Do you have a favorite hike? Let my tell you about mine: the walk along the ocean in Francis Point Marine Park. It was established in 2001 to protect a rare piece of pristine waterfront and ecologically sensitive marine and forest habitats. It includes both a public park and an ecological reserve and therefore, only marked pathways are open to the public.
This isn’t a beach or a boat launch or an amusement park. The only amenity save for the parking lot, is a pit toilet. What it is, however, is a one-hour stroll along mossy headlands between the Salish Sea and towering old-growth forest with sweeping views of Vancouver and Texada Islands. It is quiet except for the call of numerous species of birds and the occasional boater on the water.
I work in the city but live on the Sunshine Coast, which is as close to paradise as you’ll ever get. I love to get away from it all and enjoy nature. On a sunny summer’s day, the sky can be too blue to describe with the glossy leaves and peeling bark of the arbutus trees to provide contrast. This is an easy walk, unlike much of the Sunshine Coast trails which lead you straight up to get your views. For this reason, I make sure to bring guests out for a stroll on a nice afternoon.
Francis Point Marine Park is located on Francis Peninsula (also know locally as Beaver Island) just west of Madeira Park. From Francis Peninsula Road, turn left off Merrill and follow to the parking lot. Bring water, several cameras with lots of film and some lunch to eat along the way, but remember to bring everything back out with you.