Leiner River Estuary, Vancouver Island
The Leiner River Estuary has a small summer and winter run of steelhead and a great fall run of coho when the fall rains are heavy. There is plenty of other wildlife here also and you will see much of it. Look for the hummingbirds in the spring and summer, there are more here than anywhere in the world.
To fish the waters of leiner river beyond the mouth and estuary requires you to bushwhack from the head bay road. The hike is worth it though as the fishing is good for native cut-throats and rainbows.
But if that is not enough to get you there then the wildlife will. You can expect to see black bears, black tail deer, cougars ( maybe) and numerous birds and small animals, so come on over and see for yourself and bring your camera. The City of Tahsis maintains a small camp-site on the river, just outside of town, a popular day use spot, it has easy access to the river, swimming holes and a small sandy beach.
To reach the estuary from Gold River, you take the head bay road (Tahsis Road) and follow it almost to Tahsis where you’ll see a camp-site sign on the left at the junction of the access road.
There are several great hiking trails that run along side the leiner river, one is called the bouldering trail and it runs through, under and over some enormous boulders and gives you some great views of the river as it tumbles down from the mountains.
Then there is the leiner river board-walk trail that runs from the trail-head just outside of town right down to the salt flats. There are quite a few sections on the trail that are made up of raised board-walks with some awesome wildlife viewing spots built in.
The camp site is just up from here and has a nice trail that runs alongside the river where a profound amount of wild-flowers bloom, l love this trail.