Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quadra Island

Quadra Island lies between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia and is the largest and most populous of the Discovery Islands. A short ferry ride from Cambell River takes you through whale- and dolphin-rich waters to this island of ancient temperate rainforest.

With its rich woodland, diverse topography, and plentiful wildlife, Quadra Island has become a huge draw for outdoor enthusiasts. There is an extensive system of lakes and rivers for kayaking and canoeing and many paths and trails for hiking and mountain biking. Guided bird watching and fishing charters run during the summer months, as do seaborne whale and bear watching trips. Its lakes are home to an incredible variety of wildlife, including black-tailed deer, river otters, harbour seals, sea-lions, cormorants, snowy owls, the great blue heron and the rarely seen peregrine flacon.

Its remoteness at the top of the Strait of Georgia helps this island community retain an idyllic charm. Aboriginal and European people live side by side, and whilst tourism is growing it is not overwhelming.

When to go: All year round although the ferries can get crowded in the May to August period.Population: 2,650. How to get there: By ferry from Campbell River or Cortes Island.

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