Smuggler Cove – Oct 16, 2011

Today was a beautiful day….lots of sunshine, no wind, and temps in the teens (50’s F). One of those few days where I am almost happy not to have guests….so I can get out and experience the best the Sunshine Coast has to offer myself. Today I chose a new hiking adventure…Smuggler Cove Provincial Park.

Smuggler Cove is located in Halfmoon Bay…about 45 minutes from Arcturus Retreat B&B. It is a marine park with anchorage for boats and a 4km trail system from the land access point. Signs inside the park explain that it gets its name first from being a point to smuggle Chinese labor into Canada at the time of the transcontinental railroad, and second from American prohibition. Alcohol was smuggled from nearby Texada Island and eventually across the border to the US.

The first part of the trail is super easy hiking. I wasn’t paying close enough attention to note if it was completely wheelchair accessible…but it is definitely baby stroller ready. Long boardwalks like this take visitors past marshy areas. This area is not home to massive trees, but instead many many young deciduous trees. I hadn’t noticed how many leaves have already fallen until I saw this stretch of empty trees. The season is definitely changing as overnight lows are now into the single digits…upper 40’s F.
About 1/2 of the way down the trail, this even ground ends and the trail becomes narrower and rocky. It is still relatively easy hiking with small elevation changes, but there are stairs and lots of rocks. Hiking books and/or walking poles come in handy protecting ankles and assisting with balance.



The trail loop at the end is completely worth the reward. One easy climb up a bluff and “Hello Pacific Ocean”. Imagine being the passengers on this lone boat at anchor in the cove. Nothing but stars and a full moon tonight to enjoy. Summer is a more popular time for boats, but crowds are still unlikely.



This is my favourite spot. I must have sat out on the huge boulder for 30 minutes with no other human in sight. A sailboat off in the distance and the sound of gently lapping waves and a few birds…nothing to spoil the moment. An excellent inspiration spot…perfect for reading, painting, writing, or just dreaming. I’ll definitely be back to enjoy this view. The southern tip of Texada Island is off in the distance and Thormanby Island is closer just out of camera sight to my left.

Arbutus trees line the shoreline. The tree best suited for craggly rocky outcrops. It is the coolest tree that calls the BC coastline and areas of the Mediterranean home. It doesn’t loose its leaves, but instead sheds its bark each summer. This leaves the trees smooth and a unique orange hue.

I am going to have to find time for more hikes in Smuggler Cove.