The Municipality of Powell River is located north of Vancouver
by 145 km (90 miles) on Hwy 101 situated on the Malaspina Peninsula.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Beach Municipal Campground
you want the convenience of being within walking distance to Powell
River or Westview, Willingdon Beach Municipal Campground is excellent.
on Powell River