Level: Easy

Distance: 4 km r/t

Time: 1½ hr Elevation: 50 m

Season: Year Round

Topographical Map: 92 G/6

Click to View Map

Access: Take the bus to Horseshoe Bay and catch the ferry to Langdale on the Sunshine Coast. Crossing time is 40 minutes. As you step off the loading ramp of the Langdale ferry you'll find the foot passenger ferry to New Brighton immediately on your right. Since this ferry services both Gambier Island and Keats Island make sure you get on the correct sailing.

To avoid retracing your steps, contact Cormorant Marine water taxi [604-250-2630] in Horseshoe Bay to find out if any trips are planned directly to West Bay. Though scheduling is sporadic and custom trips prohibitively expensive it may be possible to piggyback on another previously scheduled outing for just $20 or so. From West Bay just follow the directions below in reverse, returning via ferry from New Brighton and Langdale.

A boat ride or two, a pleasant rural stroll, and lunch at a charming country store are the highlights of this low-key day trip. From the government wharf in New Brighton climb the hill past the pay phone, staying with the right fork when you reach the Gambier Island General Store [604-886-3838.] Soon enough the road levels out, taking you past old homesteads and newer recreational properties as it winds through mixed forest of maple, hemlock and fir.

Think Globally, Buy Locally. Gambier Island Store has a sandwich and a porch swing with your name on it.

Chest-high glades of sword fern burning with backlight offer plenty of opportunities for the photographically-inclined.

Continue straight at the only other intersection en route to reach the long pier at West Bay. Or turn right and take a side trip to Gambier Harbour, adding 6 km to your day. Return to the general store for a gourmet sandwich before heading back to the city. Later in the summer picking blackberries along the foreshore is a good way to kill time while waiting for the ferry.

The End


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