Powell River Visitors Bureau has produced a brilliant map of the entire region detailing, not only the Sunshine Coast Trail, but the Powell Forest Canoe Route and  Desolation Sound. The full-colour map includes topographic information, logging roads, and other routes of interest to mountain bikers, horseback riders and hikers. Key scuba diving, kayaking, climbing and camping locations are also highlighted. Download the map in PDF format here.

Topographical Map: Geological Survey of Canada 1:50,000 series sheets for the trail are 92 F/15 & 92 F/16.

Click to View Map

The community of Powell River has it all, a remote, multi-day canoe route, a kayaker's paradise and now a 175 km bush trek. For info on the first two, follow the links: the Powell Forest Canoe Route and Desolation Sound. The latter Sunshine Coast Trail is the most recent development and, though complete, upgrading is expected to continue for some years yet.

the hulks 004

Known as "The Hulks," a flotilla of WWII era transports rings the deep water booming ground adjacet to the Powell River paper mill, providing protection from the bluster.     

The entire trail is marked with bright orange squares though more detailed signage will be gradually added. Some campsites are rustic in the extreme but then again that's why we go there. The trail is so new in fact that this author has yet to hike its entire length. I did however live in Powell River for five years and have tramped and camped throughout the region including many of the areas embraced by the new trail. Since that was well-before the trail was ever conceived the description below will be necessarily scant.

Though on the British Columbia mainland, Powell River is an isolated community sandwiched between Desolation Sound to the north and Jervis Inlet to the south. The Sunshine Coast Trail runs from land' s end at Sarah Point southward to the end of the road at the Saltery Bay ferry terminal. Ferries connect the mill town with Comox on Vancouver Island and, via the Sechelt Peninsula, to the Lower Mainland. Twice-daily bus service provides a car-free link from Vancouver. Refer to Getting to the Sunshine Coast for full details.

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Comman Plaintain

Common Plantain

What drives the home gardener mad is good news for the outback-bound as common plantain is common indeed. Young leaves can be eaten as is like lettuce while the more mature ones benefit from steaming or boiling like kale or spinach. Chop and season before eating. Common plantain is a good trail-side source of vitamins C, A and K. Much like aloe, a poultice of crushed plantain leaves is said to be a beneficial treatment for burns and insect stings.

Illustration by Manami Kimura