Englishman River is located in the eastern side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It starts on the eastern slopes of the Beaufort Range, originating from tiny Jewel Lake and flowing in an easterly direction for 40 km, entering the Strait of Georgia at Parksville, British Columbia. It is an important watershed providing habitat for various species of salmon and community water to the residents of Parksville and surrounding area. The following lakes are part of the Englishman River watershed Arrowsmith Lake, Hidden Lake, Fishtail Lake, Rowbotham Lake, Healy Lake, Shelton Lake, and Rhododendron Lake.
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is a popular tourist destination located approximately 10 km upstream from the mouth of the river. It is famed for its two picturesque waterfalls and treed campsites. The park was created on December 20, 1940 in an effort to protect the old-growth forest and its associated ecosystem located along the river in the vicinity of the waterfalls.
South Englishman River
The Englishman's south fork begins at Shelton (Echo) Lake and shortly after exiting the north end of that lake enters Healy (Panther) Lake. The river then exits the far end of the lake and flows northeast to where it merges with the main fork of the Englishman.
According to a local legend, indigenous people in the area found the skeleton of a Caucasian man near the waterfalls, thus giving the river its current name; according to a Victoria Colonist article in December 1949 (Islander section, p.10), the river was given its name because "an Englishman was drowned while attempting to cross." Spanish mapmakers originally named it the "Rio de Grullas," presumably because of the large number of great blue herons living at its estuary (grulla being Spanish for "crane").
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