One of Nanaimo’s best-kept secrets for hikers, Roberts Roost is along Mt Benson’s ocean-side slope and has beautiful views of Nanaimo and the islands. Robert’s Roost is roughly 40 meters higher than nearby ridges allowing views from New Castle Island down to Ladysmith (25 km south of Nanaimo).
Start at the Morrell Sanctuary trailhead. (787 Nanaimo Lakes Road, Nanaimo, BC) After crossing the initial stream bed, just after the power lines (be sure to take the middle trail). Follow this trail for 30-45 minutes. You will have a stream on your right for the part of this leg. Eventually you’ll come to a fork where the trail joins a small, gravel road. This road leads up to the right, and down to the left. Go down to the left (turning right leads to Westwood Ridge), and after about 25 meters you’ll come to a meeting of four trails. Take the middle trail for Roberts Roost. You’ll know it’s the proper trail if you cross a creek (or creek bed, depending on time of year) after a few meters.
Then a short, steep hike up to a road. Turn right onto this road. Almost immediately, you’ll see the trail to Roberts Roost on your left, a small trail leading up the bank beside the road. You’ll know you’re on the right trail if you encounter a pair of ropes that help to climb a small bluff, about 2 minutes up the trail.
After the ropes, the trail will take you down to the left, into a depression with lots of ferns. Stay to the right and you’ll be under the imposing edifice of Roberts Roost’s eastern cliff, and hiking steadily upward (and southward). Hike for 15 more minutes to reach the top.
45 -60 mins one way.