Posted by: cherylyoung | February 8, 2012

Quadra Island is a popular destination for visitors from around the world and it is known for it’s natural and beautiful wilderness scenery

Quadra Island The largest and most populated of the

Discovery Islands

Quadra Island is nestled between Vancouver Island and the

mainland of British Columbia.

Quadra Island is a popular destination for visitors from

around the world, and is best known for its natural and

beautiful wilderness scenery, and its excellent salmon

and freshwater sportfishing.

The mild temperate climate, rural lifestyle, pristine

environment,  breathtaking coastal scenery, and the

friendly people of Quadra all add to the charm of

Quadra Island.

The diversity of people, professions, lifestyles and

pastimes is what makes Quadra Island a truly great

place to live or visit.

Quadra Island was named after Don Juan Francisco

de la Bodegay Quadra, the 18th Century Spanish Naval

Officer and close friend of Captain George Vancouver.

Just over two hundred years ago, Captain Vancouver

made contact with the aboriginal people on the island,

sending yawls to sound the now-named Discovery Passage

before bringing in his ship Discovery, anchoring off

present day Cape Mudge. Quadra Island has three main

communities: Quathiaski Cove, the commercial hub

of Quadra and the most populated; Heriot Bay, the

picturesque gateway to the Discovery Islands and

mainland inlets, and Cape Mudge (Yuculta), home to

the home to the We Wai Kai band of the Kwakwak’awakw

(Kwagiulth) First Nation.

Most of the permanent residents of Quadra live on the

southern half of the  35-km-long island.

Its sheltered coves and inland lakes are home to an

incredible variety of wildlife, including black-tailed deer,

river otters, harbour seals, sea-lions, cormorants,

snowy owls, the great blue heron, and the elusive

peregrine falcon.

The Visitor Information Centre is located next

to the  Quadra Credit Union  in Quathiaski Cove, and is

open from mid-June until the Labour Day weekenD

Population: 2,700

Quadra Island is located in the Discovery Islands of

British Columbia.

Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island is reached by a

mere 10-minute ferry ride across Discovery Passage

from Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

BC Ferries also links Heriot Bay on Quadra Island to

Whaletown Bay on Cortes Island, a 45-minute journey.

Both ferries transport vehicles. • •

Heriot Bay: Long before Campbell River was settled,

there was a significant community established

at Heriot Bay

For many years the wharf at the Heriot Bay Inn was a

major stop for various steamships travelling up and

down the coast.

The resort was the first in Heriot Bay, established in

1894, with the hotel soon becoming a social centre for

residents and workers of the  Discovery Islands, and

for visiting travellers.

  Heriot Bay still serves as the harbour for ferries across

Sutil Channel to Whaletown on Cortes Island, and boat

traffic to and from the Outer Islands and Inlets.

The Outer Islands include Read Island, Maurelle Island,

Sonora Island, Stuart Island, East Redonda Island,

West Redonda Island, East Thurlow Island, West

Thurlow Island, and the Rendezvous Islands.

Granite Bay in northwest Quadra was once a significant

settlement, and in the 19th century served as a base for

one of the largest logging operations in the district.

At peak operations of the Hastings Company in the

1890s, the settlement boasted a beach camp, log dump,

general store, post office, school, hotel brothel, and

a government dock where the Union Steamships called

to deliver passengers, mail, and supplies.

The Lucky Jim Mine located three miles from Granite

Bay opened in 1903 and yielded tons of gold and copper

ore before it petered out.

Granite Bay is quiet today, but is experiencing a

resurgence of new residents and outdoor adventurers. •

Arts and Crafts: Resident artists and craftspeople make

the island a fine place to sleuth around for pottery

and other creative, handmade wares.

The Quadra Island Studio Tour in June steers

visitors to Quadra’s galleries  and studios run by carvers,

spinners, weavers, glass blowers,  potters, painters,

sculptors, photographers, furniture makers, quilters,

jewellers blacksmiths, woodworkers, leatherworkers,

and stained glass artists.

Studio Tour tickets and a detailed map of the island are a

vailable at the Visitor Information Centre in Quathiaski

Cove, just up the road from the ferry dock.

First Nations Culture: Ancient stone drawings called

petroglyphcan be seen along the high-tide line at

We Wai Kai Beach and Francisco Point at the southern

tip of the island.

  Cape Mudge Lighthouse celebrated its 100th birthday

in 1998, and is well worth a visit.

The lighthouse is the only one in BC that is accessible by

road and is still staffed and fully operational.

Linked by a trail to Cape Mudge Village, the lighthouse

is located below the bluffs visited by Captain

Vancouver in 1792.

Petroglyphs from  centuries ago can be found at extremely

low tide just south of the lighthouse.

To access the lighthouse, depart the Quathiaski Cove

ferry terminal on Heriot Bay Road, turn south on Cape

Mudge Road, then followLighthouse Road to the lighthouse.

