Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
Sunshine Coast Trail, Canada, British Columbia travel - tourism Information Guide
Sunshine Coast Travel : Parks & Trails
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The Sunshine Coast Trail

Trail Marker to Sarah Point Views of Goat Lake Lois Lake

Sunshine Coast parks, trails

A big, long addition to the "wish lists" of many hard core backpackers in British Columbia Canada is the Sunshine Coast Trail (marked as SCT on many trail marker signs). Many years in the making, the trail route opened as of just recently in 1999. A route spanning over 180 km (yes that is not a misprint) starting/ending from just outside the community of Lund, BC at Sarah Point and ending/starting at the BC Ferry community of Saltery Bay.

The Sunshine Coast Trail route travels through many eco systems and different environments. Some areas of the Sunshine Coast Trail seem civilized with accommodations and restaurants found along the route. Opportunity to restock supplies. There is the odd man-made bridge and sections of boardwalk too but do no let that fool you. Most of the trail is rugged wilderness travelling through valleys, forests and along mountain ridges surrounded by natural structures like old growth trees, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and ponds. The Sunshine Coast Trail delivers with panoramic views, wildlife and a wide assortment of fauna and flora... and some very slippery moss covered trail areas to navigate.

The whole Sunshine Coast Trail system is broken into smaller segments for shorter hikes with some wilderness campgrounds located along the trail. Some campgrounds are serviced by pit toilets and many with picnic tables. Most sites range from two spots to 20 or more sites. The segmentation of the trail into sections creates a unique opportunity to explore sections of the trail by day and, yet, still enjoy a warm comfortable lodging at night.

Plan your hiking wisely, dress in layers and purchase a map from any of the many communities in the northern portion of the Sunshine Coast so to scout out your routes and campgrounds before embarking on your journey. Below are some of the highlights to expect from each section of the Sunshine Coast Trail.

Trail Segment #1- Sarah Point to Malaspina Rd. (21.3 kms)
Moderate hiking most of the way until 3/4 of the way through when there are some elevation gains and climbs to contend with. There is an emergency campsite at Feather Cove with the main campground located at Cochrane Bay. Some great swimming holes along the way including Wednesday Lake. There are ocean views from the Manzanita Bluffs.

Trail Segment #2 - Malaspina Rd to Powell Lake (29.2 km)
Moderate hiking conditions. Canoe Bay is the location of the main campground. Visit the big trees in Rainforest Valley, the tall Toquenatch Fir and "Old Gnarley". A 9ft. diameter fir tree. There are views from Gibraltar Viewpoint of the Pacific Ocean and from the Kayach Bluffs there are viiews of Big Sliammon Lake. Along one stretch of this trail section there are waterfalls. Lakes like the Theth Yeth Lake, Dogleg Pond, Little Sliammon Lake and Rievely's Pond are great for swimming and bird watching. The trail ends at Shinglemill Pub & Bistro. Real food and chance to restock.

Trail Segment #3 - Mowat Bay Municipal Park to Fiddlehead Farm (20.9 km)
Moderate hiking conditions to Inland Lake. Difficulty level increases hiking towards Condederation Lake and heading down to Fiddlehead. Campgrounds are located at Haywire Bay, Confederation Lake and Inland Lake. Confederation Lake also has a cabin accommodation. There are swimming opportunities at Mowat Bay Municipal Park, Wednesday Point. Great scenic view of Giovanni Valley and Tin Hat Mountain from Vomit Vista.

Trail Segment #4 - Tinhat Mountain to Eagle River (54.6 km)
Difficult hiking conditions as tail section is more rugged, slippery and less developed with large elevation gains and losses. Campgrounds located at Lewis Lake and at Elk Lake. Both are popular swimming holes. Some of the best scenic views are along this section of the route like at Tinhat Mountain. Here you can view more than two dozen lakes, many mountain ranges and the ocean straits. There are ample opportunities to hike through old growth forests of cedar and fir trees.

Trail Segment #5 - Lois Lake Dam to Saltery Bay (42 km)
Another difficult section of hiking along rough trails and hiking up large elevation gains. Campgrounds are located at start of Powell Forest Canoe Route, Elephant Lake, Rainy Day Lake and Saltey Bay. Swimming is best at Rainy Day Lake and Elephant Lake. The effort is rewarded during this hike with scenic views from 1300 m at Mount Troubridge and Grouse Ridge.


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