Coombs is a small rural community situated in a region of agriculture and pastoral lands and is home to a number of small market farms specializing in organic fruit and vegetables. Coombs, together with the nearby villages of Errington and Hilliers, are all part of an area called Arrowsmith & Coombs Country.
A popular stopping point for tourists on the way to the west coast, the little village of Coombs is dotted with several heritage buildings, small gift and craft shops and antique stores. Coombs is also known for the family of goats nimbly grazing on the grass rooftop of the Coombs Old Country Market.
The old country market originated from a modest fruit stand in 1971 and later grew to support a hamburger stand alongside the fruit stand. In 1975 the original building was erected. This was the start of the grass roof.
After the grass had rooted a family of goats appeared. Legend has it that a “few glasses” of wine inspired the idea of putting the goats up on the roof
The thought of goats on a roof caught on so well that each year an increasing number of tourists and locals stopped by to catch a glimpse of this trip of “goats on the roof”. With this curiosity and a lot of hard work and pinch of good fortune it has evolved into what it is today. One of the top tourist destinations in British Columbia.
Errington is located in the foothills of Arrowsmith Mountain on Errington Road, off Highway 4, just south of Parksville and Qualicum Beach on the east coast of central Vancouver Island.
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
Situated along the pristine Englishman River north of Nanaimo, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park features two stunning waterfalls cascading along the descending riverbed into a deep canyon.
This picturesque destination, set amid a lush old-growth and second-growth forest of Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock and maple, is an ideal location from which to explore and appreciate the incredible diversity of south central Vancouver Island, including nearby Cathedral Grove, the Pacific Rim, and the sandy shores of Parksville and Qualicum.
The park has a large day-use area and campground and contains several hiking trails that meander through the forest and along the river. Visitors can expect spectacular views along the way, particularly from two bridges that cross the river where it plunges down the narrow rock canyon toward quieter waters below. The lower falls end in a deep crystal-clear pool - an ideal swimming hole in the summer when river levels are low and a great place to view spawning salmon in the fall.
Errington Farmers' Market
Governed by the Farmers' Market Society, the market offers fresh produce, baked goods and items created by local crafters as well as coffee and goodies from the coffee shop in a woodsy, friendly atmosphere. There is always music playing, activities for the kids, and lots of conversation with friends and neighbours.
Market hours are 10am to 1pm - The Market opens each May and runs every Saturday through the Summer until September.
North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre
Located on an 8-acre plot of land in Errington, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is where injured birds and mammals are nursed back to health. Adopt a heron, a fawn, an otter or an eagle! Open daily from 10am-4pm, April to October.