Best Hikes on Pender Island
“A world away from it all” best describes the feeling you get when you are on Pender Island. The relaxing vibe, beautiful parks with hiking trails, and scenic rocky beaches offer a great escape with plenty of outdoor areas to explore.
Pender Island is divided into two islands, a North and a South Island, and connected by a single lane bridge that crosses a small canal. There are trails on both islands and several public trails where you can access and explore the beaches. Here are the best hikes to check out when visiting Pender Island.
Located in the Beaumont Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Mount Norman is the highest point on Pender Island. The hike up to the viewpoint gains 200-metre elevation over 1.4km (0.87 miles) one-way, ending at a spectacular view overlooking Bedwell Harbour and across to the southern portion of the North Island.
The most common route is to start from Ainslie Point Road but hikers can also start from a parking further southeast off of Canal Road. The trail from Ainslie Point Road has a few steep sections but it’s a fairly smooth trail and easy to follow.
Beaumont Marine Park
Beaumont Marine Park is also located in the Beaumont Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and uses the same first section of trail as Mount Norman. After turn right at the junction to Beaumont, the trail climbs a bit further before dropping steeply down towards the shores of Bedwell Harbour, offering views from rocky outcrops of the water way. The trail passes two campsites, both next to incredibly scenic beach areas.
Access to Beaumont Marine Park is through the hiking trail beginning at Ainslie Point Road or by boat. For more information about Camping at Beaumont Marine Park or accessing the park by boat, check out the Parks Canada website.
Brooks Point Regional Park
The short walk through Brooks Point Regional Park barely classifies as a “hike”, due to it being so short, however the views in the park are so spectacular that it’s a must-see when visiting Pender Island. After emerging from the short forested trail, sweeping views from the lighthouse on the east side of the park to Gowlland Point on the west side look across Boundary Pass to the San Juan Islands in the United States. There are plenty of nature viewing possibilities too, including shorebirds and seals that frequent the area, and if you’re lucky, whales that pass through the channel.
Brooks Point Regional Park is located near the far end of South Pender Island along Gowland Point Road. If you are staying at the Poets Cove Resort & Spa, it’s about a 45-minute walk to Brooks Point each way.
George Hill Park
Located further north on North Pender Island, George Hill Park is a bit out of the way and not frequented as often as other areas of the island. The views from the top are spectacular as they look across the Gulf at Prevost Island, Salt Spring Island, and towards Mayne Island. The hike is only 1.7km roundtrip and gains 88-metres in elevation. Despite the short distance, there are a few steep sections of trail that can be slippery when wet or after some very dry weather. The lower section of trail is a bit more rugged than other trails on the island but it’s not too difficult.
Park in a small gravel parking area on Ogden Road and being the hike from the trailhead at the intersection of Ogden Road and Walden Road.
Mount Menzies Lookout
A spectacular view looking east towards Saturna Island can be witnessed from the Mount Menzies Lookout. The trail climbs gradually through a spectacular west coast rain forest and arrives at a cliff’s edge, offering the incredible view from above.
The trail begins from the cul-de-sac at the end of Hooson Road, however it does NOT start from the trail with the sign post, it starts at another trail further to the left. Once you’re on this trail, the most difficult part is finding the correct junction to go left at, marked by a small wooden sign that says “Crooked Tree Lookout Trail”.
Find more information about other Pender Island Hiking Trails and complete details about each of the best trails mentioned above.