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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Vancouver, Coast & Mountains  > Powell River

Powell River
The Municipality of Powell River is located north of Vancouver by 145 km (90 miles) on Hwy 101 situated on the Malaspina Peninsula.

Four Unique Communities
Powell River is made up of four unique communities called Cranberry Lake, the Townsite, Westview and Wildwood. Then, in the surrounding area, all which falls into the Powell River Regional District there are Lund, Sliammon First Nations lands plus the settlements on Hernando, Savary and Texada Islands.

BC Ferries
To get to Powell River by car you have a choice of two ferry routes offered from BC Ferries. One route is to come from the terminal at Little River near Comox on Vancouver Island then sail across the Strait of Georgia. The other route takes you from Earls Cove just north of Egmont on the Sechelt Peninsula across Jervis Inlet to the ferry terminal at Saltery Bay.

Historic Townsite
The Townsite is unique and has been dedicated and set aside as a national historic site. Houses and buildings located here were built between 1911 and 1920 overlooking the original paper mill built by the Powell River Company. There is a self-guided walking tour that you can take throughout the heritage site viewing many buildings that are still present.

MacMillan Bloedel
During the 1960's The Powell River Paper Company was later sold to then forestry giant MacMillan Bloedel. MacMillan Bloedel operated the mill and later became the world's biggest producer of wood fibre pulp and paper newsprint.

Catalyst Paper Mill
In time through a series of acquisitions and other owners, the paper mill had to be shut down. Sections of the mill were later developed into a more unique product line and today Catalyst Paper is presently the owner producing uncoated mechanical specialty papers and newsprint.

Westview
Located just 2 km (1.25 mile) south of The Townsite Westview contains the most population of the four Powell River communities. Here you can find mostly single dwelling residential units, commercial buildings, Myrtle Point Golf Course and the Beach Gardens Resort & Marina at Grief Point. Westview is very nice as most of the residences have large decks facing west towards the ocean enjoying fabulous sunsets.

Cranberry Lake and Wildwood
For more rural style living with acreage and closer to the outdoors, there is both Cranberry Lake and Wildwood. Both experience less economic growth and tend to stay the same protecting a lifestyle more suited to the residents. For bird watchers, Cranberry Lake is a protected bird sanctuary offering lots of wildlife viewing opportunities. Wildwood can give you good access into Powell Lake.

Waterfront Beaches
When you are travelling into Powell River, try to get a chance and visit some of the beautiful waterfront parks and beaches along Malaspina Peninsula. Heading north from the Saltery Bay ferry terminal on Hwy 101 there are Mermaid Cove, Thunder Bay, Frolander Bay, Stillwater Bay, Lang Bay, Brew Bay, Black Point and Myrtle Point. All areas face the west for lots of sun and most are fairly private.

Powell River Regional District
Located just south of Powell River on Hwy 101 are two favourite parks that are the responsibility of the Powell River Regional District. Palm Beach Regional Park features swimming, picnicking and is situated near the Stillwater Trail. Then, for kayakers and scuba divers, try going to Myrtle Rocks Regional Park located right by the Myrtle Point Golf Course.

Excellent Recreation
Recreation around Powell River is just superb. Not only does it boast fabulous fishing such as off the banks at "Coho Point," it excels at mountain-biking, scuba diving, golf, kayaking, canoeing the lakes and hiking with trails everywhere. Two life experiences that you might want to try include Powell Forest Canoe Route or The Sunshine Coast Trail.

Powell Forest Canoe Route
This 83 km (52 miles) canoe circle route takes you on a circuit involving 8 lakes that surround Powell River. There are at least 21 forestry recreation sites along the route with the option for side routes involving 4 additional lakes. Allow yourself about five days to complete the course and be prepared for a total of 8 km (5 miles) of portages.

The Great Canadian Canoe Race
For the more experienced, there is also The Great Canadian Canoe Race which takes the circuit around the lakes. This event takes place over two days and will test anyone's endurance level along the Powell Forest Canoe Route.

The Sunshine Coast Trail
There is a very nice recreational trail located near Powell River called the Sunshine Coast Trail. The northern trailhead of the 180 km (112 miles) trail from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay is located just north of Lund. This is near the end of the Malaspina Peninsula in Desolation Sound and has to be accessed by water taxi.

Day Trips
If you like, there are a number of sections that you can break up the Sunshine Coast Trail into with around 20 access points offering different day hikes. One section that can be done on a day trip is starting near the Shinglemill Pub on Powell Lake and travelling north towards Lund.

Official Guide Book
If you would like to attempt portions of the trail, pick up the official guide booklet produced by the Powell River Visitor Info Centre. Inside the guidebook there are lots of helpful tips and what to expect on the trail. Just remember to complete it entirely, you will have to plan on hiking at least 10-15 km (6-10 miles) per day.

Other Communities Nearby
If you have the time, other communities around Powell River worth seeing include Lund, Savary Island and taking the BC Ferry over to Texada Island.

RV Camping Near Saltery Bay
There are plenty of areas for you to camp along the Malaspina Strait as you travel Hwy 101 into the Powell River area. Two you might want to look at are the very private Saltery Bay Provincial Park just north of the ferry terminal. Then, if you want power try Kent's Beach Cabins & Campsite located next to the Saltery Bay Picnic Ground.

Willingdon Beach Municipal Campground
If you want the convenience of being within walking distance to Powell River or Westview, Willingdon Beach Municipal Campground is excellent.

Information on Powell River

First Nations

 

 

Map of Powell River, British Columbia
click map for larger image

 

BC Ferries to Comox
BC Ferries to Comox

 

Powell River Heritage Houses
Powell River Heritage Houses

 

Catalyst Paper Mill
Catalyst Paper Mill

 

Westview
Westview

 

Powell Lake
Powell Lake

 

Palm Beach located at Lang Bay
Palm Beach located at Lang Bay

 

Waterfront Beach Area
Waterfront Beach Area

 

Westview - Hwy 101
Westview - Hwy 101

 

Westview - Hwy 101
Powell River

 

Sunshine Coast Trail
Sunshine Coast Trail

 

Willingdon Beach
Willingdon Beach

 

Saltery Bay Provincial Park
Saltery Bay Provincial Park

 

Powell Lake
Powell Lake

 
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