Geography & Climate

Nanoose-Bay-Geography-web The most prominent topographic feature on the Nanoose Peninsula is The Notch with an elevation of approximately 245m (800’). There is a lovely hiking trail off Powder Point Road to the top of this hill from which Nanoose Bay and the estuary can be seen, as well as Lantzville and parts of Nanaimo to the southeast. A smaller hill on the north side of Enos Lake is The Lookout from which wonderful views of the Strait of Georgia can be seen.

Agricultural farmland constitutes about 50% of the area and is interspersed between the residential communities of Red Gap, Garry Oaks, Fairwinds, Beachcomber/Dorcas Point, Madrona and Craig Bay. Total population of Nanoose Bay is approximately 4,500. Very restricted areas of Crown Land still exist and there are several small areas of second growth forest remaining, some of which constitute Community or Regional parklands, including the newly acquired Moorecroft Regional Park. The largest forested area is privately owned by Fairwinds and consists of approximately 620 Ha (1,350 acres) called The Lakes District, centred round Enos Lake. This area is slated for development with approximately 45% remaining as greenspace with proposed walking trails, recreation space and protected sensitive ecosystems. A large part of the peninsula is taken up by DND’s Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges base stretching to Wallace Point and including north Winchelsea Island. These forested areas are covered with Douglas-fir, western red cedar, Garry oak and arbutus (Madrona) meadows, salal, Oregon-grape and Manzanita and their associated ecosystems. The Nanoose River and estuary is the main river in the area with several other smaller rivers and creeks, including Beaver Creek near Craig Bay. Two lakes are found in the area, the result of receding glaciers. The largest is Enos Lake along Powder Point Road toward Fairwinds and the other is Dolphin Lake at the west end of the golf course. Several beaver ponds are also present. The coastline consists of several bays and inlets with a few pebbly beaches. Nanoose Bay itself is the largest of these followed by North West Bay. Schooner Cove has a marina and storm-wall and there is a second small marina at Beachcomber. Off the coast are numerous islands, including Maude, Southey, North and South Winchelsea, Ruth, Gerald, Amelia, Douglas and the Yeo Islands. Most Canadians envy Vancouver Island climate as it is the country's mildest. Temperatures on the coast, even in January, are usually above 0°C (32°F). During the summer season, maximum temperatures average 21-24°C (70-75°F). The rain shadow effect of Mount Arrowsmith, west of Nanoose Bay, creates wide variations in local precipitation. The area is generally fairly dry in the summer with cool wet winters, making this a typical Mediterranean style climate. Average rainfall is about 1016mm (40”) per annum. Frosts are mild and snow in the lower altitudes is rare.