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BC Marine Trails: Preserving BC coastal access for small craft users.

Town of Sidney

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The map capture above shows the town of Sidney and Tulista launch site near the Anacortes ferry.

About the Town

Sidney incorporates many possibilities for adventure options for explorers of the Gulf Islands Marine Trail or the Salish Sea Marine Trail, from scenic day and weekend trips involving the nearby destinations, or as a jumping-off point for longer trail expeditions. There are a number of kayak outfitters in the Sidney and Victoria area to find a rental.

The town of Sidney hosts a webpage explaining where paddlers can launch their kayaks, canoes or SUPs into the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

Here's how to put it all together.

Troubleshooting transportation

The town of Sidney is known for its Anacortes Ferry, arriving from the USA. The town can also be reached by car or vehicle from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal or from Port Angeles via the Black Ball Ferry line. Visitors can also travel down island from Nanaimo. BC Ferries access Nanaimo from Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen.

Sidney's main launch is Tulista Boat Launch (see BCMT map for this launch site). "As you enter the Tulista Park Boat Launch there are 3 spots at the north end of the parking lot that are designated for vehicles who have launched roof mounted vessels.These designated parking spots require a launch pass and provide up to 24 hours of parking. Kayakers who are looking for longer term parking can use Parking Lot A [corner of Bevan Avenue and Second Street], which provides long term parking at a rate of $6.00 per 24 hours." However, thanks to the many transportation links, you can leave your car at home. Here are some options.

Trip suggestions 

All these day trips can be enjoyed as one or combined as part of a weekend stay at Newcastle Island or any one of the nearshore accommodation options that dot the Nanaimo shoreline.

Easy day trips:

To Sidney Spit: From Tulista Boat Ramp head east to Sidney Spit, which is a Gulf Islands National Park Reserve day use site. It's approximate 4.5 kilometres due east or 2.5 nautical miles. The Amherst Road launch is also nearby. See our main map for details.

Moderate day trips:

Circumnavigate Sidney Island: Located at the north end of Sidney Island, this popular family-friendly destination is accessible by boat or kayak. The park offers sandy beaches, wooded trails and an abundance of birds and marine life. There are 27 campsites on this island.

Advanced day trips:

To Portland Island: Long distance paddlers may want to explore Portland Island which houses three Gulf Islands National Park Reserve campsites. Portland Island is north of the town of Sidney. Visit the BCMT map for more information.

Share you own favorite day or multi-day trip:

Have we missed a good one? Let us know! Add your own adventure trip in the comments section below.

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