In case you missed it, we've introduced our challenge to you for 2014-- 52 Weeks of Trails. Each week we'll blog about a trail (hike, bike, snowshoe, and paddle!) and we hope you enjoy and share your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and/or Instagram using #52weeksoftrails. Happy Trails!
Week #26 - Paddling Pender Harbour
Half way through the year already, can you believe it? This week, try your hand at a paddling route as our featured "trail". What's more, the blog comes to us this week from guest blogger Alpha Adventures, a year around outdoor adventure store that offers tours, lessons, and rentals for paddle sports like kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and canoeing. They have a full service store on the south side of Sechelt as well as a summer spot on the dock just below the Garden Bay Pub in Pender Harbour for rentals and tours. Thanks Alpha for sharing some insider knowledge with us this week!
Pender Harbour is an ideal location for kayaking on the Sunshine Coast for a number of reasons. In terms of protected bodies of water- it is hard to find an area as good as Pender Harbour. This means that on days when the wind is howling in the Strait of Georgia, the water is often calmer in the various bays of Pender Harbour.
Also known as the "Venice of the North"- Pender Harbour is actually comprised of a number of unique areas- and is best explored by boat. It is often faster to move from one area to another by water - than it is by land.
Kayaking in Pender Harbour can be done easily with your own kayak- or by renting. For rentals, you can contact Alpha Adventures to use their location in Garden Bay. If you have your own boat- launch from the Government Dock and boat ramp in Madeira Park. An excellent day trip involves kayaking around some of the islands within Pender Harbour. As you paddle - be aware of your surroundings so you can return with ease. With so many bays and harbours- it can all begin to look alike. Mt. Daniel makes a good prominent landmark that can be seen from the water.
A paddle around the smaller islands like Calder and Dusenbury Islands is a great way to get a feel for the area- then venture out to the Skardon Islands. For those looking for a bit more exploration- check out William and Charles Islands at the entrance to Pender Harbour. And for some added adventure- time your travel with high tide and paddle under the Francis Peninsula Rd bridge through the small passage that separates Francis Peninsula through to Bargain Harbour. Be aware of winds and tides - novice paddlers should not paddle too far out into the Strait of Georgia.
You'll likely see some harbour seals and some interesting inter-tidal life on your voyage- so keep your eyes peeled. For a break - visit the deck at the Garden Bay Pub and Restaurant.Top the day off with a quick dip in Garden Bay lake after sea kayaking. This is a refreshing and easily accessible lake right beside Garden Bay Road.
Share your hiking adventure with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using hashtag #52weeksoftrails