meandering Aikenhead Road to lead them to Cedar Road and the eastern section of Morden Colliery Trail. The Aikenhead route offers challenging dips and hills for cyclists, charming views for drivers, and wonderful workouts for walkers, as it runs alongside beautiful old farms.
The eastern section of Morden Colliery Trail, accessible a few feet from Cedar Village Shopping Centre, is 2.4 km. It follows the old railway grade and is an easy walk, ending at Hemer Park's 93 hectares, including 11 km. of trails. Hemer's marsh area and viewing platform are favourites of birdwatchers. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/hemer.html On the way, visitors cross "Cedar Bridge" over the Nanaimo River. The river is famous for its clear water and sandstone outcrops and is rated as one of the three top swimming hole areas in B.C. www.ourbc.com/discover_bc/rivers/swimmingholes/nanaimo_river/nanaimo_river.htm
A few miles from Hemer Park is Roberts Memorial Provincial Park, offering an easy 1 km trail through mature forest down to a rocky beach, with possible views of sea lions, Great Blue herons, bald eagles'. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/roberts_mem.html
A few hundred yards further along Yellowpoint Road is a small CVRD park, Blue Heron, where there are picnic tables and a rocky beach. This is a favourite kayak launching site and is good for swimming and wildlife watching also. www.cvrd.bc.ca/htm/areas/h.htm Further still along Yellowpoint road is Yellowpoint Park with its extensive and beautiful forest hiking trails. This is also a CVRD (Cowichan Valley Regional District) park.
Also to be accessed along Yellowpoint Road is Merv Wilkinson's renowned demonstration forest, Wildwood, now being acquired by the Land Conservancy of B.C. Merv has spent 60 years taking timber from this land in a way that preserves the integrity of the forest. Tours can be arranged. www.conservancy.bc.ca
In both Cedar and Yellowpoint, there are a number of artisans who welcome visitors to their studios. Check out www.cyartisans.com for a map of their locations.
Those thirsty and hungry may wish to try a few pubs and restaurants in the Cedar and Yellowpoint area:
- the Cranberry Arms Hotel, 1604 Cedar Road, the oldest hotel/pub in Cedar, just up the hill from "Cedar Bridge."
- the 1885 Wheatsheaf Inn, 1866 Cedar Road - www.vipubs.com/PUBS/pages/wheat/wheat.htm
- elegant Mahle House, a 100 ft. away from the Wheatsheaf, renowned for its special dinners - www.mahlehouse.ca
- Crow and Gate pub, replica of an English pub, a favourite of all - www.crowandgate.com
Nanaimo River Regional Park 56 hectares - www.rdn.bc.ca/cms.asp?wpID=128
Nanaimo Museum, with its extensive collection of coal mining artifacts - www.nanaimomuseum.ca
City of Nanaimo - www.nanaimo.ca
Town of Ladysmith - http://www.ladysmith.ca/
GO Nanaimo - www.gonanaimo.com
South Wellington & Area Community Association (SWACA) - www.southwellington.com
Ladysmith Historical Society - www.ladysmithhistoricalsociety.ca
Cumberland Museum and Archives - http://www.cumberlandmuseum.ca
Memorial to the Coal Miners of Michel, Natal & Sparwood, B.C. - http://coalminersmemorial.tripod.com