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

North Salish Sea Route

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Leave the car at on the mainland in this adventure option that skirts the north end of the Salish Sea Marine Trail, taking in all the most wild locations. This route is designed to take advantage of the Walk-on, Paddle-off BC Ferries program created by the BC Marine Trails Network. So it offers all the best of the Salish Sea in a linear route and all it needs on your part is the will to wheel your kayak onto the ferry.

Here's how it works. Walk on at Horseshoe Bay and walk off at Departure Bay to launch at the nearby Brechin boat ramp. From there you can head north into the most wild and scenic section of the Salish Sea Marine Trail by heading through the Winchelseas then to the central Strait of Georgia islands of Lasqueti, Jedediah and Texada before crossing to the Sunshine Coast and across Howe Sound to return by paddle to Horseshoe Bay. 

This is a breathtaking route that takes you as far from civilization as you can get in southern British Columbia, and all without the need for taking a car to Vancouver Island. This is not only a cost saver, it alleviates the worry of ferry lineups during the peak summer season. Simply arrive with your kayak and pass the lines of cars waiting their turn. 

A variation is to arrive by float plane, rent a kayak and disembark at Sechelt. If you arrange this through Harbour Air, you may not need to return the kayak rental to the original location. This would be a fantastic trip option for those arriving from distant locations who can land at Vancouver International Airport, "puddle jump" to Nanaimo and begin your kayak trip almost instantly. At the end of your trip you can fly out of Sechelt back to Vancouver International Airport.  

Useful links:

Nanaimo Adventure Gateway

Walk-on, Paddle-off BC Ferries program

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