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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Sea Asparagus

Sea Asparagus

This salty delicacy will be found wherever sea kayakers lurk. Carpeting the water’s edge on mud flats, sheltered coves and estuaries, sea asparagus prefers limited exposure to wave action. Sea asparagus has more aliases than its segmented stems have branches, being known variously as glasswort, pickleweed, samphire and pigeon foot. In the camp kitchen sea asparagus is versatile. Stems can be munched upon as is, used to perk up salads, presented like asparagus or even collected for pickling or freezing. A British Columbia company has developed a market for sea asparagus, shipping the frozen product to upscale restaurants worldwide. Soak sea asparagus in freshwater for several hours before preparing to reduce its salinity.

Illustration by Manami Kimura