Hiking adventures beckon as soon as visitors to Bowen Island get off the ferry in Snug Cove.
Maps can be found in the Bowen Island Trail Guide, created by the Rotary Club of Bowen Island. Pick up your printed copy of the Guide at the Visitor Info Centre, behind the Bowen Library in Snug Cove.
BowenTrails.ca is a growing community project. Future plans include creating fully interactive maps as well, with feature information, virtual trail markers and other goodies. Let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trails near Snug Cove
There are three hiking trails close to Snug cove; Crippen Park, Dorman Point look-out, and Mt. Gardner.
Dorman Point Look-out
Right from the ferry dock, hiking up to Dorman Point is a great way to get a sense of Bowen Island’s geography. The 2.5km/1.5mi hike takes about 1.5 hours return. While there are some steep climbs, reaching the summit of this arbutus tree-strewn plateau offers a striking view of Whytecliffe Park in West Vancouver across the Queen Charlotte Channel. Also visible to the southwest is the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dorman Point is a lovely spot for a picnic. View the Bowen Trails map to Dorman Point >
“…a meditative walk through it’s old-growth trees, opening to sunny long grass fields, being surprised by the beauty of a sudden birch forest, the stillness of the memorial garden with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding water and the fruitful blackberry bushes lining the exits and roadway.”
The 4km Killarney Lake loop, just west of Snug Cove, is among the most popular hiking routes on Bowen Island, with flat and steep sections. It Take around 25 minutes to walk to Killarney Lake from Snug Cove and around 45min-1hr to walk around the lake.
Traverse the Killarney Lake wetlands on a boardwalk, check out the fish ladder, and watch out for great blue herons and black-tailed deer.
Non-motorized boats, like kayaks, ply the lily pad-dotted waters of Killarney Lake. Other trails link up with the Killarney Lake loop.
View the Bowen Trails Map for Killarney Lake >
“Our hike on Mount Gardner was challenging but rewarding. The 3 hour trek uphill was filled with sweat and photo stops and ended with a beautiful view.”
Mount Gardner is Bowen Island’s tallest mountain with an elevation of 719m on this hike.
The challenging 10km roundtrip culminates with a panoramic view of Port Mellon to the north on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island to the west. There are different routes to get to the top, where viewing platforms await. Budget five or six hours to get the full experience. Come prepared with water and snacks as well as good hiking shoes. View the Bowen Trails Map for Mt. Gardner >
About Bowen Island Wildlife
Bowen Island is the home to an abundance of animals, from the deer in the forests to the fish at the fish hatchery. The fish hatchery is located in Crippen park on the way to Killarney Lake. Along with the fish hatchery the fish ladder is just a short walk from the ferry.
Staying on the marked trails is crucial to preserving the habitats for the plants and animals. The animals rely on their surroundings, so it is important not to remove anything from the beaches or forests when visiting.