Sunshine Coast Bed and Breakfast, Cottage Owners AssociationSunshine Coast Bed and Breakfast, Cottage Owners Association
All members are inspected and approved
Accommodations Search
 
 
Advanced Search
Featured Members
August 21st, 2011
August 21st, 2011

The Perfect Weekend Getaway - Powell River

By Jane Mundy, Special To The Province | August 21, 2011

The Sunshine Coast Trail - which begins at the Saltery Bay ferry terminal and winds north to Desolation Sound - is "99.9 per cent mud-free and grandma-proof; accessible for all ages," said Eagle Walz.

Walz helped build the trail (and still continues to improve and maintain it), along with the BOMB squad (Bloody Old Men´s Brigade, a group of retired loggers and millworkers).

"We´ve got switchbacks in steep areas to provide a good grade. It´s not like the Grouse Grind, but you can still challenge yourself," he adds. "There are 24 access points to trails and lakes and there´s always something - a shelter, a bench, a stellar view, even trolls on the trinket trail - just around the corner."

You can hike the trail year-round. If you do get wet, there are eight shelters where you can dry out, but the dense forest canopy keeps downpours at bay.

THE TRAILS

I´m a city gal who loves the great outdoors, but when it comes to serious hiking - that is, more than an hour in the rainforest - my interest was nil, until I discovered "have camera, can hike" and saw nature through a new lens.

On my first visit to Powell River, I took a four-hour outdoor photography course with resident Darren Robinson. We hiked the Appleton Creek Trail and shot one waterfall after another. When someone shows you how to look at something in a different light, from another angle, it´s amazing what you can see. And I finally figured out how to shoot on the manual setting. Darren´s classes are popular with teens and adults of all ages.

"If you hike to Fairview Bay - which should have been named Oyster Bay - all you´ll need is an oyster shucker and beverage of choice," said Eagle Walz, laughing. The shelters also have barbecue pits and (when I was there) firewood. Free!

You´ll come across many different environments, from ocean shore to mountain ridge, lake and creek, as well as old-growth forest. "Because we are in a working forest, there is logging, but we´re working hard [for 17 years] to have buffers," Eagle explained. "It´s important that we linked the trail to old growth to increase awareness and support."

GEOCACHING

Geocaching - like an electronic treasure hunt - appeals to all age groups. Created by volunteer enthusiasts, it has a dedicated following worldwide. "I know adults who base their entire trips around these things," said Darren, and they apparently love coming to Powell River - both residents and visitors have created lots of geocaches in the area. (Maybe the Upper Sunshine Coast can no longer be considered one of B.C.´s best kept secrets ...)

This is all you have to do: Get a GPS unit and go online to http://www. geocaching.com, where you look up different sites by region, area or city. It will give you the co-ordinates and a clue.

"A clue may be, ´look under a rock that has a painted circle´ or ´look up into the tree that looks like the letter Y,´ " Darren explained. "The treasure could be a bottle cap, hockey card, T-shirt, button - you´re welcome to take a treasure, so long as you leave one behind."

And don´t forget to sign the log book, usually near the treasure in a Ziploc bag; it´s a way to keep connected with fellow geocachers.

GETTING THERE

The Upper Sunshine Coast is a perfect long weekend getaway. You can get to Powell River from Vancouver in less than five hours - quicker than driving to the Okanagan, but better because you can sit back and study the Sunshine Coast trail maps (a must have; available online and in many bookstores) on two B.C. Ferries cruises. Some people consider the two-ferry journey as an impediment, while others believe it keeps the area pristine and unspoiled. Or you can take a half-hour flight on WestJet from Vancouver´s airport.

If you take the ferry from Vancouver, it´s 30 kilometres west on Hwy. 1 to Horseshoe Bay terminal, then a 40-minute sailing to Langdale on the Sunshine Coast. Drive about one hour to Earl´s Cove and the second ferry crossing to Saltery Bay. Drive 20 minutes to Powell River. (BC Ferries: 604-886-2242; http://www. bcferries.com)

VIEW ENTIRE ARTICLE

RSS feed Feed Description
Subscribe to the complete Sunshine Coast Bed and Breakfast, Cottage Owners Association News RSS news feedAll News RSS feed Complete RSS feed
Subscribe to the Sunshine Coast Bed and Breakfast, Cottage Owners Association News RSS news feed for this category onlyCommunity News RSS feed for: Community News
A Rich Site Summary (RSS) feed is an xml data file that provides a summary of the information contained here. It is not designed to be viewed in your browser, but instead by rss reader software. If you do not know what this means - you can safely ignore it, as it is provided for advanced users with rss reader software only.
web development: PawPrint.net