The beach and weather at Rathtrevor Provincial Park are just a few of the reasons that this is among the most popular parks on Vancouver Island. On a low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometre, exposing a 2 km stretch of sandy beach. When the tide rolls in over the hot sand, the warmed water is unbeatable for swimming and saltwater fun.
Starting from the parking lot at Rathtrevor, you will have either a manageable 150 metre carry to the water at high tide, or a real killer of over a kilometre at low tide.
Heading almost east from the beach, paddling towards the passage between Mistaken Island and Cotton Point will set you up for a turn to the south when you clear Madrona Point. Heading southeast with the shoreline on your right will take you into Northwest Bay and Wall Beach.
Wall Beach and the entire south shore of Northwest Bay are fascinating for both the rocks and the sea life, and offer many excellent areas for beachcombing. When you have had enough of the Northwest Bay area, you can head back to Rathtrevor Beach or head to Mistaken Island for an extended paddle and more beachcombing.
Keep in mind that the waters shallow very gradually in this area, so a small change in tide will result in a rapidly changing shoreline and sometimes strong currents on or off the shoreline. The weather can change rapidly in this area, ranging comfortable and sunny to cool and raining and back over the period of an hour.
There is GPS data attached to this trail (see "download GPS"), which if loaded into your GPS can help you find route points.
Rathtrevor Provincial park is located off the Trans-Canada Highway in Parksville. Alternative but very limited parking (free!) is available at Wall Beach.
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Posted By: radix_zero
- Sat Mar 19 16:45:13 UTC 2005
UpsideEasy access from town, lots of wild life. Sealions in northwest bay. Good views on a clear day. Downsiderough water when the wind is up. Watch for power boats in northwest bay. Commentreally peaceful on a sunny day. usually see a few other kayaks in the area.