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Sunshine Coast Trail Stage 1: Sarah Point to Malaspina Road E-mail
(13 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   

Level: Moderate
Distance: 21.3 km
Time: 2-3 days
Elevation Change: 340 m
Season: Year-round
Access: See Getting to the Sunshine Coast Trail

Catch the first bus of the day to reach the trailhead by late afternoon. From the bus depot in Westview hop in a cab to complete the road portion of the journey. Taxi fare to Lund should be around $30. From here a water taxi, costing $50 for up to six people, will be required to reach Sarah Point. Advanced reservations are a must. There are a number of rustic campsites at the beginning of the trail. The sun-baked bluffs of Sarah Point itself are an ideal perch from which to witness the renowned sunsets of the Sunshine Coast. Load up on water, however, before boarding the water taxi as the point is dry. If blustery weather rather than a gentle sunset greets you then push on to Myrmidon Cove 4 km away on the more protected side of Malaspina Peninsula. Myrmidon Cove is endowed with water but no other amenities. On the way expect pleasant views overlooking Desolation Sound and one small beach at Feather Cove, 2.8 km from the beginning of the trail.

Ocean views and saltwater access will continue off and on through much of the next day. Early-rising bird watchers will want to approach Hinder Lake quietly to avoid scaring the waterfowl away. Use extra care in the vicinity of Hinder Lake as it is a source of water for nearby residents and hikers alike. The Knob [km 7.6] in particular provides vistas of Okeover Inlet. At km 9.6 a side trail leads down to a campsite on Cochrane Bay endowed with both water and oysters. Be sure to check with the Red Tide Hotline before harvesting the latter.

Alternately join the resident beaver for a snack any day of the week at [km 12.1] Wednesday Lake. The feature of the beaver lodge is double-digested bark. If you thought to pack along a lightweight fly rod then perhaps you can tease a trout or two out of the pond and into the frying pan instead. The campsite at Wednesday Lake has drinking water, a pit toilet and the plaintive cries of loons to lull you into slumber. Rather than scooping water directly from the lake, dip into the outfall just beyond the camp to reduce the amount of suspended particulate matter. Lest the beaver sports a fever treat all water to be on the safe side. Giardia is no way to start a vacation.

Gwendoline Hills Trail
The final 9 kilometres on this first stage of the Sunshine Coast Trail are the most taxing. Though you might find a trickle here and a drip there, a reliable source of drinking water is nonexistent. Likewise, there are no established campsites along the way. The trail primarily winds through forest including the occasional pocket of old-growth with viewpoints few and far between. Take them in whenever they crop up. Just past Wednesday Lake a short side trail leads to a viewpoint overlooking Okeover Inlet. At the 16 km mark views in the opposite direction overlooking the Strait of Georgia can be had from Manzanita Bluffs.

A rustic campsite with water and picnic table has been established just 100 metres beyond the end of this section at Fern Creek but far superior alternatives abound just a short distance down Malaspina Road. Okeover Inlet Provincial Campground offers the least developed facilities but running water and pit toilets will be appreciated. If undertaking the Sunshine Coast Trail in small, easily-digestable segments or otherwise wanting to bailout at this point call for a taxi from the government wharf here. Nearby Y-Knot Campsite [(604) 483-3243] offers basic camping plus hot showers. Just prior to the end of the trail a well-marked side trail leads to Cedar Lodge B & B [(604) 483-4414] for those in dire need of both a hot water soak and a pillow. Reservations are required.




-1 #6 RE: Sunshine Coast Trail Stage 1: Sarah Point to Malaspina RoadBrian Grover 2015-06-22 16:46
Thanks for the update Sally. This kind of feedback is vital for ensuring that BC Car-Free stays up-to-date AND available.
-1 #5 RE: Sunshine Coast Trail Stage 1: Sarah Point to Malaspina RoadSally 2015-06-22 11:50
Just an update on the water taxi -it's more like $120 for up to 6 passengers whether you take the water taxi or Terracentric.
0 #4 RevisionsBrian Grover 2013-07-04 03:21
I won't be revising anything, anytime soon. It's through comments like yours -- crowd-source-style -- that will keep this resource current for the time being.

Thanks for taking the time.

Revisions will happen once I get around to creating the e-book version.
0 #3 revisionSarah 2013-07-03 19:08
You may have to revise the 'how to get to Sarah Point' because the Malaspina bus only goes to Powell river from Vancouver in the afternoon. Anyone taking this bus would have to stay at a hotel for a night before venturing off to the trail head. It leaves Vancouver mid-afternoon and gets to Powell River just after 9pm. The other option - bus and ferry - not only takes a ridiculous amount of time, but you have to take 3 different buses just to get from the Naniamo ferry to the Comox ferry. In the end, a person will have had to transfer 8 times. So much for 'Car free' to the Sunshine coast! No need to reply, just thought you should know.
0 #2 First busBrian Grover 2013-07-03 18:54
Sara: See the link above that comment? Click it. All will be revealed.

I think there's only one bus these days but not sure. You'll have to do a bit of legwork on your own.
0 #1 Bus?Sarah 2013-07-03 17:44
You said, "catch the first bus of the day...". What bus are you talking about?

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