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Coombs Old Country Market and goats

Arrowsmith Coombs Country is a rural area southwest of Parksville/Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. It is a popular stopping point for travellers on the way to Tofino with the Coombs Old Country Market/Goats on the Roof and the old growth trees in Cathedral Grove.


Coombs is a small community provincial highway 4A approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Parksville. Coombs is home to approximately 1,300 people. The history of Coombs goes back many years. The Ford House which is the old log house on the old Island Highway was built in early 1900. The house was completed in 1911. Next to the Ford House is the old General Store which also houses the General Post Office. The Fair Grounds is an active place in the summer when the Fall Fair rolls around. The Rodeo Grounds just up the highway heading towards Port Alberni is a successful and active place during the summer months. The railway is also a huge part of the history of Coombs as is the United Church. Just over the French Creek Bridge is the French Creek School which is now closed as a public school was a huge asset to the community for over 100 years.

Get in[edit]

Map of Arrowsmith Coombs Country

By car[edit]

The main way in is by Highway 4A (the Alberni Highway). It is a 5-10 minute drive from Parksville and about 1 km east of the Junction of Hwy 4 and 4A.

By bus[edit]

  • Tofino Bus (Vancouver Island Connector). Service from Coombs to Tofino, Nanaimo, and Victoria, summer months only.

Get around[edit]

A car or bike will be needed to get around to all the attractions in the area.


For many, the main reason to stop in Coombs is to see the goats on the roof of the Old Country Market (see listing in Buy section below). The area isn't just about the goats though, here are some other things to check out if you have the time.

  • 1 Butterfly World & Gardens, 1080 Winchester Rd, Coombs (just off of Hwy 4A between the Coombs Country Market and the junction with Hwy 4), +1 250 248-7026. 10AM-5PM. Indoor gardens with a number of exotic butterfly species. There’s also a small orchid garden and turtle pond. Often a hit with young children. $5/9/11/13 (children aged 3-12/students aged 13-17/seniors/adults).
  • 2 MacMillan Provincial Park, Hwy 4, in MacMillan Provincial Park. Small park that preserves old growth forest with hiking trails on both sides of the highway. The park is the site of Cathedral Grove, where large circumference, tall trees are located. On the south side of the road is are some giant Douglas fir trees, some of which are 800 years old, and up to 75 m tall and 9 m in circumference. The north side has a number of old growth Western Red Cedars, which were the trees carved by the First Nations to construct totem poles. Free. MacMillan Provincial Park (Q751854) on Wikidata MacMillan Provincial Park on Wikipedia
  • 3 Englishman River Falls Provincial Park (Take Errington Rd from Hwy 4A (exit 51 off Hwy 19) and follow the signs to the park). 9AM-5PM. The upper falls are a 5-10 minute walk from the day use area parking lot on a wide well-graded trail. The trail continues on through old growth and second generation forest along the river to the lower falls. Round trip is about 2 km. There is a swimming area in the pools below the lower falls. Day use is free. Englishman River Falls Provincial Park (Q1342877) on Wikidata Englishman River Falls Provincial Park on Wikipedia
  • 4 North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, 1240 Leffler Rd, Errington, +1 250 248-8534. 9AM-5PM. Treatment and recovery facility for injured or abandoned wildlife. There are is a learning center with exhibits and a number of eagles, owls, ferrets and Knut the Bear. The facility also looks after bear cubs with the aim to release them back into the wild (the cubs can only be viewed on camera, no interaction with visitors). $8 (adult).
  • 5 Tiger Lily Farm, 1692 Errington Rd, Errington, +1 250 248-2408. 10AM-4PM. Barnyard and trail rides closed Nov to mid-March. Family-run farm that offers trail rides and horse riding lessons. There is also a barnyard with some of the usual small farm animals that the kids can get close to. The trail rides vary from short and easy for beginners to longer excursions for more experienced riders. Trail rides should be booked in advance. $8.75 for the barnyard, including one free pony ride for each child; additional pony rides are $3.50. Trail rides range from $30-109.


  • Coombs Bluegrass Festival, 2601 Alberni Highway. First weekend in August. Camping (no hookups) $15 per night per unit F & Su $35, Sa $45, weekend $85.
  • Annual Coombs Fair, 1014 Ford Road. Second weekend in August.
  • 1 Mount Arrowsmith. At 1,819 m (5,968 ft), it is the largest mountain on southern Vancouver Island. Its dominant rock is basalt. The mountain is contained within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is designated part of the 1,300 hectare Mt. Arrowsmith Massif Regional Park. Mount Arrowsmith (Q1950351) on Wikidata Mount Arrowsmith on Wikipedia


  • 1 Old Country Market (Goats on the Roof), 2326 Alberni Hwy, Coombs, +1 250-248-6272. 8AM-8PM. A wooden market house in Coombs, slightly West of Qualicum Beach. It is most known for the goats that live on the building's grass roof from Spring to Fall, keeping the grass trimmed. The market has a variety of food (some locally made) and knick-knack kind of stuff.


  • 1 Cuckoo Trattoria, 2310 Alberni Hwy, Coombs (behind the Old Country Market), +1 250 248-6280. 11AM-9PM. Italian restaurant and pizzeria. The villa-style house gives a European ambience and there’s a patio for enjoying the nice summer days. Can be very busy in the summer tourist season. $15-30.



  • 1 Coombs Country Campground, 2619 Alberni Hwy, Coombs (Hwy 4A, across from Butterfly World), +1 250-248-9371, toll-free: +1-800-925-3888. Tent and RV sites. Amenities include showers, laundromat, electrical hookup, volleyball, playground and a man-made lake. Open mid-May to end of Sept. $30 tent, $40 power & water, $45 power, sewer & cable.
  • 2 Englishman Falls Provincial Park, at the end of Errington Rd (Take Errington Rd from Hwy 4A (exit 51 off Hwy 19) and follow the signs to the park). Just over 100 campsites set in the forest near the Englishman River. Flush toilets available but no showers or electrical hookups. Camping only allowed May - Sept. $23. Englishman River Falls Provincial Park (Q1342877) on Wikidata Englishman River Falls Provincial Park on Wikipedia

More lodging is available in Parksville and Qualicum Beach.



  • The nearest hospital is in Nanaimo, though it takes almost the same time to reach the hospital in Port Alberni.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Coombs
TofinoPort Alberni  W  E  Qualicum BeachEND
END  W  E  ParksvilleEND

This city travel guide to Arrowsmith Coombs Country is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.