Westwood Lake is one of the most popular parks and trails in the Nanaimo area.
The year round destination has a 5.51 km. trail around the lake that is used all year that is popular with runners, walkers and dog lovers. Dogs must be kept on the leash except for the dog off leash trail area that runs above the lake.
The trail is mostly flat and well-groomed except for a short steep bluff with stunning views towards the west end of the lake. There are also separate trails for mountain bikers.
In the warmer months the lake is a swimmer’s delight with two beaches- the main beach located near the paved parking lot and washrooms – and a second beach with a small children’s play area near a larger gravel parking lot.
There are also little spots on the lower side of the bluff that make wonderful swimming or fishing places.
The main beach has no shaded areas while the second beach has shaded areas and a few picnic tables popular for picnics and barbecues.
Both beaches have docks and the main beach is the only lifeguard patrolled fresh water swimming area in June to August. Besides swimming, the lake is hugely popular with kayakers, SUP (Stand Up Paddleboards) and non-motorized boats for fishing.
The dog off leash area can be accessed from the far side of the lake past the gravel parking lot. The area runs along the hydro lines easement lands.
The lake is located near the city nestled in the foothills of Mt. Benson.
Due to its proximity to the city, the park is always busy except in the coldest months of the year. Arrive earlier in the day or in the evening will ensure parking during the warmer months on weekends, though you can always try your luck during the day.
Access the park by turning onto Jinglepot Road from the Trans Canada Hwy or Third Street. Then turn left onto Westwood Road and continue up the hill to the park.
There are also private campgrounds located near the lake.