“I think they are snakes!” I squealed to Dave as we peered at the tube like piles on the sandy shores Rathtrevor Beach of  Canada’s astounding Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island Qualicum

“There is no such thing as sand snakes,” offered up husband turned zoologist.

“Well then smarty pants what in the world are they? They look like piles of earthworms to me.”

Rathtrevor Beach Vancouver Island

I happen to be very familiar with earthworms as my childhood included digging them up for fishing expeditions to nearby prairie lakes.

“What would earthworms be doing in the ocean?” came the retort from ever logical one. I suggested perhaps they were sea faring cousins of their Canadian prairie relatives.

Tidal pools Rathtrevor Beach Vancouver Island

So went the conversation as we two usually land locked explorers walked out toward the Pacific Ocean at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. At low tide the water recedes for a kilometer or more, allowing for endless exploration. A prime destination for families on holiday, when the water rolls in at high tide over the sun baked sand , the warm shallow water provides a glorious and massive salt water play park.

Beach west coast Vancouver Island

We looked about to see if anyone else might be looking quizzically at our Vancouver Island sand snakes. Most everyone seemed to be more interested in the majestic Douglas fir trees along the shore line or just soaking up the seaside atmosphere.

Vancouver island Parksville beach for family

Where is Rathtrevor Provincial Park?

With the closest communities being Parksville, Qualicum and Nanaimo, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park is located on Vancouver Island, 3 km south of Parksville on Hwy 19a. Watch for exit #51 off the Inland Island Highway (Hwy #19) and then follow signs to the park. A map can be found here.

Parksville BC Tidal pool

What wildlife can I expect to see?

Besides the sand snakes, deer, raccoon, squirrels, otters, mink, eagles, osprey, hawks, vultures, owls and many shore birds can be seen in this family friendly Canadian west coast destination.

Where can I stay at Rathtrevor Beach?

For those who like camping, British Columbia parks offers on line camping registration at Rathtrevor Beach. You can find out more by clicking here. If a little more luxurious stay is what you had in mind there are many resorts in the area and our favorite is the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort and Spa. This is not a sponsored post we just love the place. Go here to read more on Tigh-Na-Mara.

Vancouver Island Parksville beach

Now over to those you either living by the sea or with more knowledge that us on the matter, what are these funny looking lumps on the beach? When touched the piles crumble as they are made completely from sand.