Marine trail makes tracks
The new Salish Sea Marine Trail offers paddlers conveniently spaced marine parks and campgrounds from Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver on the BC mainland to Victoria’s Clover Point on southeast Vancouver Island.
But the 257-kilometre (160-mile) “blueway” is also perfect for boat campers, those adventurous folks with smaller boats or bigger crews who have run out of berth space and find it easier to pitch a tent ashore.
Maybe a 50-foot bluewater cruiser is unnecessary when accommodations ashore offer comfort and room to spread out; and where rocking and anchor dragging are less of a concern.
The trail was established by the BC Marine Trails Network Association to link the two largest BC cities with a paddling route which snakes through some of the loveliest coastline on the Sunshine Coast and in the Gulf Islands. It also connects The Great Trail, the new name for the Trans-Canada Trail.
The Salish Sea Marine Trail’s official grand opening is set for Sept 16-17 at Newcastle Island Provincial Park, with a mass group paddle across Nanaimo Harbour, as well as workshops, races and social events.
Newcastle Island is about midway along the trail, convenient for paddlers coming from Vancouver or Victoria and an opportunity to test the trail before the grand opening. Camping space at Newcastle Island is limited for the event. Sign up online.