The Copeland Islands (also known locally as the Ragged Islands) are located within the traditional territory of the Tla’amin, Klahoose, and Xwémalhkwu Nations just north of Lund. This group of islands and islets is sometimes overlooked by kayakers and boaters as they make their way toward Desolation Sound, but they offer excellent opportunities for kayaking and wildlife viewing.
Keep in mind that the Copeland Islands are significant ecological and cultural sites. Recreational activities have caused inadvertent impacts on this sensitive area, so please come prepared as a respectful visitor. Be mindful of the many First Nations’ sites and features on the islands, such as fish traps, shell middens, culturally modified trees, and pictographs. Use traditional canoe skids to land and be sure to leave space for other recreational users to come on land and enjoy the beauty and stunning views. Practice leave no trace principles and help ensure these treasured landscapes are preserved for future generations.
Things to Do
While paddling around the islands, keep an eye out for wildlife such as bald eagles, cormorants, river otters, harbour seals, and sea lions. At low tide, look for colourful intertidal creatures inhabiting the tidal zone of the islands. On the shores of the mainland, you might see wildlife such as deer or black bears.
There are bays and coves scattered throughout the Copeland Islands, where you can stretch your legs and enjoy a snack. Tidal fishing is available, but there are Rockfish Conservation Areas within Copeland Islands Marine Provincial Park that you need to be aware of before setting out. Fishing licenses can be purchased online. There are excellent scuba diving opportunities around the islands for those with their own equipment.
Where to Stay
There are backcountry campsites within Copeland Islands Marine Provincial Park. The Middle Copeland and North Copeland campsites feature tent pads, pit toilets, and shared picnic tables and benches. Please note that campfires are not permitted on the islands.
Food & Drink
There are no food and drink options on the Copeland Islands, so you’ll need to come prepared—this includes bringing enough drinking water for your trip.
Getting to Copeland Islands
The best way to access these islands is to use Lund as your starting point. The Lund area offers a variety of accommodations (including a marina), as well as a handful of eateries and shops. There is a boat launch in the Lund Harbour that’s open for public use, and local kayaking operators offer guided tours to the Copeland Islands.
Kayakers can follow the Salish Sea’s rugged shoreline in a northerly direction from Lund. After rounding the first corner (Sevilla Island) the Copelands will be in sight, but they are still about 45 minutes of paddling away. Stay away from the boat traffic in Thulin Pass by ‘hand-railing’ the Malaspina Peninsula and cross Thulin Pass from a small rocky islet to the white beacon on the first Copeland Island. From here on, you can explore the islands and islets from south to north and back.