Texada Island is the largest of the Northern Gulf Islands and a favourite retreat for those looking to enjoy the outdoors and relax amid stunning vistas and the quieter life that island living provides.
Situated in Georgia Strait between the BC mainland and Vancouver Island and close to Powell River on the Sunshine Coast, this 50 km (31 mi) long, 10 km (6 mi) wide island provides opportunities for walking and hiking to the top of Mount Pocahontas, scuba diving in Anderson Bay and skim-boarding at Gillies Bay Beach. Biking, rock-hounding, golfing or just exploring some of nature's paradise is all here for you to enjoy.
BC Ferries provides several sailings a day on this short 35-minute service between Powell River and Blubber Bay on Texada Island. Visitors can also fly to Gillies Bay Airport via KD Air from Vancouver's South Terminal or from Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. KD Air provides 3 daily flights in the summer and 2 daily flights in the winter.
The crystal clear waters and sheltered bays around the coastline provide wonderful opportunities for scuba diving, kayaking and swimming. One popular location for diving is Anderson Bay where you can see an amazing array of sealife including sponges, giant octopus and corals. Other nearby diving locations are also popular with several having been recommended in scuba diving magazines. Boaters can launch their boats in either Shelter Point Park or Sturt Bay. There is limited moorage in Van Anda and unprotected moorage in many of the small bays around Texada Island.
A popular location for both fly and saltwater fishers, enthusiasts can cast their rod in Angel or Bob's Lakes hoping to snag a few cutthroat trout, or if your preference is saltwater fishing then plying the waters around Coho Point and Blubber Bay may hook you a salmon or lingcod.
Anderson Bay Provincial Park is located in the south-east area of Texada Island. Part of the larger South Texada Provincial Park, Anderson Bay provides protected bays for boat anchorage, hiking on undeveloped trails, kayaking opportunities and fishing for rockfish, lingcod and salmon. Mountain biking on unused roads is popular in this park. Nearest communities are Van Anda and Gillies Bay.
Shelter Point Regional Park is located near Gillies Bay and has campsites that are available year-round plus a day use area. Located on the water, swimming is a popular pastime and a boat launch makes it easy for visitors to get out onto the water to fish or to enjoy paddling in and around the sheltered bays. Old growth forests make for some wonderful nature trails and wildlife viewing.
Nearby Jedediah Island Marine Provincial Park is a tranquil oasis popular with kayakers and boaters. Over 3km (2 mi) of walking trails traverse the island linking the various bays.
|Sandcastle Weekend on Texada Island by Greg Eymundson|
Many artists reside on Texada Island and visitors will enjoy the unique items on display and for sale. Annually in August, an Artists' Studio Tour is available where visitors can view and purchase items including those made of glass, wood, textiles, paintings, jewelry, and more.
Every Sunday in the summer a Farmer's Market is held at Gillies Bay and offers local fresh produce, baked goods and arts and crafts made by the locals. A Sandcastle Weekend is held in July and a Blues & Roots Weekend in August
The First Nations inhabited Texada Island for hundreds of years before the Spanish discovered the island in 1791. This is evidenced by middens and fish weirs found on the west coast as well as arrowheads and shards of tools. In the late 1800s homesteaders ventured to Texada and started mining for copper, iron and gold. Rock-hounds can sometimes find a small treasure to take home. Today, mining is focused on limestone.The Texada Island Museum located in Van Anda depicts early life on Texada Island.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia