Liam Loftus clears a ‘canoe run’ to make a smooth landing for paddlers located at four new campsites in Quatsino Sound.

Liam Loftus clears a ‘canoe run’ to make a smooth landing for paddlers located at four new campsites in Quatsino Sound.

Quatsino Sound gets new campsites

Quatsino Sound now has four new spots for travellers in small boats to camp

mall boats now have more camping options when moving through North Island waters.

The B.C. Marine Trails Network Association has recently completed a project that has created and updated campsites, resulting in four new campsites in the Quatsino Sound area. The four sites are in the process of becoming official B.C. Marine Trails Recreation Sites through Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.

A key part of the feel of these sites is that they are subdued and minimal.

“The whole point of this is to get out and re-experience the wild,” says Stephanie Meinke, president of the B.C. Marine Trails Network Association, adding that the sites are designed to be user maintained and taken care of.

The primary site is on Drake Island, chosen because it is the first thing people will pass when they come through the Quatsino Narrows and because of its proximity to the town of Quatsino, an attraction for boaters.

The Drake Island camping area is established on the foundation of the Central Hotel and Store, operational from 1909-1917.

The site has been cleaned up, a trail circuit created, and a green throne added, a small stand-alone backcountry toilet. It has about 10 camping spots.

Another site named Under Cover Cove is now more clearly signed to encourage use. Under Cover Cove has a small beach that disappears at high tide, so the crew created a spot for visitors to store their boats overnight, and cleared tent spots and a trail to a lookout point.

Right within the outer sound are the Hunt Islets, another primary site with seven campsites and a green throne. Almost at the outer sound is the Mahatta Creek site.

Members of the Quatsino First Nation were consulted before development began to ensure that the areas in question would be appropriate to use, and support from them was critical in moving forward with the plan.

Previous to this project, Drake Island had one existing unofficial campsite and the Hunt Islets had five; the goal of this development is part of a vision of the B.C. Marine Trails Network Association to work with government, First Nations, private land owners and others to create more camping areas along the coast for people travelling in small boats.