Posted by: cherylyoung | March 11, 2012

You could spend a month on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island but you still wouldn’t have enought time to see everything

 

Sargeant Bay Provincial Park, 4 miles (6 km) west of Sechelt,

features a sandy beach that’s ideal for swimming and picnicking.

You’re most likely to find yourself sharing it with local bird

-watchers who come down to explore the nearby marsh.

As you walk south along the bay, the cobblestone beach

changes to more hospitable sand, which is where you’ll

want to spread out and listen to the lapping of the waves and

the laughing of the gulls.

Roberts Creek Provincial Park straddles Highway 101,

about 8 miles (12 km) south of Sechelt, and offers vehicle/tent

campsites.

 

Lush second-growth forest is the setting for the park’s

picnic grounds and beach, the entrance to which lies south

of the campground on Elphinstone Road, where you’ll find

two dozen tables arranged beside the ocean.

Bring your beach shoes, as bare feet may find the cobblestoned

coastline too rough on tender tootsies.

If you like to pick mussels and oysters and look for seashells,

the beach at the picnic grounds is a good place to visit at

low tide.

Just check for red-tide warnings and harvesting closures

beforehand at the entrance to the park.

There is camping at Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park,

located about 9 miles (15 km) northwest of Sechelt, one

of the most popular anchorages on the Sunshine Coast,

well-protected from wind and sea.

This small, sheltered marine park with 5 walk-in campsites

serves as a jumping-off point for paddlers wishing to explore

several offshore islands in what is arguably the most scenic

location on the Sunshine Coast.

 

Watch for the well-marked approach to the park on the

south side of Hwy 101, between Halfmoon Bay and Secret Cove.

 

Follow Brooks Road 3 miles (5 km) to the parking lot, from

where you can walk the 1-mile (1.6-km) trail to the wilderness

campsites, or paddle in from Brooks Cove through

Welcome Passage.

The sheltered coastline of Smugglers Cove provides great

protection for paddling.

On Redrooffs Road between Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay is

the waterfront Coopers Green Regional Park, where you’ll

find a beach with a mix of rock and sand, and offshore islets.

Enjoy a picnic supper while watching the summer sun

sink offshore as it lights up the picturesque cove.

 

Coopers Green is a popular location for divers, and has

a large grassy, treed area with a volleyball court, horseshoe pit,

BBQ pit, washroom facilities, swimming beach and a

public boat ramp.

Short trails in Connor Park connect to extensive hiking

and mountain biking trails that wind through the

Halfmoon Bay area.

The park is reached via Redrooffs Road from Hwy 101,

between Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay – approximately 10 minutes

driving north of Sechelt.

From Redrooffs Road turn east on Southwood, left on

Westwood and left at the deadend.

 

Sechelt Inlets Marine Provincial Recreation Area is a narrow,

fjordlike environment where old-growth forest plummets

down the sides of the Caren Range mountains to the ocean.

Beaches are limited, and where they do occur you’ll find

small park sites suited for rest stops or overnighting.

 

Given the rocky shoreline of much of the Sechelt Inlet

and its two branches – Salmon and Narrows Inlets – kayakers

will be relieved to reach one of the sites when the wind rises

and makes paddling extremely difficult.

 

It’s only about a 2-mile (3-km) paddle from the marina to

the first marine-park site at Tuwanek Point.

Two of the trickiest sections involve crossing the mouth

of Salmon Inlet, where strong winds can quickly turn a

leisurely paddle into a maddening fight, and navigating

Tzoonie Narrows in Narrows Inlet where, unless you enter

the narrows at a favourable tide, you’re in for a battle against

the current.

Note that there is no water access from the community

of Tuwanek.

 

It takes the better part of a day to paddle the 22 miles

(35 km) from the federal dock in Sechelt to Egmont at the

north end of the inlet via Skookumchuk Narrows.

 

You can reduce the paddle time by launching at Porpoise Bay

Provincial Park or private Tillicum Bay Marina, a good place

to leave your car if you’re going on an overnight paddle

Both the park and the marina are located on E Porpoise Bay

Road (Sechelt Inlet Road) in Sechelt. 

 

Paddlers can head offshore to Simson Provincial Park, which

enjoys a particularly pretty location and occupies much of

South Thormanby Island.

It’s only a 2-mile (3-km) paddle from the public boat ramp

in Halfmoon Bay across Welcome Passage to the east side of

South Thormanby, the larger of two similarly named islands.

 

Paddlers can not only explore Simson but also

Buccaneer Bay Provincial Park, on the west side of North

Thormanby Island, as well as many bays and headlands

around Smuggler Cove Marine Park, just north of Halfmoon Bay.

From Porpoise Bay charter boats will take you to the most

spectacular Fjord…Princess Louisa Inlet and finally

Chatterbox Falls.

 

The scenic town of Roberts Creek lies on a quiet winding side

road off Highway 101, midway between Gibsons and Sechelt on

the lower Sunshine Coast of BC. Roberts Creek is a haven for

artists, artisans and craftspeople, and many of these artists open

their home studios to the public.

 

Northwest of Sechelt on Highway 101 is Halfmoon Bay, a

small village of permanent homes, summer cottages and

five regional parks.

The Halfmoon Bay community can be reached by the

uniquely named Redrooffs Road, so-called because a popular

local resort once featured a cluster of tourist cabins,

all with red roofs.

 

See the best of the area on a driving Circle Tour.

 

Head north out of Vancouver for a scenic circle tour of the

Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

Board a B.C. Ferries vessel at Powell River that will take you

across the waters of the Strait of Georgia to Comox, on

Vancouver Island’s east coast.

Travel south to Victoria and return to Vancouver by ferry

from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen. Circle Tours

CHERYL C YOUNG,REALTOR

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C www.cherylyoung.ca

www.facebook.com/cherylcyoung

www.twitter.com/CherylCYoung  cbythesea@shaw.ca

 

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