- Difficulty Easy
- Time 1.5 hours
- Round-Trip 4km
- Elevation Gain minimal
- Season year-round
- Camping Yes
- From Vancouver 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly On-Leash
Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park is located north of Sechelt and is a beautiful area that offers scenic coastal views of the cove and shoreline along the Strait of Georgia. The hike is fairly easy with a few sections that ascend as you make your way up onto the rocks for views of the park.
The area has some notable history as the cove was used to transport Chinese workers into the United States in the late-1800?s. Then, during the period of prohibition, smugglers would hide from authorities in the cove as they transported alcohol south into the United States.
Begin your hike to Smuggler Cove from the parking area by following the trail into the forest as it gradually descends, enjoying the peacefulness of the surroundings. Within minutes, the trail reaches a wooden platform that veers left and passes through a bog. Follow the gravel trail as it passes over another bridge and then reaches a third raised walkway next to another bog. The third wooden walkway is the longest as it provides views of the scenic bog where several beavers live and work.
Continue hiking along the trail, through the forest, until you reach a sign at a junction. Going left takes you on a trail that takes about 10-15 minutes to the end where you arrive at a rocky beach next to Grant Island. Enjoy the views before following the trail back to the junction and taking the other route.
From the junction, follow the main trail to the right as it climbs uphill and offers glimpses of Smuggler Cove to the right. As you continue to follow the trail, stay to the left if you notice a junction as the route will loop back to this point. Watch for an opening in the trees on the left and follow the trail out onto a rocky outcrop with an incredible view of the Strait of Georgia.
Return to the trail and continue following it as it climbs up to a high point on a rocky above the entrance to Smugglers Cove. On a sunny day, the water in the cove can be a translucent green. The trail continues along the high point, offering more views of the cove as it begins to loop back.
When the trail descends down a hill, it rejoins the trail where you began the loop. Continue to follow the trail back in the direction towards the parking lot as you pass the junction, stay to the left, then cross the raised wooden platforms next to the bogs. Within minutes, return to the parking lot where you began.