The second largest of the Gulf Islands with over 300 sq. km., Quadra also has the second largest population, around 4000 residents. Where it ranks first, however, in its beautiful lakes. The Northernmost Gulf Island, Quadra stretches well beyond Georgia Strait into Desolation Sound. While the southern end of the island is heavily settled, paved and level for enjoyable cycling, the northern end is almost wilderness, with few roads and great hiking and mountain biking trails. Canoeing is an excellent way to explore some of this northern coast line. Swimming is especially good at extensive Rebecca Spit Marine Park, one of the most beautiful oceanside parks anywhere. Fishing has always been popular in the turbulent waters around Quadra, and boats and fishing tackle can be easily rented.
Fishing and logging continue to be important activities, but tourism is also growing, as the island has much to offer visitors. Although forest fires and logging have destroyed much of the mature timber on Quadra, it is still a beautiful island and second growth flourishes.
The Kwagiulth at Cape Mudge operate a fishing fleet and a world class resort and restaurant.
Waters around Quadra have always been dangerous to shipping. Flood tides in Seymour Narrows on the west and Surge Narrows on the east, as well as the infamous riptides around what once was Ripple Rock, can create hazardous conditions. Even the 10 minute ferry trip from Campbell River to Quathiaski Cove on Quadra can be quite an adventure. The waters in Discovery Passage sometimes resemble a fast flowing river.
The ferry makes the passage 17 times a day and tourists will find all the services they need in the narrow southern end of the island. Quadra also offers a variety of accommodations and camping as well as restaurants, pubs, shops and galleries.