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Cycle hiking Gabriola Island, B.C.

cycle-hiking-gabriola-island,-bc.

Cycle hiking Gabriola Island, B.C. 1Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

On July 1, 2020 I cycle toured Gabriola Island, the first time I’d been back to the island since I was a kid on family summer vacation.

Gabriola is about 14 kilometres (9 mi) long by 4.2 kilometres (2.6 mi) wide, about the same land mass as Bermuda.

I caught the ferry over from Nanaimo in the early evening.

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Cycle hiking Gabriola Island, B.C. 3

Next morning, while celebrating Canada Day, I was reminded that descendants of the original inhabitants are still there — the Snuneymuxw, a First Nation of the Coast Salish People.

Sobering.

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First stop was the Malaspina Galleries, a sandstone cliff carved by wind and waves. Lovely shoreline, as well.

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To navigate I used Cycling the Islands: A Guide to Scenic Routes on the San Juan and Gulf Islands by John Crouch.

And Hiking Trails 2: South-Central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands by Richard K. Blier.

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Gabriola is less developed than I anticipated.  A definite hippy vibe.

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I circled the island counter-clockwise, stopping next at Sandwell Provincial Park.

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Popped in briefly to Joyce Lockwood Community Park.

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There’s a marina and campground at Silva Bay at the far end of the island.

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Cycling and hiking temperate rain forest is wonderful when it’s not raining. And the rain held off this day.

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My last stop was Drumbeg Provincial Park.

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One day was enough to explore Gabriola. All good. The hiking trail infrastructure is excellent for a small island. Paths well marked.

All trails are short and easy.

I recommend Gabriola.

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