Tours are available in good weather in spring and summer.

Pop in to the Saturday Quadra Island Farmers’ Market

in Quathiaski Cove, behind the Quadra Credit Union,

where  vendors’ tables are loaded with unique local crafts,

fresh farm  produce, and freshly home-baked delicacies.

  Events: The annual Quadra Garden & Quilt Tour and

the Arts Festival are two festive events worth attending.

The garden tour offers the chance to learn about the

native flora and see the beautiful island gardens up close.

The Arts Festival showcases the work of local visual and

performance artists in a daytime art exhibition and

provides a relaxing evening of live entertainment.

The Quadra Island Juggling Festival takes place each y

ear at the Quadra Island Community Centre, featuring

workshops, juggling performances,  live music, door

prizes, vendors, billeting, and more.

Quadra Salmon Eco-Centre invites visitors to view

the educational displays and learn more about salmon

and watersheds, and what you can do to help and

protect them.

Have fun participating in the hands-on activities and

daily fish feeding.

Open Wednesday to Sunday in July and August, at

2071 hyacinthe Bay Road, just north of Heriot Bay.

Operated by the Quadra Island Salmon Enhancement


Adventure Companies on Quadra Island provide

hiking, diving,  sea kayaking, boating and sailing tours,

revealing the hidden secrets of the Discovery Islands,

Desolation Sound, and the sheltered inlets of the BC

mainland coast.

There are three public boat launching ramps on

Quadra Island, at Quathiaski Cove, Heriot Bay, and

Rebecca Spit in Rebecca Spit Marine Park.

Kayaking: Exploring offshore waters in a sea kayak is

the best way to discover the islands, sheltered coves and

protected channels.

The fascinating waters around tightly packed Quadra,

Cortes, Maurelle, Read, and Sonora Islands will provide

hours of enjoyable paddling.

You should be well versed in the reading of tidal-current

charts to safely explore these waters.

Check the listings for local companies offering sea

kayaking .

An alternative to saltwater paddling around Quadra

Island is a small chain of freshwater lakes in the interior

of the island that are perfectly suited to canoeing.

In summer, the water in the lakes warms up as water

levels drop.

You may well find that you’ll have to haul your canoe

through a narrow channel connecting Village Bay Lake and

Mine Lake.

You can bypass this section by launching directly into

Mine Lake  and  heading for the prettiest part of the route

that leads from  Mine to Main Lake, the largest of the

lakes in this chain.

Sandy beaches on small islands and in cozy bays are

delightfully welcoming spots to land and pass a sunny

day, with hardly any other paddlers with which to share

this slice of paradise.

If you land on the northeast side of Main Lake, you’ll find not

only a sandy beach but also a short walking trail that

follows an old logging road to Yeatman Bay, north

of Surge Narrows  on Quadra’s coastline.

To reach the launch site, take West Road north from the

ferry landing at Quathiaski Bay to Heriot Bay.

Keep heading north on Hyacinthe Bay Road and then

Village Bay Road.

Launch at the bridge in Village Bay or continue another

1.5 miles (2.5 km) farther north along Surge Narrows

Road to Miners Bay.

The waters around Quadra Island have yielded some

of the largest salmon ever caught on BC’s west coast.

Although much of the activity is centred in nearby

Campbell River  on Vancouver Island, there is plenty of

action around Quadra, particularly at Quathiaski Cove,

where the ferry linking Quadra and Campbell River docks.

Anglers also congregate in the waters off Cape Mudge,

Copper Bluffs and April Point, and at the entrance to

Quathiaski Cove around Grouse Island.

Good fishing is also found in the protected waters around

Rebecca Spit Marine Provincial Park, where a popular

public boat  ramp is located.

Inland on Quadra, cutthroat trout are numerous in

the freshwater  regions of Village Bay, Mine, and

Main Lakes. •

The clear waters and profusion of colourful marine life off

Quadra’s shores make the area one of the best and most

challenging destinations for scuba diving.

Diving in Discovery Passage can only be attempted

during slack tide.

The currents are very strong and are phenomenally rich in

nutrients and oxygen sustaining an awesome array of

marine life.

There’s no wreck like an old wreck.

That’s what the 366-foot former navy destroyer HMCS

Columbia  is fast becoming.

She was scuttled by the Artificial Reef Society near Maud

Island on thewest coast of Quadra Island.


Divers should check with the Underwater Archeological

Society of BC,  or dive shops and marinas in Campbell River,

for more details.

The small island of Steep, off the southwest coast of

Quadra Island, is rated as one of the best dives in

the world.

The northern tip of Steep Island is best dived at the end

of an  ebbing tide, ensuring a fabulous dive amongst a

profusion of colour  and marine life. •





For more exciting pieces of jewellery


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