Hiking Smuggler Cove

Smuggler Cove is part of Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. This park offered a short pleasant hike (4km) with a chance to view the clear blue waters of the cove. Smuggler Cove gets its name from a “pirate” named Larry Kelly that smuggled unemployed Chinese workers into the US after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. During prohibition, the cove was also reportedly used by smugglers transporting alcohol to the US.

A short distance from the parking lot, you will reach a wooden platform which passes through a bog. Beavers are active in this area and you may catch a glimpse of them building their dam. Then its just a short hike through forested trails to reach spectacular views of the cove. We stopped for a snack on a small rocky beach next to some of the clearest blue waters. We continued on the path for views of the Straight of Georgia and Grant Island on the left. The path loops around for views of Smuggler Cove where we saw many boats moored in the cove and swimmers enjoying the calm waters.

Trail Name: Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park trail

Distance (roundtrip): 4km

Time (roundtrip): 1.5 hours

Elevation: minimal

Getting There:

  • The trailhead is about a 20 minute drive from the town of Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. Sechelt and the Sunshine Coast can be reached by ferry from Vancouver (via Horseshoe Bay) to the town of Gibsons. The ferry takes around 40 minutes and the drive from Gibsons to Sechelt takes another 50 minutes.
  • Smuggler Cove is an all weather anchorage which can be reached by boat at low-tide via Welcome Passage.

Facilities: There is a parking lot at the start of the trail along with an outhouse. There are no other toilet facilities in the park and no camping is allowed.

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