The Northeast Woods Lazo Marsh Conservation Area is an expansive wooded area in Comox with numerous trials for walking and biking. In total the area is comprised of 467 acres of land held by three separate jurisdisctions, The Town of Comox, The Comox Valley Regional District, and the Province of British Columbia.
Northeast Woods can be accessed from Noel Ave, Guthrie Road, Torrence Ave Cape Lazo School, and Lazo Marsh Conservation Area. The short 1.5 km loop is part of a much larger trail system. At end of Torrence Ave there is a sizable parking lot that serves both the Northeast Woods as well as Highland field.
The Northeast Woods is a fantastic place for some easy to moderate mountain biking, a casual stroll of for a great off leash run for your dog. These woods are perfect for the entire family. No motorized vehicles or fires are permitted within the park.
This area has a rare ecosystem including second grown and mixed forest, meadows, wetlands, wildlife, and native trees, all located just minutes from downtown Comox.
Northeast Woods & Dogs
Northeast woods is very dog friendly. While it is not an official dogs off leash park, it is generally accepted as such.
You can expect to see many dogs off leash in this park, particularly in the late morning.
The park is very popular for off leash running and walking of dogs and is a great place to socialize your pet.
Mountain Biking in Northeast Woods
Northeast Woods offers a great opportunity for mountain biking, specifically for entry level riders. The most difficult trails in these woods may post a slight challenge to young children but generally are relatively simple for any seasoned rider.
North East Woods consists mostly of green trails. While there are some trails unmarked on TrailForks that offer some more technical riding, the vast majority of trails would be considered green and suitable for all riding levels. “Lazo Loop” is the standard green trial that loops the entire woods. To the far Southeast of the corner of this trail there is a rather rooty section that is likely too technical for most beginner riders. This section is relatively short and easy to walk.
The most difficult trails include “Gateway” in the Northwest corner and “Humpty Jumpty” which is more central and runs parallel to the main pipeline road to the Southeast. Gateway offers a short section with multiple jumps. At the time of this writing there are no gaps on this run – all jumps on this trail are ‘rollable’. Humpty Jumpty is a faster stretch with a few jumps and some berms. While slightly technical in spots, this trail is relatively easy and manageable by new riders. There are ride arounds for jumps, but there are a few small drops that new riders may want to walk. Both of these trails trails are considered ‘blue’ by Trailforks.
Northeast Woods – A Brief History
After being settled by homesteaders in 1862 large sections of Lazo Marsh were drained and converted into potato fields. Much of the land was heavily logged in the early part of the 20th century, today the woods primarily consists of second growth forest. In the 1940s when “Queen’s Ditch” was dug in the Northern section of the conservation area to drain land designated for CFB Comox.
Between 1949 and 1976 portions of the Northeast Woods, at the end of Torrence Avenue, were used as a municipal dump. ‘The Friends of Comox-Lazo Forest Reserve Society’ incorporated in 1996 frequently work to help clean and preserve this now protected land. Today there is very little sign of its former use although there are some instances of car parts and other remnants of a time gone by.
In the 1960’s Bert Marriott purchased 175 acres in this area and established a bird sanctuary. he worked to eliminate hunting in order to protect the swamp for migratory birds. At this time, the land was referred to as the Radford Swamp. A trail in the Northeast woods now bears this name.