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Kayaking To Blackberry Point, Valdes Island

Kayaking to Blackberry Point, Valdes Island

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 kayaking

Blackberry Point on Valdes Island was our destination. The photos below give you a pretty good idea of the type of country you see.

"The view from our campsite looking south"

The view from our campsite looking south – at high tide

"The beach at Blackberry Point"

The beach at Blackberry Point – campfires allowed

"Sunset over Vancouver Island"

Sunset over Pylades Island

"Arbutus (Madrona) tree hanging over the water"

Arbutus (Madrona) tree hanging over the water

"Kayaking the beautiful waters around Ruxton Island"

Kayaking the beautiful waters around Ruxton Island

"Our lunch spot - overlooking Gabriola Passage"

Our lunch spot – overlooking Gabriola Passage

"The waters around Gabriola Passage"

The waters around Gabriola Passage – where tidal streams get up to 9 knots!!

"Kayaking along the sandstone cliffs of Valdez Island"

Kayaking along the sandstone cliffs of Valdez Island

"Kayaking past gargoyle looking rock formations"

Kayaking past gargoyle looking rock formations

"Very interesting rock formations"

Very interesting honeycombed rock formations

"Looking up the coast of Valdez Island"

Looking up the coast of Valdez Island

Information if you go kayaking 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.

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Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. (Raining Acorns, here, now writing as Prufrock’s Dilemma.) This looks spectacular. I hope to get there one day soon. In the meanwhile, we are off to Elk Lake in the Adirondacks this weekend–there is no downtime like that in a kayak or canoe, is there? Hope your time was restful, and thank you for making us all aware of so many beautiful places to visit.

    1. Love the name of your new blog & will check it out.
      The kayaking was spectacular and if you ever got the place totally to yourself it would be over the top. Still – a sunny weekend, a good book, R&R & wine – can’t beat it. Have fun at Elk Lake.

  2. Spectacular photos. I can feel the peace and quiet. It is the absolute beauty and character of nature which restores my soul as well. Thanks for sharing the experience.

    1. I’m looking forward to reading more about this year’s Quetico experiences – it’s one place I’ll get to yet though I think I’d go in August when the bugs aren’t as bad.

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