Morrell Nature Sanctuary | Gnome Homes and Fairy Doors

Morrell Nature Sanctuary

Gnome Homes, Accessible Trails, and Rainforest Education

Morrell Sanctuary is a stunning nature reserve in the Harewood neighbourhood of South Nanaimo. This land was donated by Bill Morrell, a local developer and builder, to the BC Land Commission for the enjoyment of the residents of Nanaimo, BC. Bill Morrell passed away in 2003, but his memory lives on in the beautiful park maintained by the tireless efforts of volunteers.

This is a fantastic place for people of all ages to learn about the rainforests of Vancouver Island, which has unique species not found anywhere else in the world. Each of these is highlighted with plaques explaining the different plants and animals found throughout the Sanctuary trail system.

The Morrell nature sanctuary is best known for the Gnome Homes or Fairy Doors, which are very popular with young children. These are handmade miniature cottage fronts affixed to old-growth trees that children believe to be the homes of tiny forest creatures. These small structures are found along the Yew Loop Trial, which is entirely wheelchair accessible. 

Multiple other trails exist to explore throughout the forest and lead you through creek beds, rocky bluffs, and pristine wetlands. One of the most beautiful is the Tranquility Trail which leads you to the Beaver Pond Loop. This loop will lead you around a small pond filled with birds and surrounded by towering trees. 

Morrell Nature Sanctuary offers educational programs for people of all ages and summer camps for children to learn about the forest. Details about the programs can be found on the Morrell Nature Sanctuary website or by contacting their office. 

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