I had heard about Bowen Island from a dive buddy and his wife and made the trip there on my own last summer. The short 20-minute ferry ride, the sun on my face, and the wind in my hair was so enjoyable. Since my lovely day on Bowen Island, I’ve tried to take the boyfriend there but something always prevented our voyage. We finally found a day in January to get out for an adventure. It was a beautiful, sunny, and crisp Monday morning and I had a whole day planned out for us! Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned because Monday’s on the island are rather quiet…. Read on to find out more!
Getting to Bowen Island is super easy. You can easily commute to Horseshoe Bay Terminal from Downtown Vancouver, or if you prefer driving, you can park-and-sail.
The first time I went there I took the #257 express bus to Horseshoe Bay. The bus conveniently stops right outside the ticketing booth so you can grab your ticket and head right up to the waiting area.
If you plan to drive, there is ample parking and I believe we spent $12 for the day. You could pay to bring your car on the ferry, but most things you will be doing are within walking distance from the port. Save that money!
**Round-trip tickets are only $12.35 !! You do not need to purchase another ticket in Snug Cove to board the ferry**
Things To Do
Take a Stroll
Killarney Lake Trail is a really easy walk and accessible from the Ferry Terminal at Snug Cove. Depending on which route you take to get on the trail you will pass a small fish ladder, salmon hatchery, lagoon, equestrian park, or all of them if you follow the trail map accordingly. It is a really easy walk that has a few areas with moderate inclination. You’ll be fine with regular runners, but we wore hiking boots because we wanted to be prepared for mud from the recent snow melt.
You’ll see a lot of locals walking the trail, and we saw quite a few dogs with their owners too! The trail is totally dog-friendly, but make to have your pooch on a leash and bring some bags to pick up after them! I mentioned a fish hatchery and equestrian park, but it was pretty quiet when we were there- probably because of the season.
Along the Killarney Lake Trail, there is the entrance to the Mount Gardner Trail that, according to the interwebs, promises some awesome views of the island. We didn’t attempt it on our trip this time because we were unsure about the conditions and we just wanted to take it easy.
Absolutely do this trail if you want to get out but don’t want to overexert yourself. Pack yourself a nice lunch and eat it in the picnic area looking out into the lake. We recommend Bahn Mi =]
Once you get off the ferry at Snug Cove, make a left, pass the picnic area, and the entrance to Dorman Point trail will be awaiting you. This was another trail I walked when I went to Bowen in the summer last year. It is only 2.5km round trip and goes to a viewpoint.
There were many trees blocking the views, but I bet if you had a drone you would be able to capture amazing shots from this elevation. I took advantage of the quiet and caught up on some reading.
Eat Some Foods
Cocoa West Chocolatier
Wow, yum! Cocoa West is a nice reward for some physical activity. After finishing Killarney Lake Trail, head back to the main road and keep walking until you reach Artisan Lane.
The spicy hot chocolate and truffles were some of the best I’ve had in the lower mainland, and I was so sad that they were closed when Danton and I went! Cocoa West was in the plan to have the perfect Mondate, but I wasn’t aware they would be closed Mondays and Tuesdays…. =(
If you plan to go, make sure you check their website for up-to-date news. They are generally open Wed-Sun 10-5pm.
** FYI, pretty much every shop we passed by was closed. It seems most shops and restaurants are closed Sunday-Tuesdays. A local also mentioned owners take a lot of January off to clean and renovate**
I really recommend making the trip out here, but perhaps on the weekend when the shops are all open! I love that I get to ride a ferry and the trails and shops are within walking distance from the dock.
Have you been to Bowen Island before? Where do you go when you have a day off? Tell me in the comments below =]
Live large. Live Jennormously!