On the July 1st long weekend, my husband John and I decided that we needed some down time; life has been frantically busy for months are there’s not much let up in sight until we get settled in Calgary. Our single best way to relax isn’t in the spa of a fancy hotel but looking out at the ocean from a beach campsite – preferably on Vancouver Island’s wild west coast – but with time at a premium we chose something closer to home.
Blackberry Point on Valdes Island was our destination. The photos below give you a pretty good idea of the type of country you see.
Information if you kayak to Blackberry Island
First you have to get to Vancouver Island. The boat launch is about 25 minutes south of the Horseshoe Bay- Nanaimo ferry terminal and about 90 minutes north of the Tsawwassen – Schwartz Bay ferry terminal.
A super easy boat launch is at Blue Heron Park,0.5 kilometre north of Yellow Point Lodge. (From Highway 1 on Vancouver Island, turn east onto Cedar Road – north of Ladysmith. Follow the signs for Yellow Point Lodge. Then turn right onto Wesby Road and enter the Blue Heron Park. You can leave your car overnight and it’s free.)
The winds up and down Trincomali Channel can really pick up by the afternoon; try to time your crossing accordingly.
Look out for boat traffic – sailboats, motorboats and tugboats with log-booms.
Don’t expect to have Blackberry Point to yourself. It’s called the most beautiful camp in all of the Gulf Islands. We got there early and snagged the most southerly campsite. It has a great view and some privacy.
Camping is free. Campfires are allowed – one of the only locations in all of the Gulf Islands.
You can explore the interior of Valdes Island on any number of old logging roads.
Look for petroglyphs at Degnen Bay off of Gabriola Island.
It’s amazing how two nights away in nature gives you a new perspective on life. We need to do this more often.
Further reading on paddling in Canada
- 9 the Best Places to Paddle in Alberta
- Paddle BC’s Gorgeous Bowron Lake Circuit
- Kayaking Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Park