The Ladysmith Community Marina is creating a unique addition to British Columbia's marine trail system - a floating campsite.
It will become the first officlal floating campsite meant specifically for paddlers on the BC Marine Trail system and will form a key part of the Salish Sea Marine Trail.
The floating campsite will allow marine trail users to stock up in the town, enjoy Ladysmith's cafes,restaurants and trails as well as the quaint village atmosphere of Ladysmtih while staying near the water, convenient to your kayak and gear.
It will also allow users to take advantage of the facilities of the Ladysmith Community Marina, including showers, laundry, water and the cafe/restaurant.
"This is an exciting addition to the BC Marine Trails system and a showcase for the way a community can cater to marine trail users to provide additional reasons to visit and stay in a community while out on a paddling trip," says BC Marine Trails Network Association president Paul Grey.
"It's to the great credit of the marina that they've stepped up to provide this service, as well as others that should help make Ladysmith a regional paddlesports hub."
The plans by the Ladysmith Maritime Society, which operates the community marina, include outfitting a retired Search and Rescue boathouse to serve as a paddlesports storage, boat launch and paddlesports community centre. The second floor will be used as a meeting area.
The floating campsite will be a waypoint on the Salish Sea Marine Trail, a project of the BC Marine Trails Network Association to link Victoria and Vancouver by a 257-km paddling route as part of the Trans Canada Trail. The BCMTNA is hosting a grand opening for the Salish Sea Marine Trail Sept. 16-17 on Newcastle Island. Registration for that event can be found here.
Paul Grey, left, and Rod Smith look down at the new paddling centre from the future paddle club meeting room. The lower level envisions the launch and paddlecraft storage. The facility is a former Search and Rescue boathouse that wasn't large enough for the new boat and so is finding new life as a paddling centre.
An inspection of the boathouse that will be repurposed to host paddlecraft launching and storage.