Access: To reach Bowen Island first grab a bus bound for Horseshoe Bay. At the end of the line follow the crowds into the ferry terminal. The ferry crossing takes just 20 minutes and return fare is included in the ticket price. In addition to hourly service by BC Ferries, Bowen Island is also serviced by water taxi. Call Cormorant Marine at 604-947-2243 or 604-250-2630. For those who are in a hurry to relax contact Bowen Taxi at 604-947-0000. Translink is now supporting a rudimentary bus service on the island during peak hours. All buses are equipped with bike-racks. More information about the Bowen Island Community Shuttle can be had by calling 604-947-0229.

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Visiting Bowen Island is always a treat. This funky little community on the edge of West Vancouver is not a suburb nor is it a rural backwater like many of the Gulf Islands. Just 3,000 full time residents call this 5260-hectare rock home. In addition to kayaking opportunities which are detailed in the Sea Kayaking Section, Bowen Island offers three pleasant hikes. All start from the ferry terminal and all are accessible most of the year. If lucky, you'll miss a ferry or two after the hike and - shucks! - have to do some carbo-loading in the Bowen Island Neighbourhood Pub [604-947-2782.] Cappuccino, ice cream and the usual post-hike rewards are also available from the cluster of shops just above the ferry landing.

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Devils Club

Devil’s Club

No, not a place where off-duty satanists hang out. Devil’s club is a member of the ginseng family and as such is said to have curative powers for several afflictions. Commonly associated with the word "ouch!" this thorny understory shrub can otherwise be identified by large limp, maple-shaped leaves and a cluster of red berries. In coastal British Columbia devil’s club was traditionally used to provide relief from arthritis and rheumatism. As a wilderness food source, young stems of the devil’s club can be cooked as greens while the roots can be peeled, rinsed and chewed raw. Devil’s club bark was once mixed with various kinds of berries and boiled to make purplish dye for native basketry.

Illustration by Manami Kimura