SKABC is a founding member of the BC Marine Trails Network Association which is dedicated to the creation of a marine network of access points and campsites along the coastline of British Columbia.
SKABC’s generous 2011 donation of $5,000 from the Heritage Fund is gratefully acknowledged by your fellow paddlers in the sister BCMTNA clubs.
March 2013 Update and request for help
- Latest BCMT Winter 2013 Newsletter
- Help is always needed! Email
- Form to submit site information
- Email to submit site photos (give direction, location, state of tide).
- Also, site information can be submitted, discussed and critiqued on the West Coast Paddler discussion forum.
Marine trails consist of coastal travel routes with landing and launch sites identified and described for trip planning. Many of the sites are suitable for overnight camping using Leave No Trace principles and responsible stewardship. Primary sites – the best ones to use normally - are usually less than 10 nm apart . Alternate sites may be interspersed, to give more options, but may be smaller or usable only at lower water levels or in certain weather conditions.
We have developed an interactive map of sites. As trails are officially opened, the sites will appear on the map (most are currently hidden because the trails they are on do not yet have status). At this time, you will see sites from:
- Tofino around Cape Scott to Port Hardy – West Coast Vancouver Is N trail
- Saanich Peninsula to Nanaimo – Gulf Islands Trail (3 branches)
Please check out the web site at:
Watch for much more information on our map soon!
We are working on more trails – see below!
We are also conscious of needing funding to continue with this ambitious venture. We cannot lean too heavily on the clubs and we are leery of being over-dependent on grants from governments, so we have begun to develop a sponsorship program to encourage donations from businesses, in return for recognition. If you have ideas about what businesses (large or small) might be good sponsors for BCMTNA, please let me know. Nick Heath email@example.com
- Mountain Equipment Co-op (Access grant)
- Alberni Outpost
- Coast and Kayak Magazine
- Coast Mountain Expeditions
- Ecomarine Ocean Kayak Centre
- Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC
- Tofino Sea Kayaking
- West Coast Expeditions
Please chat to the business contacts you may have and help to bring on some more!
Goals: The Association’s goals are to preserve and enhance access to vital coastal locations that have been used by paddlers (mostly, but not exclusively kayakers) as rest stops, safe havens, campsites or launch sites. The plan is ambitious in scope – the entire BC coastline – inlets, fiords and islands included ( – yes all 27,000 km!).
Vision: Much of the shoreline of British Columbia is Crown land or land that is subject to being transferred to a different level of government under First Nations’ treaty settlements. However, due to commercial and private pressures, more and more demands are being made on these lands. In BC, by law, the foreshore below the high tide line cannot be privately owned, but in the more populated coastal areas, much of the land above high tide is private. In these areas it can be difficult for paddlers travelling the coast in their kayaks or canoes to find accessible uplands suitable for rest or camping.
As the population of BC increases, pressures on coastal lands will also increase. This is why steps are being taken now to identify and secure necessary havens, pull-offs and camping areas along the coastline of British Columbia. These sites, together with frequent accessible launching sites, will become the basis of the BC Marine Trails Network: a network of marine trails along the British Columbia coastline, for the public recreational use of present and future generations.
Sites will be carefully selected with the following factors in mind:
- They each provide a refuge off the water in case of sudden weather changes, fatigue, etc.
- They are within reasonable paddling distances apart
- They have scenic beauty
- Beaches are accessible at high and low tides
- They each have an upland area suitable for camping.
Achievements in 2011
- West Coast Vancouver Island Marine Trail – approved and opened
- Gulf Islands Marine Trail (3 branches) – approved and opened
- Memorable Grand Opening event
Achievements in 2012
- Launch of web site with interactive site map – Completed March 2012, thanks to generosity of Mountain Equipment Coop. Thanks MEC!!.
- Discovery Islands Marine Trail – submitted for approval.
- Desolation Sound Marine Trail – submitted in 2011 and under discussion with BC Parks and with Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
- Johnstone Strait South Marine Trail – submitted for approval.
- Mainland Straits Marine Trail – submitted for approval (Cordero, Chancellor, Havannah and Chatham Channels along N shore of Johnstone Strait).
- Launch of sponsorship program to diversify our funding base.
- Establishing links with to coastal communities, especially First Nations communities and governments. e.g. Visited Quatsino, Ahousaht and Hesquiaht bands at their offices.
- Site checking of about 150 sites, mostly by power boat.
Ongoing activity in 2013
- Broughton Archipelago and surrounding area Marine Trail – in preparation
- West Coast Vancouver I South (Tofino to Victoria) – in preparation.
- Howe Sound sites to be determined in cooperation with Trans Canada Trail reps who want a water-based route to link Horseshoe Bay to Squamish for their proposed Victoria to Tuktoyaktuk trail.
- Further developing existing Marine Trails e.g. Gulf Islands access and parking clarifications.
- Continuing participation in Marine Planning Partnership (BC Government and various First Nations groups) on behalf of the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC for sub regions: North Vancouver Island (member and alternate member); Central Coast (alternate member); North Coast ( alternate member); Haida Gwaii, and inter-regional coordination (member).
- Developing relationships with the First Nations of the BC Coast.
- Strengthening relationships with Parks Canada, BC Parks and other agencies.
- Grounds checks in South Coast Mainland region, Vancouver Island region and Discoveries & Mid coast region (Queen Charlotte Strait).
Projects for 2013
We are planning to:
- Bring our Board to full strength (7 members).
- Visit and develop strong ties with various First Nations communities (January – visited Nanwakolas Council and April – visited K’omoks FN).
- Complete the trails around Vancouver Island
- Submit the Broughton Trail
- Submit several South Coast trails (e.g. Sechelt and Jervis Inlets, Sunshine Coast)
- Display on our interactive map many sites that we have been keeping hidden until now – they are published elsewhere and folks know of them, so we are doing this as a service to paddlers.
- Continue to gather data for Central and N Coast sites.
- Develop a marketing plan for attracting sponsors
2013 site checks
BCMTNA will develop a current list of priority areas for site checks. A 7 day Zodiac cruise (!) to check sites was done in April 2012 in Johnstone Strait and the Broughtons. We like to do some site checks in the Spring when it is quiet. we have less fog and plenty of daylight so let us know if you can spare a week in April May or June.
Various paddle-powered trips will also be planned selected sites.
Any paddlers visiting the following areas are asked to check first with Nick Heath, SKABC (firstname.lastname@example.org). Some on this list are potential sites, some are well-known, but need a bit of specific information. The sites are:
- Bay east of Pocohontas Bay
- Russ Creek
- Anderson Bay
- Maud Island
- Bay south of Von Donop
Queen Charlotte Strait (North shore opposite God’s Pocket)
- Boyles Point
- Lewis Cove
- Kenneth Bay
- Howcraft Point
- Raynor Island Group
- Blunden Harbour