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

Using the Trails: First Stop Resources

Hand Island Paddling small2

(Hand Island photo above by J Weninger)

Our 'Using the Trails' page will help guide you toward the right resources using both our site and other resources. Our map shows over 700 sites. We have accumulated over 3000 sites and are slowly making these sites available for viewing, region by region. If you are a member, you can access additional tools (i.e. ruler and downloads page) to help you plan trips. We also have a resources, bibliography, and link to water classification charts below.


 Using the Trails - This page links to three resources for "using the trails". There are three main links: Our Map, Places to Paddle, and Marine Trails. Marine Trails is a new section, under development, which will list trails or routes from one location to another. We will be working on this section mid-2016. Several trails are under development (i.e. creating maps or under proposal as a blueway).

   Our Map - Our map is a database of campsites, access points and day use sites. Using our search box type in a location and the campsite will appear below the box. Or zoom into a paddling area or area and find places where you can camp. We continue to populate the map as we negotiate/discuss issues with various stakeholders.
   'The Resources to Help Plan Your Trip' is a list of links and resources to help you plan a trip. You can find weather for different areas of the coastline, equipment lists, safety tips or even a list of paddling clubs to join and make your trip safer.
  Marine Trails Gallery is a collection of photos for some trips on the coast.

BC Regions and Paddling Areas: We've divided up the entire coastline of British Columbia into 6 large Regions. Each Region is then divided into Paddling Areas. Within each paddling area are a number of campsites, stopover sites for day use and access sites. A map of each region with paddling areas is provided for your use: Vancouver Island, Discoveries and Mid Coast, Central Coast, Haida Gwaii, South Mainland Coast and North Coast. Paddling area boundaries are generally determined by water classification (new window) difficulty.

   Bibliography - This is a list of books and other resources about the BC Coastline.
   BCMTNA business sponsors or members - Our sponsors help financially support the BC Marine Trails through our multi-level sponsor program. 
   Membership - Our membership includes additional perks and tools. Our membership benefits include: additional tools (that is, ruler tool to measure and define your paddling trip), perks such as percentages off guided tours, purchase of Seaward kayaks or discounts at Alberni Outpost (in-store or online). Just show your membership number and you are set. As well, a healthy part of the book Easykayaker: A guide to laid-back paddling is in the membership section. This is particularly relevant for beginners or new visitors exploring the East Coast of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
  Water Classification Charts (new window) - The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC provides water classifications charts for the BC coastline. These charts are important to determine the difficulty of a paddling area or a section of the BC coastline.


The BC Marine Trails Network (BCMTN) will be a series of interconnecting marine trails along the entire BC coastline:

  • designed with frequent access points, stopovers and campsites for users of small, beachable watercraft
  • to ensure continued coastal access for public marine recreationists to travel the BC coast and to land and camp along the way