Texada, located in the Gulf of Georgia, is an imposing island. Thirty miles long, with its northernmost point close to Powell River on the Sunshine Coast, and five miles wide, the high, brooding island is home to about 1200 residents.
From the water it looks imposing indeed, with high cliffs and very little shelter from the often lumpy seas of Georgia Strait. Scars from logging and over a century of mining
activity mar its otherwise pristine appearance. Don’t overlook Texada, however. It has good ferry access, lots of recreational opportunities, a super campsite and friendly islanders.
Two small communities can be found at Van Anda and at Gillies Bay. Gillies Bay has a food and liquor store, a cafe, fresh baking, gas station, medical clinic, gallery and a busy farmer’s market on Sundays in the summer. Texada has a bustling and prosperous past, but today visitors will find it laid back and quiet.
The island is linked to Powell River on the mainland’s Sunshine Coast by a regular B.C. Ferries service. From there, visitors can take a second ferry over to Comox on Vancouver Island, if they wish, or they can explore the spectacular Sunshine Coast.
Mt. Pocohontas, accessible by foot at 1745 ft., offers splendid 360 degree views of the Coast Mountain Range on the mainland, and Vancouver Island to the east.
There are lots of things to do on the Big Island. A modern and recently expanded campsite is available at Shelter Point, as well as bed and breakfast establishments and hotels. Visitors come for the birding (Brant Geese, finches, Osprey, Herons, Hummingbirds and Kingfishers), for the rock hounding (fossilized sea creatures, “flower rocks”, agates and other treasures.), for the hiking and mountain biking on old logging roads, and don’t forget the scuba diving (Jacques Cousteau rated these waters as the No. 2 dive spot in the world, second only to the Red Sea!)