Galiano Island Parks

The white sand beaches at Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, Galiano Island, British Columbia
The white sand beaches at Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, Galiano Island, British Columbia

Galiano has vast networks of hiking trails, many of them on logging roads. It also has more parks than many of the islands, offering something for everyone. These parks and recreational areas have been preserved through the Provincial Government, joint Federal and Provincial initiative, and through regional and community parks. Galiano Islanders have a history of community involvement in acquiring public lands and more power to them! Here’s a sampling of what awaits you:

Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy, a joint venture between the Federal and Provincial governments.
Bodega Ridge, at 149 hectares, was the first purchase in the Legacy, This undeveloped area offers good ridge hiking. Bodega Hill is 240 meters and will reward you with wonderful views over Trincomali Channel.

Provincial Parks:

Enjoying the views at Bellhouse Park, Galiano Island, British Columbia
Enjoying the views at Bellhouse Park, Galiano Island, British Columbia

Bellhouse Park – Only 2 hectares but of pure gold. The Bellhouse family are to be thanked for their legacy in giving this land to the people of Galiano. This park is easy to drive to and gives you a wonderful view of Active Pass. A great family spot to picnic, play and watch the world pass by.

Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park – The first marine park to be established in the Gulf Islands, it is also one of the most beloved parks anywhere – by boaters who tie up at numerous mooring buoys or the government wharf, by campers who drive into their forested sites and by cyclists who have their own camping areas overlooking the lagoon and Montague Harbour. Ninety seven hectares of forest, white shell beaches, a lagoon, bluffs and numerous beautiful walks are contained within this dream park It also has a day use area right on the beach. A must visit. Toilets, swimming, water, picnic tables, and free spectacular sunsets are yours.

Dionisio Point Park – Vast and beautiful at 142 hectares, this park is located at Galiano’s northern tip overlooking Porlier Pass. Unfortunately for motorists, it’s only accessible (at this point) by water or hiking in from the main road. It’s worth it, however, even for a picnic. Beautiful ocean camping and picnicking, sheltered coves, hikes, bird watching as well as interesting sandstone formations and swimming in Coon Bay make this a favourite park with many, who don’t care if road access is ever permitted again!

Community Parks (Parks, Arts & Recreation Commission):

Bluffs Park – Near Bellhouse Park, but at 180 meters, compare it to an attic window as opposed to the ground floor. This upper view looks over Active Pass as well, but the way an eagle sees it. Good for picnicking, with views over to Salt spring, the Penders and beyond, and short strolls through its 130 hectares for the restless.

Mt. Galiano – This 81 hectares was acquired by the far-sighted Galiano Club in 1990. It’s an enjoyable 50 minute hike to reach the mountain’s 311 summit. Enjoyable, but not necessarily easy, be warned!

Mt. Sutil – This is another good hike, acquired by the Galiano Conservancy Association in the 1990’s.

Beaches:

As there are so many beaches, shore trails, and beach accesses, we will list only a few of the more accessible ones here:

Retreat Cove – offers rare public water access. You’ll find a government dock, small beach, and a short path out to the bluffs.

Pebble Beach is difficult to find but worth it. No crowds, views of across the water of the Mainland, it’s a gorgeous beach to explore and go swimming. If you’re in the mood for a walk, it’s a half hour pleasant forest stroll. You’ll find the turnoff on McCoskrie Road east across from Retreat Cove. Drive to the parking lot and then walk through Crown forest to Pebble Beach.