Level: Easy

Distance: 8 km

Time: 2 h

Elevation Change: 180 m

Season: Year Round

Topographical Map: 92 B/14

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Access: At the head of Whaler Bay about two km from the Sturdies Bay ferry terminal you'll find the trailhead on the left side of the road.

An old overgrown logging road here leads to 130 hectare Bluffs Park. Within a few minutes the trail branches to the left. Though unmarked, this is the route to Bluffs Park. The newer-looking main trail parallels Sturdies Bay Road as far as the 2 grocery stores on Georgeson Bay Road. Follow the forested trail 2 km to reach Bluff Road. A few minutes up the road you'll find the parking area from which a trail leads to the summit. The view overlooks Active Pass and Navy Channel with North Pender Island in the distance on the right. Mayne Island is across the channel on the left. Bluffs Park was created in 1948, made possible by a generous land donation by the Belgian farming family who settled the land. To loop back to the ferry terminal return via Bluff Road to Burrill Road (2 km) then on to Sturdies Bay Road (2 km). The ferry terminal is just a kilometre down the hill.

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Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

Looking much like tiny concord grapes on a holly bush, the intensely sour fruit of the Oregon grape is loaded with Vitamin C. Munch them directly from the bush for a surefire pucker or render them into sugar-loaded jelly for a more palatable treat. Traditionally Oregon grape berries were mashed with other, sweeter berries to enhance their flavour. The inner bark of both stems and roots was a source of brilliant yellow dye during pre-European times. The source of the colour, an alkaloid called berberine, is known to possess antibiotic properties that are still used to combat both internal and external infections. An extract concocted from the roots is used by modern-day herbalists to correct a wide range of liver, kidney and urinary tract problems.

Illustration by Manami Kimura