Sunshine Coast (British Columbia)
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The Sunshine Coast is a region of the southern mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada, on the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia, just northwest of Greater Vancouver. It includes the coastal areas of the regional district of Sunshine Coast, where the name originated, and the regional district of Powell River up to and including the village of Lund and into Desolation Sound, much farther to the north.
While populous and frequently visited by tourists, the Sunshine Coast can be reached only by ferry (commonly BC Ferries) or by floatplane, as no access roads have been built around or across the fjords separating it from the rest of the province.
The Coast southern population centres include Gibsons (near the BC Ferries terminal at Langdale for vessels coming from Vancouver), Roberts Creek, and Sechelt on the isthmus. On the Sechelt Peninsula are Halfmoon Bay, Secret Cove (between Sechelt and Pender Harbour) and Pender Harbour. At the peninsula's north end, the ferry to Powell River docks north of Egmont at Earl's Cove. These small settlements are near Skookumchuck Narrows, where the skookumchuck ("strong water"), the world's biggest tidal marine rapids, channels the tidal flow in and out of the fjord known as Sechelt Inlet.
The Sunshine Coast has many forms of recreation, including:
- Mountain biking
- Kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing
- Hiking and backpacking
- Snowshoeing and skiing
- Scuba diving
- Rock climbing
Sunshine Coast Trail
The 180-kilometre (110 mi) Sunshine Coast Trail is Canada's longest hut-to-hut hiking trail, and travels from mountains to shorelines and lakes. Beginning at Sarah Point in Desolation Sound and ending at Saltery Bay, it is free to everyone, and hikers can enter and leave it at multiple points.
Powell Forest Canoe Route
The Powell Forest Canoe Route is a 57-km, 8-lake, 5-portage journey that takes about 5 days. Portages range from 0.7 km – 2.8 km, and paddling from 1 km – 28.5 km. The best time to travel it is June to October.
Mountain Bike parks
- Coast Gravity Park is Canada's first low-elevation mountain bike park. Located 10km from Sechelt, it has trails for all riding levels, and a shuttle system to the trails created by world-renowned builders and riders.
- Sprockids Mountain Bike Park, the first officially recognized mountain bike park in North America, is in Langdale, the Coast's southern entry point. It has 14km of downhill, ramps, jumps and teeter-bars, and is perfect for younger riders.
- Powell River Bike and Skate Park, maintained by the Powell River Community Forest Foundation and the City of Powell River, has a beginner pump track (the first poured-in-place concrete pump track in North America), slope-style dirt jump trails, downhill flow trails, and a beginner flow line. It is open to the public year round and admission is free.
The Sunshine Coast has several breweries, including:
- (Gibsons) Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons Tapworks, 101 Brewhouse + Distillery
- (Powell River) Townsite Brewing
- (Sechelt) Bricker Cider Company
Art and museums
The Sunshine Coast is home to more artists per capita than any other Canadian region. Purple flags along the Sunshine Coast Highway and local streets indicate artists's studios where the public is welcome, and which feature many disciplines including painting, pottery and glassblowing.
Sunshine Coast Art Crawl
Held each fall, the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl features over 200+ artists's galleries and studios from one end of the Coast to the other. Free illustrated programs are available, and there is no charge to visit the participating venues.
Festival of the Written Arts
Canada´s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers features established and rising authors reading and discussing their work.
- The Powell River Historical Museum and Archives tells the stories of the Sliammon First Nations, logging, and the first pulp and paper mill. It is open year round.
- The Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives in Gibsons tells the story of the region and its inhabitants.
- The Tems Swiya Museum in Sechelt displays an extensive and growing collection of artifacts from the Shíshálh Nation.
- The Texada Island Heritage Society operates two museums about the area.
- The Sunshine Coast Arts Council and Arts Centre in Sechelt has a public gallery of local and guest artists, a music studio, and a public art studio, and hosts a variety of live events including concerts, literary readings and lectures.
The Coast's wildlife includes cougars, black bears, wolves, marbled murrelet, orcas, great blue herons, seals, sea lions and bald eagles. There are also abundant tide pools with a variety of molluscs, sea anemones and fish. Hikers who travel the Sunshine Coast Trail (above) receive mandatory pre-hike training on how to respond to possible encounters with dangerous animals.
At certain times of the year, seal pups may be encountered on the Coast's beaches. They should not be approached, as the mother may abandon them. All wildlife on the Coast should be viewed from a safe and respectful distance.
- "Sunshine Coast Tourism, British Columbia, Canada | Official Travel Site". Sunshine Coast Tourism. Retrieved 2018-04-17.