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.

The End


Cattails

Cattails

A veritable supermarket on a stick, cattails were once a source of sustenance as well as comfort to Pacific Northwest natives. Young shoots can be eaten as greens in the spring while young flower spikes can be roasted and eaten like cobs of corn. Young roots or rhizomes (underground stems) can be peeled and eaten as is—sashimi-style, hold the wasabi—or dried and pulverized into flour. Early settlers too discovered that cattail pollen could be harvested and added to bread or pancakes. Cattail down or fluff was collected in autumn for use as a wound dressing or for stuffing pillows and bedding. Cattail leaves found use in native basketry.

Illustration by Manami Kimura