Length & Difficulty: 8 km Roundtrip | 3 hours | Moderate
There are multiple ways to access the Chapman Creek trail network, including a new trail leading from the airport towards the Chapman Creek bridge. This section is designated as part of the Suncoaster Trail, and the plan is to continue connecting trails along the Coast until you can reach the Earl’s Cove ferry terminal, many sections of which already exist.
From the trailhead to the bridge, you’ll wind through beautiful forest complete with many old-growth stumps that are quite impressive. There are a few small hills but for the most part the path is relatively flat with several small bridge paths over soggy spots, which helps keep you somewhat mud free even in rainy weather. This area would be excellent for mountain biking and trail running, and would almost be wheelchair accessible except for a those couple of hilly spots. After approximately 1.8 km, you reach the Chapman Creek bridge.
The trail to the falls continues on past the bridge—but be aware, there is no sign pointing to the falls, so be sure to bring a map as there are a few turns and those with a poor sense of direction could get turned around. The next fork in the trail you’ll see a sign pointing back to “Chapman Bridge” or left to “Davis Bay/Selma Park”; take the left. After that you’ll reach another split—this time a three-way fork—follow the sign pointing to the “Selma Park Power Lines”. The steepest section of the trail is here, but rest assured its short and then continues back to mostly flat terrain. When you reach the power lines, head across the clear cut under the lines, follow the trail slightly to the left, and then you’ll see the trail head back into the woods on your right. Again, there’s no sign, so pay close attention. From there, you’re past most of the forks and turns and can just follow the trail all the way to the falls. You will meet back up with a gravel road for short bit until you get to the pump house—then continue through the yellow ‘SCRD’ signs and you’re just a few more minutes of hiking away from the falls.
The falls are absolutely spectacular. It’s a series of three large waterfalls, one right after the other. The volume of water spilling down these cliffs is astounding and there is a path right to the cliffs edge to give you a decent look at the falls. Please use utmost caution here. The cliff areas surrounding the falls are wet, slippery, and incredibly steep, so use at your own risk. Take your time, enjoy the sound of the rushing water, and soak in the beauty of the forest.
To get to the trail head from Gibsons, head north on Highway 101 and turn right on Field Road by the Shell station and the Wilson Creek Plaza. Drive to the end of Field Road and turn left onto Hilltop Road. Drive to the end of Hilltop and park on your left where you will see the “Suncoaster Trail” sign and map board.
The trails of the Sunshine Coast offer a wide array of experiences for travellers of all levels and walks of life. Ranging in length, difficulty, and experience, the trails on the Sunshine Coast are the epitome of the pristine beauty and epic landscapes of British Columbia.