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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Cortes Island

Cortes Island
Cortes Island is situated in the Discovery Islands' group just east of Quadra Island across Sutil Channel and west across Desolation Sound from British Columbia's mainland near Lund. Cortes Island is around 25 km (16 miles) long, 13 km (8 miles) wide and has an area of 13,000 hectares (32,124 acres).

BC Ferries
To reach Cortes Island, take the regularly scheduled ferry service on BC Ferries from Heriot Bay on Quadra Island. The BC Ferries scheduled sailing usually takes around 40 minutes one way to the Whaletown ferry terminal on Cortes Island.

Located at Whaletown is where there is a post office and the Whaletown store. There is also a government dock situated near the store at the end of Whaletown Road. Near the government dock you can also find a very relaxing beach area just an excellent setting for a picnic or family get together.

Protected Coastline
From Whaletown travelling east the road follows Gorge Harbour where you can find great views of some tidal flats along the coastline of Cortes Island. Gorge Harbour offers some protection from the prevailing winds or storm conditions if you're boating in the area and need to wait the weather out.

Gorge Harbour Marina Resort
If you are boating around Cortes Island and need a place to berth for the evening, try the local facilities at the Gorge Harbour Marina Resort. Not only is there a full-service marina but also an RV park situated in a picturesque treed campground with a view of Gorge Harbour. To get to the RV park, take Whaletown Road to Hunt Road, then turn south towards Gorge Harbour.

Manson's Landing
Once you're past Gorge Harbour on Whaletown Road, you'll come to a junction point for Gorge Harbour Road. If you take this road all the way to Seaford Road, you'll end up going through Manson's Landing Provincial Park. From here you then travel on Sutil Point Road until you come to the small settlement of Manson's Landing.

Main Centre for Cortes Island
Manson's Landing serves as the main centre for the local people of Cortes Island. Here you can find the majority of services such as: Manson's Community Hall, Cortes Café, Post Office, Credit Union, Cortes Market, Museum, The Tak Restaurant, Home Spun and the Ark Gallery.

K'was Park
Close by to Manson's Landing is K'was Park. This inland recreation area features a trail network through some 70 hectares (173 acres) of mixed forested areas including around 20% of old-growth forest situated between Gunflint and Hague Lakes.

Hague Lake
If you need a place to cool down from the hot summer sun, try the excellent swimming at Hague Lake while visiting K'was Park. This shallow lake warms up very nicely and has a unique white sandy beach left over from the glaciers located at the north end. Hague Lake is an excellent place to take your kids when visiting Cortes Island.

Smelt Bay Provincial Park
From Manson's Landing south on Sutil Point Road, eventually the road will fork west towards Smelt Bay. At Smelt Bay you can find a beautiful pebble beach that faces towards the south-west usually with lots of sunshine. You can also find a small campground overlooking Smelt Bay offering 22 campsites with reservations accepted.

Hikes and Walks on Cortes Island
There are some other walking and hiking areas besides K'was Park on Cortes Island. One favourite is the walk into Ha'thayim (Von Donop) Marine Provincial Park. The Klahoose Trail starts near Squirrel Cove, then takes you through a very lush sword fern rainforest environment into Von Donop inlet and marine park.

Klahoose First Nation
The Klahoose Trail goes through the traditional lands of the Klahoose First Nation who reside in a nearby settlement at Squirrel Cove. The Klahoose First Nation are closely related to the Homalco who live near Campbell River and the Sliammon First Nation who reside just north of Powell River towards Lund.

Squirrel Cove
At Squirrel Cove there is a government dock and the Squirrel Cove Trading Company which contains a liquor outlet, hardware department, general store with fresh fruits and vegetables, garden centre, showers, laundromat, boat launch and a restaurant called The Cove. The Squirrel Cove Trading Company also has a fuel depot if you require gasoline or propane.

Trudes Café
For entertainment Cortes Island can sometimes be a little limited but there is a local coffee shop called Trudes Café. The café serves great coffee and sometimes has live music including some reggae from a local band. Trudes Café is located on Whaletown Road at Robertson.

Located on Cortes Island's south-east end near Smelt Bay is Hollyhock, one of Canada's largest educational retreat centres. At Hollyhock you can set your goals in motion to achieve a better world through education and understanding of the vast potential that is inherent in each of us.

There is only one motel on Cortes Island which is called the Cortes Island Motel. The motel is conveniently located near Manson's Landing and Hague Lake. If you require a more personal touch, there are a number of bed & breakfasts and lodges including T'ai Li Lodge, K'was Lake Lodge Reef Point B & B and Lighthouse B & B.

Information on Cortes Island

BC Parks



Cortes Island, BC
click map for larger image


WWhaleltown Ferry Terminal
Whaleltown Ferry Terminal


Gorge Harbour Marina
Gorge Harbour Marina


Discovery Islands
Discovery Islands


near Whaeltown and Gorge Harbour
Near Whaletown


Hague Lake
Hague Lake


Smelt Bay Provincial Park
Sunset from Smelt Bay Provincial Park


Ha'thayim (Von Donop) Provincial Park
Ha'thayim (Von Donop) Provincial Park


Government Dock - Squirrel Cove
Government Dock - Squirrel Cove


Beach Near Whaletown
Beach Near Whaletown




Whaletown Post Office
Whaletown Post Office

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