• Lara

Some Things are Worth Repeating on Gabriola Island

Three months ago we made a trip to Gabriola Island to visit an old friend of mine. I fell in love with smaller islands then and there and decided to return again last month with the kids. We visited some of our favorite spots like Alpaca Paradise- A small interactive farm with alpacas, goats and chickens and a seasonal fairy search and find forest walk. They now have a beautiful Llama as part of their addition to this by donation farm.

It was great to meet the owner and learn some Camelidae animal history.

Even though we had been here before, It felt like a completely different adventure because we explored new places on the island >>Click Here<< to read about our first visit.The chickens remained an all time favorite as they clucked in appreciation for the blades of grass the kids were allowed to put through the enclosure.

This trip was made over the Halloween weekend as we attempted to get away from the trick-or-treating pressure on the mainland. We were so impressed by the community's extensive drive through goody bag collections, and the ability for my kids to participate fully in Halloween activities while keeping their distance. After our visit to our previous favourites, we decided to visit some new gems. We loaded up into the car and went a few minutes to 1210 Barrett Road into an enchanted forest.

This wonderful trail on private land owned by Gary Badke, is open to visitors who are amused by marvel and the dreams of childhood. From teddy bears lined up on a mossy roof top...

...to the most adorable collection of trinkets, gnomes, owls, dolls, and interactive mobiles soaring above. Wow, what a breathtaking hobby!

This short walk through the forest is a whimsical adventure for all ages. And there we were from 4 -70 enjoying it together.

We spent a good hour oohhhing, and ahhhing at the beautiful collection that is rumoured to be collected from the community recycling store called "Giro". There were strings to pull, and buttons to press. Humour and faces were hidden in the trees. I loved every second of it.

Gnomes with spunk and silliness gathered by old stumps covered in moss.

From a Labyrinth to twirl through and an encounter with a Sasquatch, I really never knew what I'd find at each turn in this by-donation adventure stroll that added to the unique and quirky feel of the island as a whole. Boasting the title of having the highest percentages of working artists per capita in Canada, this unusual forest discovery just feels right at home on Gabriola island.

When we had our heart's full of enchanted forest magic, we made our way to the quiet of Huxley Community Park. Complete with tennis courts, hockey rink a skate park, and portable washrooms, the kids had a variety of fun corners to explore. These fun gems are one of the reasons I always keeps a soccer ball in the car. You just never know when an opportunity will present itself for running and kicking a ball. This reminds me, I forgot to include a soccer ball on my list of 32 things good parents always carry.<<Read That Here>> .

Another magical thing about Gabriola island is the wildlife. Deer stroll around licking their chops and grazing their evenings away while wild turkeys roost on the electrical lines along the main roads.

I had to pull over when I saw these giant birds at dusk. I couldn't believe it! Turkeys! Just hanging out watching the cars drive by and happy not to be on the dinner table.

Gabriola island does that, it leaves you feeling like there is magic in the air. The departing ferry is free...I guess they know once you visit, you'll be back again. I know we will!

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