The Shishalhtribe settled the Sechelt area thousands of years ago, taking advantage of its ideal location between Sechelt Inlet (providing access to Jervis Inlet) to the north, and the Strait of Georgia to the south. The first Europeans moved here in 1862 when Catholic priests arrived to set up a mission. By the 1880s, Sechelt had become an active centre for the logging and fishing industries, with the construction of sawmills and wharves.
The natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast however soon began to attract tourists, who arrived at the wharves at Trail Bay via steamship. The construction of the main Highway 101 in 1952, and the commencement of ferry service to both Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver to the south and Powell River to the north, accelerated tourism and residential growth, which continues today.
Sechelt is located 26 km (16 mi) north of Langdale ferry terminal on the Sunshine Coast. From Vancouver, take the Horseshoe Bay Ferry in West Vancouver to Langdale and drive Highway 101 to Sechelt.
The museum, graced by totem poles, provides insight into the way of life of the Shishalh Nation. First Nations art, cedar carvings, artefacts and baskets are on display.
Located near Sechelt Inlet, the marsh is a haven for birdlife. This sanctuary and breeding ground for waterfowl is located just north of the town. Look for buffleheads, red winged blackbirds and mallards.
Davis Bay is noted for its long stretch of accessible, sandy beach and a spectacular view of the Strait of Georgia across to Vancouver Island. Popular activities include swimming, beachcombing and fishing from the wharf.
A popular park for families, Porpoise Bay Provincial Park is located about 4.5 km (5 mi) outside of Sechelt. Excellent for swimming and with sandy beaches. You can rent a kayak or canoe or take a guided tour.
Sailing or boating in Howe Sound provides endless days of relaxation and pleasure. Kayaking is popular in the sheltered bays along the coast where you can see plenty of wildlife. Day trips to Gambier and Keats Islands are fun as is beachcombing and swimming along the many beaches.
There are over 100 popular dive sites on the Sunshine Coast. Sechelt Inlet is rated one of the world's top 20 recreational dives by Scuba Diving Magazine. A popular dive site is the 366-foot wreck of the HMCS Chaudiere at the mouth of Salmon Inlet, which was scuttled in 1992 by the Artificial Reef Society of BC.
Golfing is a favourite pastime in this area. The 18-hole Sunshine Coast Golf & Country Club in Roberts Creek (between Gibsons and Sechelt) is carved from the rainforest and accessed east of Highway 101. Located close to Sechelt, the Sechelt Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole course with amazing views of the Sechelt Inlet and mountains.
The Sunshine Coast offers many wonderful opportunities for both saltwater and lake fishing, whether on your own or on a guided tour. The Strait of Georgia is a migratory route for salmon and the deep waters of Pender Harbour are excellent for lingcod. Shellfish in the area include prawns, oysters, crab and clams. Lakes are full of rainbow, steelhead and cutthroat trout.
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and winter hiking can be found in unspoiled mountain settings with spectacular oceans views. Dakota Ridge, Tetrahedron Provincial Park and Knuckleheads are three areas to check out.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia