Bowen Island is located off the coast of West
Vancouver near Horseshoe Bay
at the entrance to Howe Sound. Bowen Island has a long history going
back over 100 years as a weekend destination point for people who
live in Vancouver.
To get to Bowen Island you either have to take a boat or use the
regular scheduled BC Ferries sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Snug
Cove which takes around 20 minutes. If you're parking a car at Horseshoe
Bay, allow yourself lots of time to find a parking spot as sometimes
it can prove quite difficult.
to Bowen Island
The best way for you to see Bowen Island is by bicycle. This is
a way to get on BC Ferries with no problem - first on, first off.
Not only is there no line up, it costs less money and, during the
summer, parking is at a real premium. Once on Bowen, the roads are
easy to cycle with traffic being less hectic once the ferry traffic
Transportation from Vancouver
If you happen to be visiting in Vancouver
and don't have a car, there is convenient public transportation
from downtown. You take the West Vancouver Blue Bus numbers 250
or 257 that leave from Georgia Street to the Horseshoe Bay ferry
Getting around Bowen Island is real easy if you walk on. There is
the Bowen Island TransLink Community Shuttle with a couple of routes
throughout the island. If you don't happen to make the last BC Ferries
at night, there is also a scheduled water taxi service called Cormorant
Marine Water Taxi which has operated since 1978.
Snug Cove is located on the east side of Bowen Island and provides
the main centre and meeting place for the locals. Most of the conveniences,
entertainment and services are located here. Snug Cove is also where
you can find the Bowen Island Summer Market which makes for great
browsing among all the fresh products.
Services in Snug Cove include the Village Square, Bowen General
Store, The Ruddy Potato for organic food, Bowen Island Pub, a sports
bar featuring a full pub-style menu. There is also The Snug Coffee
House plus a few restaurants and cafés if you're hungry.
A real favourite is the Tuscany Wood Oven Pizza.
Steamship Company Marina
If you're boating there are sheltered bays and safe anchorage as
well as two marinas situated at Snug Cove. The Union Steamship Company
Marina has moorage available, fuel and a great historic store plus
Doc Morgan's Inn. If the weather starts to blow in Howe Sound, Bowen
Island makes a good destination for waiting it out.
Point Walking Trail
The best thing about Bowen Island is if you do walk, most of the
trails start right out of Snug Cove. A favourite walk is the Lady
Alexandra Promenade along the waterfront and marinas eventually
to Dorman Point Trail. At Dorman Point there is a spectacular viewpoint
east towards Horseshoe Bay.
For longer walks try going up the Killarney Creek Trail into the
600-acre Crippen Regional Park. This trail eventually connects with
Killarney Lake Loop Trail on Magee Road near the site of the control
dam and picnic area. Once at Killarney Lake, you can find good lookout
points with lots of exploring and observing the various wildlife,
especially birds in the forest and along the lakeshore.
To get to Killarney Creek Trail, take Maple Trail starting near
the RCMP building in Snug Cove. The trail eventually goes by the
Lagoon, Fish Ladders and Bridal Falls. If you want you can take
the Hatchery Trail to Terminal Creek Salmon Hatchery or access Killarney
Creek trailhead just up Millers Landing Road.
If you have the time take a walk up to the top of Mount Gardner.
At 719 metres (2,359 feet) Mount Gardner is the highest point on
Bowen Island. From the top there are excellent views of Gambier
Island, Howe Sound and the surrounding landscape of Squamish.
The trail starts either in Crippen Regional Park, Mt. Gardner Road
or off Bowen Bay Road in the Bluewater area. Check with the Bowen
Island guide for exact trail locations.
If you do go to Bowen Island remember to bring some walking shoes
for the beautiful sandy beaches and rocky points. The island boasts
eight public beaches with the main ones being Bowen Bay, Sandy and
Tunstall Bay Beach, all with toilet facilities.
Tunstall Bay Beach
Tunstall Bay Beach makes a great destination point if you happen
to cycle over. The beach faces out towards the west enjoying some
great sunshine during the summer months. There is lots to do with
great panoramic views and excellent sunsets towards Nanaimo.
Located just off the west of Tunstall Bay Beach is Pasley and Worlcombe
Islands, the site of some excellent sea kayaking. Pasley Island
involves around eight small islands all closely grouped together
with Worlcombe close by. You can leave by Tunstall Bay and do a
loop through the islands with a chance to see some wildlife including
bald eagles and seals. If you prefer Bowen Island, Sea Kayaking
is available for guided tours around the island.
and Gambier Island
There are two other islands off the coast of Bowen to explore: Keats
Island and Gambier Island. Keats Island is a small island near
Pasley Island with a small community with ferry service to Gibsons.
Plumper Cove Marone Provincial Park is within walking distance.
Gambier Island is much bigger with four big bays within close range
of the north side of Bowen Island. Halkett Bay Marine Park is situated
on Gambier's west side across from Lions Bay.
Island Golf Club
Bowen Island also has a nice 9-hole public golf course called the
Bowen Island Golf Club.
There is an annual celebration on Bowen Island called Bowfest happening
on the fourth Saturday in August at Bowfest Field in Snug Cove.
Bowfest Bowen's End of Summer Community Festival features an opening
day parade, music and culture awareness. Bowfest also raises money
for charities on the Island with the 'Run For The Ferry' event.
on Bowen Island